What’s easiest, fastest and cheapest way to improve your SEO that 90% of your competitors are missing the boat on?
So, you’ve been through your site, you’ve structured it properly, optimised your images, done your keyword research and adjusted your copy, added an SSL certificate, created sitemaps and a robots.txt file; you’ve submitted your site to google and configured webmaster tools. You even have a few organic and decent links in to your site but you’re only ranking ‘ok’… so what now?
Well, you’ll be pleased to know that the next part is fairly easy and the majority of your competition simply aren’t doing it.
What is this amazing SEO strategy that I speak of? It’s reviews. Simple as that.
In 2016, Google started taking Review Signals more seriously. You may have noticed that if you put in a brand name, then assuming the business details have been submitted to Google properly, that business will normally come up on the right hand side in what is known as the Knowledge Panel. you’ll notice just above the bottom of this panel, is a reviews section. These listings are now not only from Google Plus reviews, but also Facebook, Word of Mouth, Yelp, FreeIndex and a whole host of industry-specific review and indexing sites such as cars.com, Edmunds, Zomato, Opentable.co.uk, etc. etc.
Here are some other reasons why this is such an important thing to focus on:
Do you really want to leave the reputation of your business to chance? If you don’t take the steps above, the likelihood is that a negative review will have a huge impact on your reputation, both for Google’s rankings and in the real world. However, if you pre-empt this and already have tens or even hundreds of good reviews then any negative one will hold far less weight.
Because we all love a good bullet point, here are a few headline reasons to do this:
90% of consumers read reviews before visiting a business.
72% of consumers will only take action with a business after reading a positive review.
It is fresh content related to your site and it’s user generated- so you don’t have to do the work!
So, how do you go about doing this for your business?
- Search for competitors
If you want to improve this part of your online presence then the best way to go about it is to search for the terms that you’re trying to be found for and make a note of your top five competitors.
- Research review sites
Search for these competitors by name and when you see their Knowledge Panel on the right hand side, check to see where they are being reviewed. There will probably just be two or three sites and Facebook is likely to be one of them.
- Make profiles
For each of these websites, create a profile for your business. Be careful to ensure that the business details you add to these pages have exactly the same NAP (business Name, Address, Phone number, etc. as Google has for you.
- Speak to clients
Next, think of some customers who you know well and give them a call. Tell them what you’re doing and why and ask if they would be happy to leave a brief and honest review on one of those sites. If they say yes, tell them that you’ll send them a link to make it easier and then send the link straight away- don’t delay! Making this call will mean that you have a far higher success rate in terms of people actually leaving the reviews and it will pay off.
By taking these few simple steps and getting your clients to leave you (positive!) reviews, your reputation will improve within the Google search indexing algorithm and you should rise further up the rankings- or, hopefully, solidify your existing page one spot! Either way, it doesn’t take a huge amount of work and certainly won’t do any harm.