How Online Reviews Factor into Your Local SEO Strategy

Why are online reviews so important for your business? It’s because more purchase decisions are being made today after searching the Internet than ever before, whether it’s online shopping or a visit to a brick and mortar store. Add to this the tendency to read what others have experienced with similar products and services and you’ll get a fair idea of why online reviews are playing a crucial role in the present business environment. This is borne out by a study that reveals almost 85% of all consumers read online reviews before going on a shopping spree. Given all these factors, how can online reviews be factored into your Local SEO Strategy?

Primarily, local search engines provide accurate updated information about the happenings in your area including businesses that function in the vicinity. This includes offering information that helps people take precise decisions. The faster the search engines can do this the more will consumers be benefitted by it. Positive online reviews have a great impact. This is because of all the parameters adopted by Google and other major search engines to arrive at rankings, online reviews take up almost 10% of the total pie. Review quality, review velocity and review diversity are some of the points that are taken into account.

But there’s a flip side to this scenario – negative reviews can damage your business reputation and take the sales graph south. In these cases, instead of slumping back in your chair get reputed online digital marketing companies to carve out a reputation marketing strategy for you. When incorporated into a local SEO strategy, it will neutralize the adverse remarks made.

However, Deanna Yick, spokesperson of Google Places puts things in the proper perspective when she says, “Reviews are a form for users to share both positive and negative opinions. We do not arbitrate disputes and more than not, we leave the review up.” This makes it all the more important to weave in online reviews into Local SEO strategy for business growth and development.