All Systems Go Marketing, based in La Mesa, California, has published a new blog post on their website exploring how a business may appraise reviews generated from SEO efforts. The post offers guidance on how to proceed and what to know regarding reviews as well.
The post begins by asking several questions of the reader. To quote the article, “So, your local business has gotten reviews. What now? Are those reviews supposed to be good? Would you need to engage with them? Are they relevant to your local SEO efforts?” The answers to all these questions are tackled throughout the post. When it comes to the question of the importance of reviews, the answer is yes. Google Reviews are definitely shown to have a relation to the success of local SEO efforts. The post goes on to explain that this is due to Google including crowdsourced factors in their ranking, and reviews are great crowdsourced material as it is difficult to spam — and also because it is illegal for reviewers to abuse their right to review a local business.
Any business will benefit if the owners have a healthy number of reviews (with a good portion of them on the positive side) and if the keywords and the location of the business are also included in the reviews. It is also worth noting that anonymous users are not allowed to post online reviews for businesses in Google, so a business can typically be ensured of the veracity of the reviews. Finally, the company adds that one point proves that the volume of reviews is important: When Google implemented the ‘no anonymous user reviews’ policy, businesses that lost a significant number of reviews because anonymous reviews were removed started dropping significantly lower in rank. It is safe to say that positive Google Reviews can help improve search rankings and general Local SEO efforts. Although there are many factors involved in search rankings (the post points out that there are over 200), online customer reviews send a strong signal to search engines that communicates expertise, authority and trust.
The post also addresses the issue of negative reviews. According to the agency, the impact of such feedback can be boiled down to two alternatives: Yes and no. If the significant majority of a local business’ reviews are negative, then yes, Google will consider them when dropping the business’ rankings because of its negative reputation. Moreover, there is always a tendency for local business owners to remove negative reviews, so even if a majority of a company’s reviews are negative and the owner decides to have all those reviews taken down, then as mentioned earlier, the business’ ranking will suffer because of the decrease in the volume of reviews.
After acknowledging the situation that arises with negative reviews, the post also points out that Google Search Quality Evaluators have guidelines that remind them to be cautious about one or a couple of negative reviews. This is a fair policy, as even one negative experience of a customer with a rude cashier or a salesperson does not really prove that the company is a fraudulent or incompetent one. This is also why the number of reviews for a local business is important. If a company has 26 reviews for their business and three of them are negative, it is difficult for someone to really ignore the 23 good comments. Be that as it may, these negative comments, although clearly a minority, should be professionally addressed and remedied by the company.
It is also worth noting that a business with only positive reviews is likely to appear suspicious to prospective shoppers. To explain, most prospective shoppers are concerned about the practice of ‘review gating,’ which is the practice of discouraging or prohibiting negative reviews and selectively soliciting reviews from happy customers. The post also highlights the fact that review gating violates Google’s Contributed Content Policy. Furthermore, according to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, negative reviews are completely normal and expected. The post provides further information on how to handle reviews, no matter the nature of the content.
All Systems Go Marketing has, since 1999, focused on working for and partnering with small to mid-sized businesses. The agency utilizes techniques that are based upon 20 years of digital marketing experience, and they focus on a fundamentally sound, results-oriented and safe approach to Digital Marketing.
To learn more about All Systems Go Marketing and the services they offer, one may visit their website. The company can also be contacted via phone or email.
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All Systems Go Marketing
8064 Allison Avenue, #108
La Mesa, CA 91942
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