Tuesday 25 August 2020

Reviews are vital if you want to rank in search

We make no apologies for banging this drum again. Not only are reviews - those hosted on your own website
and Google reviews - valued by your potential customers (88% of whom rate them as highly as a personal recommendation) but they are valued as much as any other factor by Google when determining your business's position - rank - in search.

Look at this typical search - the one all your potential customers make (this is an estate agent, but it could just as well be any other professional or service business):

Now look at the factors that influence Google when ranking businesses in search:

So, you need:

  • Review quantity: Fifty is a first threshold. How do we know? We don't, and Google are never going to tell us, but common sense dictates that 50 is about the level that any algorithm is going to begin to notice review activity.
  • Review velocity: It's no good having a 'blitz', as so many businesses do, getting a decent number of reviews and then easing up. Google wants to see regular reviews.
  • Review diversity: Not just 'great business, use them' every time, and definitely not just Ratings (stars with no review content). Google wants reviews that help users decide which business to click through to.
And we would add:
  • Review quality: a subset of 'diversity' above. Again: Google values information - the more the better, and it also values good written English (our moderation process ensures that).

Here's another case history (Winkworth, above, are also HelpHound clients):

The business concerned is a small independent with one location. How do they lead the Google 3-pack and Map Search? By ticking as many of the boxes listed above as possible, with help from their web designers and HelpHound: hosting 655 reviews on their own website and having 135 on Google.

Standing out in a crowded marketplace:

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