Do Google Reviews Affect SEO?

Having strong Google Reviews has a definite impact on how well a business ranks, especially if they are a local business. There are a couple of different ways that Google Reviews impact both the rankings and conversion power of a business.

While the volume of reviews is not a confirmed ranking factor, search engines will generally push businesses with a higher number of reviews to the top of the Map Pack. A study conducted by SEMRush showed that the average rating of a business had less of an impact on Map Pack rankings than the average volume of reviews. Businesses with the #1 position on Google Maps had ~100 more reviews than the business in the #2 position, while the average rating did not change. This shows that the volume of positive reviews is a stronger indicator of a business’s local rankings than the average rating.

While positive reviews are preferred, now and then a business will receive a negative rating. However, a few negative ratings will not negatively impact a business’s rankings as long as it is handled correctly. According to Google, it is recommended that businesses respond to negative reviews promptly and conscientiously, while avoiding sales incentives or promotional language. Additionally, it is important to not take responsibility for events that were not your fault. Instead, offer to talk it over with the customer and offer compassion. 

Here is a sample response to a negative review that comes from Google:

“Thank you for the feedback, Thea. I’m sorry to hear that you had to wait longer than expected for your table. Our goal is always to seat customers as quickly as possible and we are always working to make our process even more efficient. We hope to have the chance to serve you again. – Sam (owner)”

Use this example as a guide to replying to negative reviews in the future.

If you are struggling to build up your business’s Google Reviews, here are a few tactics that may help:

  • Add a link to your Google Business Profile on invoices or receipts
  • Send review requests via email or text message a few hours after a customer has made a purchase or received a service.
  • Include call-to-actions on your website for customers to leave a Google Review 
  • Customize your review requests 

If you have any other questions about how Google Reviews impact your site, schedule a free strategy session below:

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