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How Important Are Google Reviews for Local SEO and How Do You Get Them?

View profile for Matt Nicholls
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Curating Google reviews is an integral part of a successful online marketing strategy, and they have a much larger impact on a company’s local search rankings than they’re given credit for.

Any law firm that has a storefront in a particular location, and wants to be successful in that location, needs to put time into curating their Google reviews. It’s not always easy to acquire positive ones, because what the customer writes about you is somewhat out of your hands, but it’s not impossible.

In this post we’re going to cover the benefits of having positive Google reviews before telling you exactly how to get them.

What are the benefits of having positive Google reviews?

Having positive Google reviews benefits all companies that work directly with customers or clients. Whether you’re a law firm or a local bakery, Google reviews will help you for the following reasons:

Make customers trust you

The most obvious reason to have positive Google reviews is to show customers that you’re trustworthy. Before a client decides to work with you, they’ll want to make sure you’re reliable and legitimate.

Help you rank more prominently in local search

Google takes this trustworthiness one step further by actually using reviews as one of their local ranking factors. In fact, in the 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors survey by Whitespark, reviews accounted for 16% of local pack ranking and conversion factors.

To make their deliberations, Google measures the number, frequency, diversity and quality of reviews. All these factors show Google that customers are pleased with the services they received from your business, and you are rewarded with higher rankings as a result.

In that same survey, reviews actually topped the list of factors that convince customers to convert in the Google SERP. The quantity of native Google reviews, the positive sentiment expressed in them, and their numerical value were the most important factors.

Despite their evident importance, many businesses neglect to encourage, respond to and curate their Google reviews as part of their marketing strategy. But how exactly do you get reviews on Google in the first place? Read on to find out.

How do you get positive Google reviews?

Now that we have an idea of why positive Google reviews are beneficial to your law firm, it’s time to tell you how you can get them.

Ask your customers

When it comes to Google My Business reviews, Google’s recommendations are to request reviews from your customers using a short URL that’s specific to your business.

This could be as simple as adding a request with the link to the footer of your emails or setting up a system within your firm where you ask favourable clients to leave a review for you online.

If a client has had a great experience with you, sending them a personalised email requesting a review should increase your chances significantly. It’s best to do this once you’ve completed a successful job for a client as they’re more likely to leave a positive review.

When you reach out to a client, remember to emphasise how easy it is to leave a review and give a brief explanation of how to do it.

Put reminders on your site

You’re less likely to get a positive review from this than a personalised email but having the review link displayed prominently on your site reminds customers that it’s an option.

They might not do this the first time they use you but if they continue to do business with your company and see your review link every time they’re on your site, they might remember to use it when they have a particularly good experience with you.

The only downside to this strategy is that it makes it easier for customers who’ve had a negative experience to leave a bad review. Personalised emails make it much easier to curate who will and won’t leave a review than an open invitation on your site.

If you do get any malicious reviews from people who’ve never done business with you, you can report them to Google and have them removed.

Provide great customer service

A large proportion of bad reviews are left by people who have received poor customer service. Search any type of business on Google and you will see that their reviews are littered with them.

These reviews can be incredibly frustrating considering the amount of effort it takes to get a positive review and the fact that the people leaving the bad reviews never ended up using your company.

Making sure you answer calls, have an answering service that tells people how to contact you when you’re not there and dealing with customers as nicely as possible will not only reduce the chances of you receiving a bad review.

Are Google reviews really worth all the effort?

In this post, we’ve made the case for businesses to curate their Google reviews to improve customer trust and boost their local search rankings.

If Google reviews only accounted for 1% of the local search rankings, then the amount of effort required to get them wouldn’t be worth the reward. However, with them being the second highest-ranking factor in 2020, Google reviews need to be given much more attention by businesses than they’re currently receiving.

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