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Optimizing For Google’s Featured Review System

marketing, seo, reviews, ranking

This past October, Google announced that it would be adjusting its search results so that visitors searching for businesses will be directed to the most reputable locations based on quality reviews left by trusted publishers. What this means is that Google will take into account several to hundreds of reviews from across the web, and based on those reviews and their  credibility will decide which business is the best and feature them.  If you aren’t a stranger to SEO, then you understand that Google takes many factors into account and then uses them to move websites up and down their search results. But this new system only takes into account reviews.  Google has always used it’s own Google Plus reviews as part of it’s complex algorithm, and now those Google reviews are part of a larger equation.  This means if your business has been slacking and not making online rankings and reviews a priority, you’ll soon start to feel the effects of this new system as online visitors are directed to competitors and not your website.

What does this mean for review strategy and which review sites matter most?

Let’s spend some time understanding what you need to know about the new Google system and how to prioritize review websites and capture high quality reviews.

Which Review Sites Really Matter?

First of all, Google Plus reviews are still going to be the number one priority because those will factor into your regular organic search results, your Google maps results and appearance, as well as any featured real estate you may inhabit.  Because Google will now take into account your reviews from all over the internet you will want to cover all of your bases.  The best tool to find which review sites will matter most to your business’s SEO is of course, Google.

Find your most important review sites in 3 easy steps:


Step 1: Google “{Your Business Name} Reviews”

The top three actual review sites on this list should be your highest priority after Google. These will also be sites where you already have reviews currently.

Step 2: Google “{Your Business Industry and Location} Reviews”

Remove the sites from step 1 from this query and take those top three. Those are your most important review sites where you do not have any reviews currently and should be your next most important review sites.

Step 3: Google “{Your Industry} Reviews”

This will locate any additional review sites that you may not have found in steps 1 and 2.

Which Reviews are Most Important?

Focus your main efforts on Google reviews, but after that, focus on gaining momentum in the sites from step 2 that you have the fewest reviews in.  If Yelp was one of those sites that popped up for your business in step one, and you only have 1 or 2 Yelp reviews, funnel your efforts into Yelp until you reach your goal.  If you have a steady steam of reviews coming in to your step 2 sites, focus next on the review sites where your business does not have a presence.  Once you have achieved a solid number (we think 5 is a great start for most small business) then concentrate on a system that allows you to maintain regular reviews across all of your current review sites.  Having a new review each week is more effective than 100 reviews in one week and then nothing for several months.  Search engines love consistency.

How Do I Get More Reviews?

We have developed a Review Funnel System that allows you to easily request and guide your customers online to the exact sites where you need reviews.  Our system strategically asks recent customers for a review, then we decide where we want that review to appear, and send them directly to the review form on that website.  Not only do we make it simple and personalized to your business but we also remind your customers to leave the review if they forget, address negative feedback directly, and track your review progress. Contact us to learn more and to become a part of our review revolution.

If you want to try to capture your own reviews, here are some general tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a review, face to face or via email
  • Let your customers know where you want them to leave reviews
  • Use Social Media as a tool to capture reviews (remember, if you don’t have Facebook settings optimized with an address and maps listing you won’t be able to turn on the review me feature)

Reviews are increasingly important to the online shopper, the business, and for SEO.   That is why Advantage Internet Marketing works hard to make sure all of it’s clients address Reviews as part of their comprehensive marketing plan.  Once you begin collecting quality reviews you should notice momentum and see results online.  We understand that Reviews management is hard, don’t give up, and if you need help contact us to learn more about our Review Services.


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