Are Reviews Of Importance For A Local Business?

reviewsHave you noticed how many online retailers, e-commerce sites, and even service oriented business are highlighting online reviews, even for their local businesses? You have probably been asked to provide a review in a follow-up email or even at the time of your online purchase.

If this seems to be more common now than a few years ago you are right, but it may not be for the reasons you think. If your company isn’t using online reviews from customers and clients, you will find you are missing out on a literal goldmine of possibilities to boost your website on search engine rankings and increase your visibility.

Keywords and SEO

You have probably heard about SEO or search engine optimization, and how it uses a complex algorithm that includes keywords. Keywords, which can also be phrases, have to be carefully selected to match what the people looking for your website will use to search.

By using these keywords in headers, descriptions, and occasionally in content, the search engine crawlers will index your site for those keywords. However, using them too often, or “keyword stuffing” can actually hurt your rankings.

When you have customer’s leaving reviews, they will use search terms, including your keywords. These, since they are in reviews and not generated content by your company, will not hurt your search engine rankings and will only add to the effectiveness.

The Added Benefit of LSI

Another very important element of customer reviews is the use of what is known as LSI. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Index, which can be thought of as informal secondary keywords.

reviewsFor example, if you are selling bird feeders your keyword would be bird feeders. Secondary or LSI keywords could include bluebird feeders, hummingbird feeders, hanging birdfeeders, decorative bird feeders and so on.

When your customers write a review, it is highly likely they will use the LSI or keyword/secondary keyword they used in the search engine in the title of the review or in the text. Unique LSI words, local phrases, and other local terms will be indexed as well, further boosting your rankings.

Local reviews also attract local customers as reliable, trustworthy sources of accurate information about your products, services, and business. When customers realize that the reviewer is someone in their area, it automatically becomes a higher ranked source of information. It is a good idea to have the reviewer indicate their location as part of the information collected and displayed with the review.

Ranking systems using checks, stars, or number scales are also a quick source for potential online customers on how a business is doing business. Even if there is a problem if that is resolved quickly and effectively a customer is likely to provide a high rating and a positive comment, further reinforcing the credibility of your business.

As a top marketing company in New York City, we can help you to develop feedback rating systems that will boost your online visibility for your local market and beyond. Give us a call today at 212-686-0806 and we can get started.

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