Local Search Ranking Factors 2018: Reviews Matter

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A 2018 local search ranking factors study from BrightLocal has revealed what we have long suspected. Google reviews are important to local SEO rankings. Not just the number of the reviews, but whether the reviews are positive or negative. In other words, the more positive Google reviews a business has, the more their local search results will benefit. Let’s take a closer look at how Google reviews influence local search results and what you can do to improve your rankings.

Google Reviews Study: Key Findings

The findings of the study were uncovered by examining 93,000 local businesses across 26 different industries.

One of the most important findings from the study was this: businesses that appear in the top 3 local positions on Google have an average of 47 Google Reviews, businesses in positions 4-6 have an average of 40 reviews and businesses in positions 7-10 have an average of 38 reviews. 

Other key findings include:

74% of local businesses have at least one Google Review

61% of business have Google Rating of 4-5 stars

48% of consumers wouldn’t use a business with a rating lower than 4 stars

20% of businesses in positions 1-3 were found to have no Google reviews

5% of businesses have a Google rating below 3 stars

How Many Reviews Do Local Businesses Need?

If we look at the findings we can see that on average, a local business will have 53 Google reviews and those in the top 3 positions have an average of 47 Google reviews. Therefore, if your business is below average it’s time to get to work.

How? Follow These Tips:

  • Ask. This means asking your clients after you have completed a job, after an interaction with a customer, via email or when you conclude a phone conversation. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
  • Remind. Don’t be afraid to remind your customers to leave a review. Our lives are busier than ever and a friendly nudge is often required in order to get the results you want.
  • Show. Some of your customers will know how to leave a Google review. Others won’t. If you are sending an email, don’t be afraid to include a link to an explanatory video or article to guide your customers through the process.

Is Responding To Google Reviews Important?

Yes. Responding to Google reviews is important for both the consumer decision-making process and Google’s search algorithm. Every review, whether positive or negative should have a response to show Google that you are an engaged business. Users will also be notified that the owner has responded to a review.

If you don’t have time to respond to your Google reviews, Webics is now offering review management for Google My Business (GMB) Listings. This service is included in our SEO packages. Talk to our friendly team about how we can help improve your Google reviews and get your business to the top of the local listings.


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