Reviews Can Improve Your Local Search Rankings – SEO Tip Week 34

Written on August 25, 2007 – 8:12 pm | by Shell Harris |

A search engine optimization company can sometimes forget about the little guy. Sometimes working for web sites who need search results for terms that have national competition can overwhelm you and blind you to the company who is competing for search terms in a local geographic area. I wrote a post on improving local search results a few weeks ago and in doing so discovered a new tip: Add Reviews. Or better yet ask your customers to add reviews.

Creative Energy Search ResultsFor example I have done a search for Home Improvement in Richmond, Virginia. Click on the screenshot to the right and you can see the #1 search result is a client of ours, Creative Energy. You can also see they have 2 reviews listed. Local reviews can help boost your search engine rankings and if they are positive reviews they can boost your sales. imagine if you were looking at the results listed, wouldn’t you read the reviews? If they were positive you might visit their site or give them call. Every advantage helps.

So how do you add reviews? Visit Google Maps and do a search for you business by name and your city and state. When you find your business click the more information link. (Or you may see a review link to click from here, it depends on your search results). From there you will see a link to write a review. You can provide this link to customers and if they have a Google account, as many people do, they can add a review. You can also add reviews through other sites, Google will find them, such as Yelp and your local, but they customers will need accounts to use these as well.

So am I telling you to manufacture or make up reviews? No, of course not. But if you have clients who have given you a written letter or verbal review it might be worth it to ask them to post a review online. Give them a coupon for future work or send them a gift of Virginia peanuts. Don’t think of it as bribery, think of it as good customer relations.

Shell Harris co-founded Big Oak on January 1, 2004. In a previous career he was a print & web designer and often developed the sites he designed before focusing on his current passion for search engine optimization and Internet marketing. He is an avid researcher, SEO specialist, company mouthpiece and is always looking for the next big thing in Internet Marketing.

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  1. 8 Responses to “Reviews Can Improve Your Local Search Rankings – SEO Tip Week 34”

  2. By Money Blue Book on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply postings tend to be different from the other SEO sites I’ve read. Just passing by..

    - Raymond

  3. By Shell Harris on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Thank, Raymond. I feel you can go two directions with any blog. Talking about ideas and thoughts on the web or giving ideas and thoughts on the web. I’ve been focusing on the giving of ideas this year. I’m glad you have noticed. Spread the word!

  4. By shawn smith on Aug 28, 2007 | Reply

    Nice tip Shell. I actually just did my first local business listing with google yesterday and was surprised to see it listed so quickly in the results, although it wasn’t very high. I think adding reviews could definitely help. P.S. – I like what you’re saying about customer relations – those peanuts are great!

  5. By Teresha on Aug 29, 2007 | Reply

    Interesting post. The most interesting part is that it’s the first I’ve seen that actually states this fact. Maybe others simply feel it’s a given, it should be. With so many sites, including our own business wiki, allowing customer reviews it’s essential to educate your clients on why it’s important to ask happy customers to review as well as to ensure that they do it. Whilst I agree it’s now very important to have reviews on Google and Yahoo local, it’s just as important that small businesses check their listings in other online phone books to ensure a) their listings are correct (phone numbers, maps, etc…) and b) what people are saying about them (assuming the OYP allows reviews). It’s simply brand management but too few small businesses are aware of the need to monitor online business directories unless they have paid for the listing. Google, Yahoo and Yelp aren’t the only OYP, there are many and they are showing up in search engine results, often higher than the business’ website due to better optimisation. So it’s important the listings are correct and reviews monitored.

  6. By Shell Harris on Aug 29, 2007 | Reply

    Thanks for the nice comments, Shawn. We have noticed it can take months to move up, but some of our clients moved in a few weeks. If you see upward movement, let us know about your success.

  7. By Shell Harris on Aug 29, 2007 | Reply

    Thanks for a well-thought-out comment. You go beyond my simplistic SEO-focused post and get to the heart of a much bigger issue of company brand, which I can agree with whole-heartedly. Make sure the right address and phone number are being shown to your clients and potential clients.

  8. By Paparazzzi on Aug 29, 2007 | Reply

    That’s a very useful tip. Google Maps aren´t working fine yet, here in Portugal… but i think it´s just a matter of time!

  9. By Antionette on Jun 18, 2009 | Reply

    Posting regular content to the site is the best way to ensure the crawlers come back for more. Also, increasing your PageRank through inbound links will also make the Googlebot happy.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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