The Role of Online Reviews in Local SEO

by Chris Rowe
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The Role of Online Reviews in Local SEO

Online reviews have taken on a whole new level of importance in business's local SEO strategies. In just the past five years, customers have gone from largely ignoring these reviews to actively seeking them out before deciding whether or not to shop at a particular business.

In fact, in 2010 nearly 50 percent of people polled for a study reported giving online reviews little to no credence at all before shopping at a local business. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of people say that they nearly always read online reviews before choosing a local business. Eighty percent of those people polled say that online reviews hold the same influence over their shopping decisions as personal recommendations from friends and family members.

Another study showed that an online review of your business can compel potential customers to react in several different ways. Forty eight percent of the people interviewed in the study reported visiting a business's website after reading an online review. Nine percent say that they decided to call the business while 25 percent say that they visited the business in person. Alternatively, twenty one percent of people said that they decided to keep comparison shopping after reading a bad online review of a local business.

Online reviews are so vital to local SEO that they also play a significant role in how that business is ranked in search engine results. These reviews can account for as much as 10 percent of Google's decision in ranking one business higher than another.

Because customers seek them out and rely on them significantly when forming their shopping decisions, online reviews will predictably continue to influence local SEO. These reviews are increasingly important and are now widely expected to be available when customers look for them online.

Looking for more tips on managing your company's reputation or building your company's online presence? Check out some of our latest blog posts like Managing Your Business's Online Reputation and 10 Easy Ways to Build Brand Awareness Online. Follow Jet Digital Marketing on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest insights into digital marketing and growing your business online. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about our digital marketing solutions.