Ever wonder how Google decides to rank a website on its search engine results page (SERP)? Part of Google’s algorithm includes social, in terms of online reviews (the marketing term is user-generated content in case you are curious). For example, if I search for “fitness gyms near silver spring, md,” here is what comes up on Google:
You will notice LA Fitness is ranked first organically with 22 online reviews. Compared to the other gyms on the SERP, LA Fitness has the most online reviews. In other words, when there is more buzz surrounding your business, it is more likely that your company’s website will rank higher organically.
Last month (July 2011), Google launched Hotel Finder, which ranks hotels based on each hotel’s class, user rating, price per night, and price comparison (your hotel price on your selected travel dates versus the typical price over the past year):
Do you now recognize the social movement on Google? Perhaps you are asking yourself: how can my company’s website continue to receive traffic from Google? There are three important steps you should take:
1) Invest in a pay-per-click campaign to bring your company in front of an online consumer who is already interested in your company’s product/service.
2) Maintain a user-friendly website to make it easy for potential customers to do business with you. If they have a hard time figuring out how to contact your company, then you can bet they will just close out your website and move on to your competitor’s website.
3) Attain more positive online reviews about your business so Google will rank your website higher on its SERP. Not to mention, this could also increase your sales too because more positive online reviews means new prospective customers will discover your business and possibly even do business with you.
I hope this topic of positive online reviews has helped you realize the significance to your business. Consider yourself lucky: there are many local businesses out there that have no idea about their social standing and how it affects their website’s ranking on Google. Is it not better to be ahead of the game?
Did you think positive online reviews were that vital to your business? How will you increase your company’s positive online reviews? Share any feedback in a comment!
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1.2 million in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
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