Saturday, May 12, 2012

Google Places Reviews Effect More Than Rankings

Sometimes we get so caught up in the details of how to optimize Google Places or do perfect SEO on our Website, YouTube video, or blog, that we lose sight of the very reason this stuff exists.  There would be no Google Places if there were no customers trying to find your local business online.  So Google places was designed for them, not for you.  Reviews intrigue potential customers and reviews drive decisions.

Try it yourself.  I did.  Pick any subject you care about.  Google a business that provides goods or services related to that interest.  Quick!  Which business are you going to call?  The one with the cute name?  The one whose listed first?  For many it will be the one with a lot of good reviews.  And for a big percentage of those, it will be about how many stars are lit up, not a detailed look at the content of the reviews.

This is the biggest no-brainer in the history of man.  Why aren't you spending massive time and energy getting great reviews.  You'll drop $500 to some slick guy on the phone promising you ranking or to get you listed on a bunch of directories.  You'll pay $1000's for a great website.  How much have you paid for Google Adwords?  But, I can assure you that those reviews on Google Places and Yelp are worth more than your great website.  They will find the Google Places listing before they will find your website in most cases.

For example, my client has a bike shop in Rolling Hills CA, and he is ranked very high on every keyword having Rolling Hills in it.  However, the big population center is Torrance, right next door.  He want a high ranking for bike shop Torrance, bicycle Torrance, and bicycle fittings Torrance.  There are quite a few shops in Torrance, so this is hard.  His website is on page 1, but Google Places is not.  However, when you look at his beautiful stars all lit up and twice as many reviews as anyone on the page, he is going to get a first look. Check him out at

What is keeping you from getting more reviews?  Have you had a different experience than I have when looking for a supplier?  Tell me about it.  

No comments: