Why Are Reviews Important for Local SEO

Google alone parses roughly 3.5 billion search queries from users all over the world every day. Add that number to the number of searches fielded by competing engines and you quickly begin to understand the importance of SEO.

SEO (search engine optimization) is the science of tailoring your web content to searches users submit to search engines. By using exact words and phrases in your web content that users are searching for online, your business will surface higher in search engine results.

But what about for brick-and-motor businesses? Is SEO important for them?


Local SEO is a form of search engine optimization targeted at driving foot traffic into a business. Among the top factors that affect Local SEO are online reviews.

Below, our team goes into detail on how search engines use reviews to determine ranking and answers the question, “Why are reviews important?”

Search Engine Algorithms

Search engines consider many different factors when determining what placement to give your local business in their results. While algorithms for many search engines are kept close to the chest, search engine analysts have speculated that Google determines search engine ranking based on the following factors:

  • Business Signals
  • External Local Signals
  • On-page Signals
  • Link Signals
  • Social Signals
  • Behavioral Signals
  • Personalization
  • Reviews Signals

Looking at that last bullet, right away we can see that the quantity, velocity, diversity, and quality of your business’s reviews directly impact how you rank. As a matter of fact, about 10% of your search engine ranking is determined solely by how you’re reviewed online.

Behavioral Signals

We’ve touched on the straightforward point that reviews are directly weighted into your search engine ranking, but behavioral signals (a local SEO factor that accounts for almost 11% of your ranking) is also directly affected by reviews.

Behavioral signals that Google looks at in users are things like click-through rates, check-ins, bounce rates and more.

So, let’s say Google has your restaurant as a top result when users search “Best Thia Restaurant in Beaverton.” When users see your result, they’ll be able to see your average Google reviews score.

If that review score is low, they’re statistically likely to click on a result below yours with a higher review.

That behavioral signal of users preferring the number two or three suggestion Google is offering will make Google rearrange its results to better match consumer tastes.

Bottom line, if your reviews are low, fewer people are going to click on your business. If people are clicking on other businesses more than yours, you’ll start to drop in search engine rankings and miss out on acquiring valuable customers.

Wrapping Up: Why Are Reviews Important?

People often wonder, “Why are reviews important to local SEO?” As described above, the two main impacts reviews will have on your local SEO rankings are via behavioral signals and review signals. Combined, those two factors make up almost 20% of how Google (and other search engines more than likely) will rank your business.

To maximize your online reviews, be sure to stay mindful of online business review sites like Yelp, Google, and others. Respond to all reviews, both good and bad.

Also, be sure to ask customers you know were satisfied with their purchase to leave you a review on those platforms. Just asking the question will significantly raise the likelihood of you receiving positive referrals online and boosting your local SEO ranking!

Are you looking for an end-to-end solution to maximize your local SEO and online presence? If so, look no further than RebelFish Local.

At RebelFish, we help businesses like yours with all things related to online marketing and reputation management. We’d like to take our expertise and help your business start growing fast, today!

Contact us to find out more what RebelFish can do for you!


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