- Posted by Trevor Weitzel
- On September 8, 2018
A travel writer first developed the five “star” rating system in 1820, when she marked objects with one or more exclamation points “according to their merit.” Today, that same system is widely used to help consumers determine the merit of everything from restaurants to hotels, and from movies to services, which is why many businesses have embraced what are now star ratings. However, unlike in 1820, business owners today have the challenge of making Google recognize and feature star ratings along with their names in search engine listings. If you’re one of those business owners, this brief guide provides advice on how to make your stars appear next to your company name. If you want your listings to truly shine, retain the help of a local listing management company.
3 Tips for Getting More Customer Reviews
First things first: you need to gather reviews from customers. However, to prevent business owners from generating their own reviews, Google requires assessments to come from trusted review sites, such as Facebook, Expedia, or Google My Business Listings. While Google recognizes reviews from several sites, it heavily favors those posted to Google My Business Listings and may reward site owners by featuring them in the local listings section. If possible, encourage your customers to leave feedback there.
#1 Use Reputation Monitoring to Get More Positive Reviews
Another way to increase the number of positive reviews, and reviews in general, that your business receives is to use a reputation monitoring service. After all, not everyone has the time to monitor their online reputation while running the day-to-day operations of a business. Reputation monitoring prompts customers and site visitors to leave a review, inquires about their experience with your business, and offers you the chance to mitigate negative feedback; A reputation monitoring service helps to maximize your customer feedback, helps you to provide a better experience for your customers, and in turn, garners more positive reviews for your business. When a solid base of reviews has been built, and reviews are then embedded into your webpage with proper schema markup, a star rating will appear next to your webpage’s title tag in Google search results. Utilizing a reputation monitoring service is the simplest way to show reviews in Google search results in the form of a star rating for your business.
#2 Add Schema Markup Code
Once you begin generating positive customer reviews, it’s time to notify Google. To do so, add a structured data schema plugin to your site. In addition to setting up sitewide data aggregation, you will also want to place code on key pages of your site where you want star ratings to show. Be careful to not overdo it, as ratings on every page or irrelevant pages will look to Google like an attempt to game the system, which could result in you being booted from the rankings entirely.
#3 Boost Site Authority
Ultimately and at the end of the day, Google ranks sites based on their domain authority ranking, which is a metric used to determine how likely a site is to earn a higher search engine ranking and to receive more and better traffic. There are several ways to boost domain authority, including but not limited to creating linkable content, optimizing on-page content, increasing social signals, and removing toxic links. Site owners can also increase their site authority by making their sites mobile-friendly and increasing the loading speed of web pages.
The best way to influence your customers to write a Google Review for your business, increasing your star rating, is to simply ask them. Make your customers aware that they can review your business on Google by sharing a link to the reviews section of your Google My Business page, embedding Google Business Reviews on your webpage with schema markup, and asking for feedback at multiple points along the customer journey. Remember, the easier you make it to leave a review, the more reviews you will receive. Additionally, you should make sure that you respond to all of your current reviews. If you are wondering how to respond to Google Reviews, think conversational and informative. Thank your customers that have left positive reviews and reach out to customers that have voiced negative concerns, as this shows that your business is paying attention to customer feedback and cares about your customers’ experience.
Responding to customer feedback will build trust in your company as well as entice more users to write a Google Review, increasing your overall star rating. If you are wondering how to remove negative reviews from Google search results, the best way is to increase your number of positive reviews. You cannot simply delete negative reviews to improve your star rating. However, if you are wondering how to remove Google Reviews that contain inappropriate content or false information, this can be done by flagging the review or disputing the review with Google.
The way users in Google search results perceive your business can make or break your SEO efforts. A site with an optimized title tag and meta description is much more likely to be clicked on; however, this can be taken a step farther to entice users better to visit your site. You may have noticed that some business search results have star ratings next to their title tag. Results with a high star rating are more likely to be clicked on, boosting click-through and conversion rates, and even improving your Local SEO rankings. For a site to show reviews in Google search results in the form of a star rating, the site must have Google Reviews that are visibly embedded into the webpage through a plug-in. These Google Business Reviews appear when users visit your Google My Business page, and positive reviews can create a positive first impression, leading more users to visit your site and ultimately patronize your business.
Want More Help? Contact the Pros at VDS Today!
Of course, local listing management is easier said than done. If you want to increase your odds that your site will rank well or, better yet, be featured in the revered local listings section, invest in quality SEO services. V Digital Services can help your site and all its stars shine in the listings. Contact us today for help managing your listings and other SEO activities.