As you may have read on a previous post we did, business reviews are on the top 10 list of David Mihm’s Top Local Ranking Factors, a study that included a handful of the SEO industry’s top Local SEO Experts.

Reputation is important to Google, but we all know that reviews can be faked, which reduce the ranking power of this known local SEO tactic. I believe it’s not the actual number of reviews that influence the ranking but instead it’s the click-through rate (CTR) created by the user’s trust of the business holding those reviews.

Think about it: You have 2 minutes to search and make a call, because like the rest of the world you have a life to live. In that first Google, Yelp, or online yellow pages (OYP) search you see 10 listings and one of them has far more 5 star ratings than the rest. Which would you choose?

Google has already admitted that the greater part of their paid search algorithm is Quality Score, which is most impacted by CTR. I also know from experience that CTR helps sustain organic ranking (not links or content, which are the factors that get you to page 1). Based on the pattern of what Google considers to be relevant to ranking, why wouldn’t CTR be just as important in local/maps ranking?

How to Get Business Reviews

There are a million and two ways to get positive business reviews. The easiest is to simply ask for them. Local Splash launched a webpage over the past weekend that offers businesses a template for creating their own postcard/review card, which can be stapled to receipts or handed out prudently to get the best possible reviews from happy customers.

Rotating the review cards could help level out the distribution of reviews being performed and the cost can be whatever coupon/discount/offer you might already have in play in your offline advertising efforts.

Getting business reviews is one of many factors that could improve how much traffic a website receives as a direct result of higher ranking within local search engines and business directories. Be sure to also include your address on your website and do some research on competitors who are also being found where you want to be.