Part 3 – Optimizing Your Google Places Business Listing With Reviews

Travis Van SlootenSmall Business SEO

This is the final installment of our three part series on Google Places SEO Optimization.

Reviews

Once you have fully completed your Google Places business listing and built your citations you’ll now want to focus on getting reviews.

A) Getting onto page one search results with your Google Places listing is really important and reviews can be a big part of getting your business there. You could see businesses ranked in the top seven that have no reviews because there are many variables involved in how Google Places ranks your Google Places page, but having reviews can absolutely improve your chances of getting onto page one search results.

B) You need to have five reviews for Google Places to assign a “Star Rating” for your business. “Star Ratings” can help draw attention to a Google Places listing, so you should try to get a minimum of five reviews within the two months of your Google Places page being online. These reviews need to be posted on Google Places to help your business get a “Star Rating.”

C) Make it a habit to reply to the reviews you get from customers on a regular basis. You may not be able to reply to each and every one, but you should try to reply to as many as you can. This is a great method of filling up the reviews section of your Google Places Listing and it looks great to the potential customers who are reading the reviews.

D) You should try to get some “Best Ever” badges on your Google Places listing by getting reviews from customers who give you a “best ever” review. These little badges look great to new potential customers and give you a five-star rating automatically.

E) Reviews that are posted on other third party websites can help your Google Places listing as well. In some cases, reviews from other third party review websites are actually displayed in the local results and located under the Google Places listing. You should consider other third party review websites as a secondary focus to the reviews that you need to get on Google Places, but you should not ignore them all together. They are a great way to help your business get more out of its online presence and Google likes showing the number of these reviews at the bottom of your places page.

Some of the places that allow Reviews to be posted:

  • Insider Pages
  • Yahoo
  • AVVO
  • City Search
  • Judy’s Book
  • Angie’s List
  • Service Magic

Third Party reviews do not always show up directly on your Google Places listing, but they are a part of your ranking with Google Places. If you want the highest ranking possible for your Google Places listing your should definitely look at getting reviews for your business on Google Places and on as many of the third party review websites as possible.

Our recommendations for the number of reviews you should have:

    • Ten or more reviews on Google Places that have at least a five star rating.
    • At least five positive reviews on Insider Pages.
    • Ten or more positive reviews on CitySearch.

It is best to get REAL reviews from your actual customers. We highly discourage posting fake reviews because reviews from users that have posted multiple reviews for various different types of business count more than reviews for users who only post a single review on a third party review website or Google Places. Also Google can tell by your computer’s address if you are posting multiple reviews or having someone post them that doesn’t even live in your city.

Long story short: do not use FAKE reviews or make up reviews. They will be found and they will be deleted, or worse, will get your account banned. This is true on other citation sites as well.