The public’s perception of you, good bad or ugly, counts. As such, online reviews and customer feedback make a major impact on consumers’ purchase decisions, not to mention they’re playing an increasingly important role in local search, says Search Engine Journal. That’s why it’s key to leverage those online reviews (especially Google reviews!) to drive your home care brand’s local search ranking and performance forward. It’s sometimes easier said than done, but Online Reviews Management and Marketing, or ORMM for short, involves encouraging and promoting the placement of favorable reviews while responding to unfavorable reviews. If you play your cards right, you may even be successful in removing those negative reviews. But you need someone behind you powering that effort who is skilled in online reviews management.
Why Reviews are Important
Online reviews include whatever is being said about your home care business online. They can hurt you, certainly, but they can also help you. They are key to determining your ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages) as well as contributing to the likelihood that searchers will click through to your website from those SERPs. Official reviews include those on reputable sites like Google and Yelp. Google reviews show up in local search results and organic results, while Yelp reviews appear in organic search results only. Keep in mind that in addition to the aforementioned sites, Facebook is also one of the most important review sites you should be concerned about in regards to your elder care and home care business.
Nurture Your Reviews
In terms of Facebook, you won’t see those showing up in the SERPs, but remember this social media site is a huge draw for your primary target audience: adult children of aging parents who may need your services in the immediate or distant future. Don’t neglect your reviews on Facebook. Nurture them, respond to them, make them count. You never know who’s reading.
You may ask yourself: what about those sites like caring.com…don’t those reviews count? Well, yes and no. Today’s savvy online searchers know that those are pay-to-play sites that aren’t necessarily unbiased. They prefer to head to reputable sites like Google, with proven results they can rely on.
Think reviews don’t count? Think again. Google tends to rank those with better online reviews higher than those with consistently lousy reviews. This is just another way Google is getting smarter at weeding out the poor performers. The statistics paint a picture of online reviews being taken pretty seriously by today’s online searcher. According to Entrepreneur, about 88 percent of people say they consult reviews either occasionally or regularly.
Remember the 2017 Moz local search ranking report we first discussed a few weeks back?
Review Signals (Review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc.) accounted for 13% in terms of Local Pack/Finder Ranking Factors, coming in at #5. From the number of reviews that your organization has to the speed at which those reviews are generated, these all factor into your overall rankings. In addition to that, your numerical ratings, the diversity of sites on which your reviews are seen, and even the authority of those writing your reviews…these all come into play too.
Those review signals we talked about, those are considered even more important this year than social signals. That’s a pretty big leap.
Better SEO, Better Rankings
It’s a simple fact that businesses with more and better reviews than their competitors have higher SEO rankings, according to LinkedIn. Let’s drill down a little further: when it comes to local SEO, positive online reviews are especially important for local searches, influencing 10% of the ranking. Don’t underestimate the power of the people who are leaving reviews. It’s not as high as you think. Only about 28% of consumers leave reviews, while more than 80% read and trust them.
Think about that: with only a quarter of your home care clients writing reviews and more than three quarters reading and listening to them, you have to ensure your services are top-notch. But even more important than matching service with expectations is the knowledge that ALL online reviews must be addressed — even the negative ones. Especially the negative ones! How quickly you respond to an unfavorable review and the professional manner in which you go about it will all play a key role in the process.
Contact A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing
To learn how to better manage your online reviews, call us at 760-744-8200. Here at A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing, our specialty is SEO, and we know how to apply that knowledge so as to hone and shape your online reputation. Learn more about our online reviews and reputation management services when you contact us for your elder care business today!