4 min and 30 sec read
You know as a home builder or developer that it’s best practice to gain quality reviews and testimonials after closing a sale, but did you know just how important reviews can be for SEO ranking? In this article, you’ll learn the top three reasons why Google reviews impact the SEO for your company and ways to collect more of them. Continue reading to learn how Google Reviews impact SEO ranking…
Let’s start by defining Google Reviews. According to Google, Google Reviews are an integrated feature within Google My Business (GMB) and Google Maps. They allow customers to publicly post a review in Google about their experience with a business and its service and products.
Google Reviews are demonstrated by yellow stars when you search for a business in the Google search engine. When past clients and current costumers give your business a positive Google Review, they are doing more than appreciating your hard work on your company, they are helping to improve your SEO score.
SEO techniques can be time consuming, complicated and highly technical. However, Google Reviews require very little effort on your part as a home builder / developer and can greatly impact your SEO. This is because Google prioritizes those companies who have 5 stars and a high number of positive reviews, higher on the search engines results page (SERP) on Google Maps.
Like SEO, you need to play Google’s game when collecting quality reviews. Considering that Google owns about 65% of the market share of US searches, following through with Google’s recommendations is a smart practice. The more your business complies with Google’s requirements, the better the chance it will rank you higher on the SERP.
Let’s take a look at a real example of how Google Reviews contribute to improving your organic listing. I searched for best home builder company and here were my results on both the SERP and Google Maps:
Notice on the SERP that the very first result is a paid ad. The small ad text is stated next to the listing. Now look at the rest of the results. The companies with 5 stars are appearing to rank better than the company with 4.3 stars. Although the company, Ferrill Construction has more people rating them, they are still shown as third in the list.
No matter the actual size of your company, be sure to gain quality and positive reviews to beat out your competitors by using winning strategies. We will discuss these winning review gaining strategies later in this article.
As you can see in the Google Maps example, all of the home builder companies who rank first have the best stars. Another thing which is important to point out is that Google will automatically generate the 4 or 4.5 stars for you when searching through maps.
This is critical for you to know because even if you have a stellar website, national recognition and businesses scattered across the country, you still need to work on gaining those quality reviews for all of your business locations and your GMB profile. Not every consumer will automatically check your website for credibility, they will rely on Google to rank the companies for them.
The third way Google Reviews impact your ranking is by gaining trust with your target audience. Each Google Review is a chance to gain another star from a reliable source. The more stars you have, the more trust you’re gaining from the marketplace.
Trust and stars are not the only things you’re gaining from quality reviews. In fact, customers are willing to spend 31% more with a business with excellent reviews. Considering the national average price of a new home on the market is approximately $200,000, quality reviews can bring your business roughly $62,000 more in revenue from one sale. Imagine the monetary gains for homes going for $1M and up…
By now you should have a pretty good sense of just how Google Reviews impact SEO ranking and your business at the larger scale. So, how can you gain more reviews for Google?
1. Login to your GMB Account.
2. On the center dashboard, look for Get more reviews.
3. Click the Share Profile for a custom generated URL for sharing reviews.
4. Shorten the link (if it isn’t shortened already) by using a URL shortening generator such as Bitly.
5. Keep this custom URL handy for when a project is finishing up to give to your client.
6. Touch base with past clients and send them the URL with an appropriate message such as: “We really enjoyed working with you, if you have a moment please review my business on Google. We truly appreciate your business and your positive review. (attach link)”
7. The link will take them straight to your GMB – Google Map listing for your clients to write a review right then and there.
8. Make a list of responders and non-responders.
We suggest sending out this link to clients that you know had a great experience you’re your company. Do so strategically every other week. If suddenly, your 1-star business has an automatic jump to 5 stars, Google might get suspicious and potentially flag your business. The last thing you want is to have a suspended GMB account because you were just trying to improve your SEO.
I always tell my clients to think about gaining Google reviews over time at a gradual pace. For instance, send out this shortened URL to about five clients for the first week – if all five rate that’s great! But more often than not, that is usually not the case for everyone.
That’s why we recommend sending five the first week, three the following week and perhaps one the next week. Then, if you don’t hear back from your client, only follow up with them once to request the review. Don’t push too much or it could backfire.
If you need help with SEO or gaining Google reviews, you can always reach out to an experienced marketing firm for extra assistance. They would be more than happy to work with you to get your business ranking higher on the SERP.
What’s stopping you from gaining more reviews?
About Terry Zelen
Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications
Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.
He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.
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