Hello, and welcome to our article. After the read, would you mind leaving us a review? How often do you get asked a question like this? Most likely the answer is pretty often, however, how often do you think people actually complete their request and leave a review. Without an incentive like a discount, leaving a review isn’t too compelling to a customer, yet what you may not know is that Google reviews can actually make or break a business. In this article, I plan to explain a bit more about Google Reviews and why they’re so important.
It makes your business appear more trustworthy.
People are often afraid to be the first to try something unknown. When a business has “No reviews” on their Google My Business it makes it hard for potential customers to find confidence in the business. When a potential customer sees 100+ 5 star reviews all with great things to say about the business it becomes far easier to trust them. People like to make assumptions and judgments based on others' experiences and exposure.
On a flip note, Google has an easier time noticing businesses with a lot of reviews based on volume, quality, and the keywords left in the reviews.
This is a vital component in your SEO strategy. When your Google My Business is properly optimized a user can easily navigate through your information. Actions taken with your business could be directly attributed to more information listed on your Google my Business profile. Very valuable things too, things like the amount of calls to your phone, direction requests and visits to your website! Google wants to serve the most relevant information to its users as possible. When Google can establish that you are a trustworthy website you are more likely to appear higher in search results. According to Moz data, around 9% of Google’s search algorithm is impacted by new consumer reviews. Eventually, with enough 5-star reviews your business business will be listed in the “Google map pack,” the box which displays location-relevant businesses relevant to the user’s search query. Getting into the almighty map pack is extremely helpful but it isn’t the end of the world if you do not get there immediately, Google is still more enthusiastic to recommend websites with high star rated reviews. This is because Google wants to serve it’s users websites that are trustworthy within their field to give them the best search experience. If your custom website utilizes keywords naturally, has real reviews, and builds strong Google ads, you’ll look better among competition and to your clients.
It's Easier to Locate Your Business.
Google is the number 1 search engine by a long shot. So it should come as no surprise that the higher your rank on Google’s search results, the more likely people will click on your business’s website. According to the “Search Engine Journal” an SEO round table, the first 5 organic results on the search engine page will receive around 70.4% of the traffic share. With quality 5-star reviews propelling your business’ your search rankings, this organic SEO will help bring your business into those click-worthy positions.
Showcase Your Dedication to Your Clients
Yes, negative reviews never look great, not to potential clients and especially not to you. However, you must look at the silver lining when these unfortunate instances come about. This is a fantastic opportunity to prove that your company is real and willing to grow from its mistakes. When a bad review is left on your website, you have been given the chance to rectify a bad instance. Address your customer complaints as quickly as possible and either discredit this complaint if you see fit or if you believe it to be true, explain to the customer how your company would like to make right the experience the customer had and apologize for their original experience.
As we progress deeper and deeper into the abyss of the digital age, it is important that you aren’t lost in the ever increasing results. When you are ready to improve your rankings on Google, you need to work with a high quality SEO company that works for your business. For more information about Google SEO and custom website design services, rely on a premium SEO agency you can trust: Mad Mango Marketing!
Owning and operating a business is complicated enough. The last thing you need as a small business owner is more software with another monthly subscription. If you have been following our blogs, you know that monitoring your website is as critical as any other marketing effort. Many entrepreneurs don’t have any idea where to begin and if you Google free SEO tools you will probably be asked to pay for extra information or even worse, you will spend time filling out the information they need to analyze your site only for the site to request payment before showing you anything at all.
The following is a list of free tools you can use if you don’t want to pay for an enterprise service like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMRush.
1. Google Lighthouse Extension
In 2020, for better or worse, there is only one search engine...Google. Who better to take SEO advice from than the one who will be judging and ranking your site against your competition.
You can download the Google Lighthouse Extension to your Chrome browser here. To run a report on your website simply visit your site in your browser, click the lighthouse icon, and click “Generate Report”. After a few moments you will see a screen like you see above.
This screen breaks down your Lighthouse Report into 4 sections (we will ignore progressive web apps for the purpose of this blog).
Help! My performance score is in the red! How do I fix this?
First, relax… this score has many caveats. If you scroll down on this report, underneath the “Performance” heading will be a list of reasons your score is not a perfect 100. Many of these fixes will require a developer to custom code the solution. In most cases these issues are almost impossible if not literally impossible to fix. Just take a look at Amazon.com’s Lighthouse Report. Odds are, depending on where and when you are running the report, that Amazon has a Performance Score of anywhere from a 30 to a 60. This is clearly not perfect, or even considered “good” by Google’s own scale. And obviously, Amazon has no issue ranking. That’s because their content (your shopping experience and vast catalog) are second to none.
If you have the answer people are looking for, you will appear just fine on the first page of Google. The majority of these issues arise from drag and drop web builders like Shopify, Wix, etc. A WordPress plugin you are using could also not be sitting well with Google Lighthouse and bring this score down.
If your site is anywhere between a 15 and 50 consider yourself in fairly good standing and do not worry about losing rankings. There may be some easy fixes however, and those should be addressed. You can reach out to Mad Mango for a free assessment.
In Google’s words “These checks highlight opportunities to improve the accessibility of your web app. Only a subset of accessibility issues can be automatically detected so manual testing is also encouraged.” This is an up and coming space that will affect every site on the web one day soon.
Google wants to be sure your site can be interpreted by individuals that have reading or hearing disabilities amongst others.
Just like the other categories in this tool, Google shows you how to address each issue and what is triggering the penalty. Speak with Mad Mango Marketing today to fix any Accessibility issues.
Below is a list of some of the categories in Best Practices. This category is focused on general standards that Google has determined result in a user friendly website. The errors you have here may not be fixable based on what web builder you use. If you have a custom coded site your developer should be able to address most issues.
This is where lighthouse checks for key SEO factors like meta/alt tags and general descriptive text for Google to interpret.
Tired of getting that monthly email about “Tap targets are not sized appropriately”? We all are! Google has determined 48px by 48px is the minimum size for a “tap target” or clickable feature. The space in between tap targets should be 30px or more which is the average thumb size according to Google’s AI.
2. Yoast SEO
For websites built on WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin is the best free plugin available for your search engine rankings. Yoast has been in the SEO game since 2010 and has perfected the on-page process saving small business owners tons of time.
Below are a list of the best features Yoast has to offer:
Easy Sitemap Setup
The best way to signal new content to Google is to manually request a crawl of your website. If you don’t submit a sitemap you will have to wait for Google to find your website and crawl it on its own time. This is obviously not ideal for someone wanting to get ranked on the first page as soon as possible.
To access the sitemap Yoast creates for you simply install the plugin on your site and activate it. After that, you will go into the plugin from the menu on the left-hand side and click on “Features” at the top of the page. Scroll down to “XML Sitemap” and click on the question mark to the right. You will then select “See the XML Sitemap” and a new window will appear with your sitemap on page.
Copy and paste this link into the “Sitemap” section of your Google Search Console account and Google will manually crawl your site to interpret what you offer and then rank your site accordingly.
Easy Meta Description Editor
When you are writing a blog for your site, the Yoast SEO plugin automatically appears at the bottom of your blog editor. Scroll down and click “Edit Snippet”. Now you can add a custom meta description and edit the slug of this post’s URL here to make it SEO friendly. Yoast will even make recommendations based on the purpose of your blog.
Perfect Any Blog
When writing a piece of content there are a lot of factors to take into account if you want Google to be well receptive of your post. Right under the meta and slug editor you will see a tab named “SEO Analysis”.
Here, you get your own SEO coach on each post. Yoast will warn you if your article is too hard to read, doesn’t use proper headings, and even if you use your keyword too many times. This section is what causes the green, orange, or red to appear for your SEO analysis Yoast will perform.
This section will tell you if you have enough internal and external links as well as things like your slug being too long. Don’t worry if you can’t get your article to be green on all fronts. Yoast is not the end all, be all of SEO. This is simply Yoast’s best understanding of your piece.
For example: Let’s say you are a business that operates in a very niche industry with lots of technical phrases that your customers all understand but not the public. Yoast will most likely say that your content is “poor” in readability. For this example you would ignore this warning because Yoast’s assumption that your content is not easily read is incorrect for your target audience.
For backlink building, there is no better option for building white hat links. HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out and is an online platform with an effective free version that can get you a ton of visibility.
At HARO, reporters come to you before writing a piece. No more link grubbing on already written articles. Instead you get a list of requests for experts as often as you would like (we suggest sticking with daily updates as the emails can get tedious). In these emails you will see a list of sometimes up to 75 journalists who need to speak to an expert. If you think you have a good blog for an article or are willing to answer a few questions you can get on some really authoritative sites for minimal work.
Big time new sources like NYT, CNN, Fox News and more all use HARO to help write their articles. Contacting a journalist before a piece is written gives you a much better chance of being included and getting that valuable link.
So there you have it. Mad Mango’s favorite 3 COMPLETELY FREE tools to help you improve your local SEO listing. Here at Mad Mango Marketing we spend the majority of our time on your company’s SEO doing backlink outreach and perfecting your onsite SEO. These tools will help you do just that.
The next step is taking action.
Try to find 2 or 3 hours a week where you can go through these tools and do some outreach as well as check up on your site health. It may not be the same as having a team like us focusing on your site daily, but if you can become consistent in this practice you will have a well ranking website in 6-18 months depending on your industry.
Looking for a free website audit to get the ball rolling? Contact us today!
All blogs are written by our incredible staff here at Mad Mango Marketing. Your Connecticut SEO, App Development, and Online Advertising experts.