It’s no secret that Google has put more emphasis on reviews in recent years. You’ve probably noticed the changes anytime you do a search for a local service provider.
These reviews are already impacting your local search ranking, and they certainly influence consumers when they’re deciding which company will get their business. Reviews provide social proof for Google and users. They tell people that your business is legitimate and can back up the marketing spiel.
Google has just announced that they are expanding the presence of reviews in local searches. If you don’t have a plan for gaining more good reviews, then now is the time to put one in place.
Reviews From the Web on Local Knowledge Panels
Knowledge Panels deliver up essential information about a business whenever a user performs a search for the company. For example, if you do a search for SearchRPM a Knowledge Panel will pop up to the right of the results. It displays a photo, snippet of a map with our location, contact information and hours.
Knowledge Panels also show a business’ overall Google review rating with a link to read the reviews. Now there will be an additional section called Reviews from the web. Reviews from the web for local Knowledge Panels joins two other recently introduced features: critic reviews and best-of lists.
The Reviews from the web section will highlight aggregate ratings from up to three other review sites in addition to the Google review rating. The new section will be featured on Knowledge Panels in both mobile and desktop searches.
Getting Your Reviews Added to Your Knowledge Panel
The announcement of the reviews section is welcome news to businesses that have good customer feedback from sources outside of Google. But your Knowledge Panel isn’t going to be automatically updated.
If you want to include the Reviews from the web section you’ll have to follow the review snippet guidelines and add the review snippet markup. Only then will your aggregate ratings be eligible for inclusion. You can also add the Local Business markup to your site to help Google identify your reviews.
Need help adding aggregate ratings from review sites to your Knowledge Panel? SearchRPM can help you get them included and gain even more positive reviews.
Creating an exceptional customer experience matters more now than ever before – and that includes your website. Companies that don’t take a three-pronged approach that includes technical SEO, on-page optimization and outreach to build connections are going to have an even tougher time ranking and increasing revenue.
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By Michael Ramirez
Michael Ramirez is the Founder of SearchRPM, an Austin, TX based search marketing company that’s well-versed in Search Engine Optimization best practices. You can follow Michael Ramirez on Twitter @openmic0323 or on Google+ to see what he’s up to next.