It’s no secret that having a lot of positive reviews on Google can be good for SEO rankings, but new information suggests that there’s much more to that. In fact, positive online reviews are often cited as the most important factor for consumers when looking for a business or products. We also know that Google is the largest website for ranking and reviews, because of the total volume they’re able to gather. So what happens when the world’s largest online search engine controls the world’s most robust review machine? We can quickly deduce that the two must be correlated. For years, we’ve thought that it was the number of reviews that had the biggest impact on your search engine rankings, especially on Google Maps. Google is literally showing you that the terms you search are connected to your website when showing your business on Google Maps!

Google is going all-in on local-focused features in Google My Business, and this will certainly affect your SEO ranking. Did you know that the second biggest factor for determining where a local business shows up in map searches is reviews that contain specific keywords? All this time, veterinary hospitals have been so worried about simply getting positive reviews, now we need to focus on the copy that reviewers are using in their reviews. Madness, right?

New research shows that your business is more likely to show up in this “local pack” (the top businesses featured in Google search rankings) if it has reviews which mention:

  • Keywords you’re trying to rank for
  • The city/neighborhood that your business is located in

While you cannot incentivize clients to leave you reviews, or tell them what to say, you may want to try to steer them in the right direction when leaving you a review.

Why does this all matter?

We know that reviews are the number one factor that consumers use to find a new product or service. We know that reviews are tied to Google search engine rankings and your website. We also know that reviews are tied to your Google My Business page, which is tied to your website, and so on. So what’s the end goal here? Provide incredible customer service, ask for reviews, and continue to respond and build your online presence. As reviews roll in, we’ll cross our fingers that they use the correct keywords to help you rank higher!

You can also read our complete guide to online reviews by clicking here.

Do you solicit reviews in your hospital now? What works best for you? Let us know in the comments section below!

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