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Why A Business Needs Reviews Everywhere – Including Your Website

Often I hear from business owners and marketers that they just want Google reviews or just Yelp reviews or just reviews at some vertical site. Google recently rolled out the inclusion of reviews from around the web summaries in the Knowledge Panel and from where I sit, this should make clear that you want reviews at a number of sites.

reviews around the web Google

Building Reviews On A Mix Of Review Sites, Not Just One

You should probably work with at least three review sites.  It would be smart to include another one or two more as you never know one day to the next who Google is working with and who they aren’t.

Google still sends the vast majority of search traffic to local sites and converts an equally large number to purchase decisions right from the search results. Reviews have long been proven to increase conversions and visibility. Even if a searcher ultimately leaves Google, the impression created there goes a long way towards closing the sale.

In fact, in research done by Google, The Benefits of Complete Business Listings, they found that on average, having reviews showing with a listing increased driving direction requests by 144% and web site visits by a whopping 360%.

This effect can only be amplified by Google’s inclusion of additional 3rd party review content from other sites.

A Look At “Reviews From The Web” Now Added By Google

Andrew’s Jewelers and Barbara Oliver Jewelry are in the same market and have roughly the same number of reviews at Google. But Barbara Oliver has, during the 7 years she has been working her review plan, expanded the breadth and depth of her review process to include a number of third party sites.

Compare the two Knowledge Panels below and decide which one is more compelling:

screenshot-2016-09-08-10-55-58 screenshot-2016-09-08-10-56-21

We’re also pleased to see that some websites using GetFiveStars testimonial widget (using review rich-snippets) are also getting their own site used in the Reviews from the web feature.  Hat tip to Joy Hawkins who first discovered this today.

Below is an example from GetFiveStars customer The Growler Guys showing one of their location’s Knowledge Panel with reviews from their own website via our Testimonial Widget.

Google reviews from web

About The Author

Mike Blumenthal is a co-founder of GatherUp and helps oversee our research, industry insight and agency offering. Mike has long been regarded as the foremost expert on local search and Google Maps, earning the nickname “Professor Maps”. Mike also co-founded Local University, which provides small business and agency training in sustainable local search marketing. His motto: All Local All the Time.  He writes at his blog and does a twice a week LocalU podcast about Local marketing. 

9 Replies to “Why A Business Needs Reviews Everywhere – Including Your Website”

  1. A very good idea (which we already follow) is to spread reviews on several review services and aggregate them on your own website 🙂

    @Karolina: Reviews from other review sites are being displayed in Germany as well since a few days ago.

  2. This is great! Any ideas how to get the Get Five Stars review numbers to show up in the Google panel? Do the sites that are getting the Get Five Stars WP app added to their Google panel have anything in common that might give us clues?

    Thanks
    Steve

  3. @Steve
    Its a little hard to tell given the many changes that are going on… but here is my thinking.

    Whether reviews from the web show in the Panel is apparently a rank thing. If there are rich snippet pages that show up in the top ~15 search results of a brand search then they seem to appear in the panel (but not Yelp or TA or BBB as those seem excluded for whatever reason).

    So if that is the case and it appears so then that means that

    1- The testimonial page has to have enough prominence to get the review snippets in the first place. That would require conscious internal and external linking to the page.

    2- And that page would need to be visible enough on the brand search to be within the top 15 pages or so. So it would need to be not just prominent enough to get the stars but relevant enough to show on the brand search for a given business.

    I think if both criteria are met it will happen.

    1. @Steve,

      I have found if you have dedicated pages for each store location within the website and you place your reviews with the correct schema (ie: GetFiveStars snippet code) it will over time show up on the location’s knowledge panel on Google searches. It hasn’t failed me yet (knock on wood).

  4. One of the few biggies. Reviews are very important. Which map listing would you rather click on? The one with 0 reviews or the one with multiple reviews. I applaud you for helping people achieve them.

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