Question. We are a local business, and are very interested in what’s called ‘Local SEO.’ Some of our competitors have stars when you search for things like ‘Dallas Chiropractor’ and others do not, including us. How do you get stars to show on a Google search? Where do stars come from?
Stars are a reflection of your status on Google+ Local. Google+ Local or ‘Google My Business’ as it is now called is Google’s local service, competitive to Yelp and the Yellow pages. Users who are doing searches that the Google algorithm realizes are ‘local’ in character, will often see listings of businesses who have Google+ local listings.
The first step, therefore, is to claim your Google+ listing. The easiest way to do that is to login to your Google account (the best is to have a Gmail just for managing your Google services), and then go to ‘Google My Business.’ Follow the instructions there to claim your listing.
Second, optimize your listing by writing a keyword-heavy description about your business. If you are a Dallas chiropractor, for example, make sure that you use the word chiropractor as well as words like back pain, or pain treatment. Be sure to add some nice images and fully complete the listing, including possible categories.
Third, now that you have a claimed listing, you need to get reviews on Google+ Local. The most important thing to do is to ASK for reviews. When you have a HAPPY customer, say, “Hey, could you do me a favor? Could you go to Google+ and write me a review? Here’s the link.” Make it EASY for them to review your business.
Finally, once you have about four reviews, Google will show stars next to your listing. Stars are very important because they both get you to the top of a relevant Google search (the more reviews you have, the more likely you are to show on Google), and consumers use them to ‘vet’ potential businesses. Consumers obviously prefer clicking over to vendor websites that have many positive reviews. So reviews have wonderful benefits: getting you to the top of Google, making your company look cool, and encouraging consumers to click over.
So get reviews to get stars – it’s that simple!
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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