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

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About the Author

Mike Blumenthal
With unmatched industry expertise and knowledge, Mike is a co-founder and serves as GetFiveStar’s Chief Review Officer helping our customers get the most of the platform. Mike is widely cited as the foremost Local Search expert in North America and affectionately known among his colleagues as ‘Professor Maps’.

8 thoughts on “Why A Business Needs Reviews Everywhere – Including Your Website

  1. Karolina Salek - September 9, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    I bet some businesses with bad reviews will be hurting :(. I think it’s only rolled out in US at this moment…the good thing is…this is another opportunity to help businesses thrive 🙂

    Reply
  2. Jan - September 13, 2016 at 5:12 am

    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.

    Reply
    • Mike Blumenthal - September 13, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      @Jan
      It’s fine to show those aggregate reviews on your site, as long as you don’t mark them up in schema.

      Reply
  3. Steve Griswold - September 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    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

    Reply
  4. Mike Blumenthal - September 15, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    @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.

    Reply
  5. Michelle - September 27, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Thank you. I was just making this recommendation to a few people.

    Reply
  6. Steve - July 15, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    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.

    Reply
  7. Sydney - August 3, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks! Reviews are weighted very heavily.

    Reply

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