Google Map Pack Update: One Review Is Enough, More Is Better

Having star reviews on display in your performance home services company’s local search engine results is a good way to indicate quality and enhance trust among your potential customers.

Google Review Stars

In the past, it was a hard and fast rule that a local business must have at least five reviews on its Google My Business page before Google displayed a star rating next to the map pack listing. At the time, this rule seemed a necessary evil. It protected companies who only had one negative review on Google by not displaying a one-star rating, but was also an annoyance to SEO-savvy businesses who wanted the stars but had trouble getting five customers to make the effort to leave a review.

Well, those days are gone.

Google has recently lowered the threshold of the reviews you must have before search engine results display a star ratings...By a lot. It appears the threshold has been reduced to 2-3 reviews, but in some parts of the country, we’re seeing stars for businesses with just one Google review. For some businesses, this is a big change to their local search results. Where once there was nothing, now there will be a bright yellow star (or a few stars) next to their business.

This is good if:

Your company has fewer than five reviews, but all the reviews are positive.

This is bad if:

Your company has fewer than five reviews, but some of the reviews are negative.

This is UGLY if:

Your company, for some reason, has just one review from a curmudgeonly past customer with an inaccurate understanding of her or her experience with your team. Searchers will only see the opinion/experience of this customer, and if his or her experience isn’t representative of your business, it can be a tricky to overcome this one- or two-star obstacle.

Reaction

It may be tempting to think that your company now doesn’t need to get as many reviews to still maintain good results and rankings on Google. This is false. One of the most important ranking factors in Google’s map pack (other than the proximity of the searcher to your business’ location) is the number of reviews. Six five-star ratings are still better than a single one-star rating.

It’s time to take a close look at your reviews. This update may have put that one negative review you received three years ago in the spotlight. In that case, it is time to implement strategies to get more (and more positive) Google reviews. There have been many changes in the past couple months to local SEO, and reviews always seem to be front and center. The vast majority of people trust online reviews when choosing a business with which to work, meaning you can’t ignore including a review management as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Ready to amp up your online review management? Our team offers services tailored to the HVAC and home performance industry that are designed to enhance your company’s credibility and review status. Contact us to learn more.

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