How Google Reviews Influence Financial Advisors SEO Growth
First it’s important to understand that Google My Business Signals (Proximity, categories, keyword in business title, etc.) make up about 25.12% of search for financial advisors. Review Signals (Review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc.) make up 15.44% for advisors.
Things to keep in mind as a financial advisor from a compliance perspective.
One of the biggest regulations surrounding testimonials and reviews related to your firm you should know is “cherry-picking”. You can’t just ask a few of your favorite clients to give their feedback – you send to all or none.
Yes, there is the potential someone may leave a negative review on Google and you can’t control that. Avoid letting this discourage you from growing your SEO and client testimonials which increases close rates. In the event that you do receive a negative review, it is best to respond directly to them and in a gentle way encouraging them to take the conversion offline leaving them with your contact information.
Google referenced that any reviews are better than no reviews, meaning even a negative review can boost SEO. According to a Harvard Business Review study from 2018, which “examined tens of thousands of hotel reviews and responses from TripAdvisor,” hotels that responded to reviews saw a 12% increase in the number of reviews that came in and a marginal increase in their overall rating.
Local Pack Vs. Organic Rankings & Reviews
Advisors reviews are a piece of the local listing, they influence ranks in the local rank more than organic rankings.
However, that’s not to say that they don’t benefit your organic rankings as well. Compared to being the 3rd most influential piece of local rankings, review signals are 7th for organic ranking factors according to Moz at 6.47%.
You can use our Free Financial Planner SEO Tool to see how your local listings appears when Google is ranking your advisory business.
Financial Advisor Review Quantity
Review quantity simply refers to the number of reviews an advisors Google Business Page has.
To no surprise, if 2 businesses have a 4.9 star rating, but one has 30 reviews and the other has 200 reviews, the consumer is likely going to choose the one with 200 reviews.
Because of this psychology of the business prooving it’s worth, Google respectfully ranks them a little higher.
Don’t forget, Google is a service. It wants to show us what we most want to see. Part of that is connecting us to the best business for our needs.
Having the most reviews (with a positive overall rating) in your industry is an easy way to position yourself as the most attractive choice.
Google Reviews with Text
As the reviewer, you are given the option to give a star rating as well as a description of your experience, or you can simply give a star rating with no explanation. To no surprise, Google prefers and gives credit to reviews with text over reviews with no text.
And so does the investor.
When a consumer goes to your page and sees a bunch of reviews but no explanations, their needs won’t be met for your business. Consumers want to get down into the dirt of your customer’s opinions so they can make a real depiction of your business and what to expect if they choose you.
Review Velocity for advisor rankings
Review velocity refers to the flow of consistent reviews coming into your business. If you’re actively getting reviews on your business page, it shows Google that you’re taking it seriously and likely a legitimate business to recommend it’s users too.
Aside from Google’s opinion, review velocity plays a big role in attracting a consumer as well. BrightLocal conducted a study where they found that 73% of people find reviews over 3 months old no longer a useful representation of the business. So no, those 30 reviews you acquired in 2017 won’t cut it.
People want to see relevant and recent reviews as well as past reviews to help them gauge how consistent you are. To have fresh reviews coming in consistently will not only benefit your local rankings, it will also attract more customers.
Be careful not to get too many reviews at once, this will be a red flag for to Google an may harm your rankings. We typically recommend advisors avoid getting more than 20 review a day.
Review Diversity for Advisors SEO
Review diversity is simply the advisors business information being listed on multiple directories. Advisors should have their business listed in as many directories as possible, and assuring that your business’s information is consistent across the web (Name, Address & Phone Number.)
Google pays much attention to this as a ranking factor for financial advisors therefore it only makes sense that they analyze your reviews on these sites too.
You can use our Free Advisor SEO Scan Tool to see how your local listings appear in over 70 business directories.
Advisors should respond to your reviews to improve SEO.
Azella Advisor recommends to all of our clients to respond to all reviews no matter what they may say or the Google rating.
When advisors take the time to respond to reviews, it shows your positive reviewers that you appreciate their kind words, and it shows your negative reviewers that you care enough about them to try and resolve their issues.
Responding to reviews is a good SEO strategy for financial advisors.
See, Google encourages people to respond to their reviews and rewards advisors that do. But also, like the review itself, the text of your response is included in the total keyword pool for search term matches. This means you can craft your responses to include useful keywords for SEO.