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Third-party reviews offer invaluable insight from an unbiased perspective on your business. They also instill trust with potential customers, which may help guide their decision to purchase your product or service.

In fact, nearly half (42%) of internet users in the U.S. cite reviews from other customers as a feature that would most increase their likelihood of buying a product.

When compared to first-party reviews, third-party reviews can also appear more credible to a searcher. After all, a business is unlikely to publish negative reviews on its website.

Whether you’re looking to convert searches into sales or improve your search ranking, focusing on enhancing your reviews’ search engine optimization (SEO) efforts can achieve both. Reviews are a heavily weighted local search ranking factor, accounting for 16% of the Local Pack ranking.

How can your business better showcase the sentiment found in your reviews to searchers looking for your product or service?

And, what are some proven strategies for surfacing this valuable content through SEO?

You’ll learn both in this post as we discuss five surefire tactics to boost your SEO with third-party reviews and stand out among your competitors.

1. Improve Your Review Score

The GMB help guide states that local search results “are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence.”

Prominence refers to how well-known a business is, which directly correlates to the number of reviews a business has as well as what customers think about the business.

The help guide also notes:

“Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’s local ranking.”

There are several approaches to take to improve your overall review score for your business locations.

First, ask customers who have had a positive experience with your business to leave a review. Not only are they already motivated having had a positive experience with your business, but they’re also likely to leave positive feedback to help you boost your rating.

We also recommend responding to all of your reviews, positive or negative.

When a reviewer sees you’ve taken the consideration and time to respond to their praise or complaint, they’re more likely to have a favorable view of your business. This may lead to the reviewer recommending your business to family or friends.

It also allows you to control the narrative and target your sought-after keywords in your response.

Not only will your overall star rating help improve your SEO but also your sales. According to a recent study, 52% of consumers wouldn’t consider using a business with fewer than four stars and cite star rating as the most important review factor.

2. Factor in Review Velocity

Review velocity refers to how often your business receives new reviews.

According to Moz, review quantity, review velocity, and review diversity account for 15% of Local Pack ranking. A frequent flow of new reviews also provides your business with new content.

Along with its SEO value, consumers prefer to read new reviews to learn more about your business.

Forty percent of consumers say they only look at reviews of local businesses written in the past two weeks. Additionally, 85% say reviews more than three months old are no longer relevant.

Encourage happy customers to leave reviews often and make it a part of your purchasing process to keep a steady stream of up-to-date reviews.

All of these tactics can solicit new reviews and fall within Google’s review guidelines:

Send your customers an email

Print a QR code on every sales receipt.

Send a follow-up text after an appointment.

Simply ask for a review during the transaction process.

3. Focus on the Volume of Your Reviews

Consider this: You’re out of town visiting a new city where you want to find a restaurant nearby for dinner. Would you prefer to go to a restaurant with 10 reviews or one with 100, both with a similar overall star rating?

More than likely, you’d opt to dine at the restaurant with more reviews as that restaurant appears to be more credible. A solid review gathering strategy can help bridge the gap of having too few reviews to encourage new business.

It can also help legitimize your business with search engines as well.

GMB’s help page states that:

“High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”

The best way to get customers to leave a review is to ask them to do so. If your customers have opted into your email or text marketing campaigns, it’s ideal to ask them to leave a review as soon as possible while your business is top of mind.

For service-based businesses that use online booking systems for their services, after the customer has completed their appointment, they should receive an automated message (text, email, etc.) that asks them to leave their honest feedback regarding their experience with a direct link to leave a Google review.

Brick-and-mortar stores may also benefit from having a QR code on receipts that directs customers to leave a Google review.

While all review platforms encourage businesses to ask customers for reviews, it’s important not to violate any policies. For example, Google states businesses can’t “selectively solicit(ing) positive reviews from customers.”

Additionally, Google also forbids:

Reviews left by employees.

Soliciting reviews in bulk.

Paying customers in exchange for reviews.

Discouraging or prohibiting negative reviews.

Posting fake reviews for your business.

You can read more about Google’s official guidelines here. Keep in mind that every platform will have different rules and regulations and it’s important to check what each allows.

4. Respond to Positive and Negative Reviews

Responding to positive and negative reviews not only shows consumers you care about their feedback but has also been confirmed by Google to play a role in SEO.

Google shared,

“Respond to reviews that users leave about your business… Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback they leave about your business.”

Responding to every review may seem like a daunting task for a business that has many locations. However, a good workaround for eliminating work is creating corporate-approved templates.

These templates can be based on your brand guidelines and should adhere to your brand voice.

Your business should also have a process for escalating reviews that require a more in-depth response, as well as a point person who can respond to these reviews quickly.

If your business is just starting with your review response efforts, focus on responding to negative reviews first, especially those left within the past few months.

Recent reviews will be more prominent to searchers. Once you’ve worked through all your negative reviews, you can then move onto responding to your positive reviews.

5. Consider the Content of Your Reviews

Google continuously evolves to meet the needs of searchers. Their goal is to deliver accurate, timely results to end-users to create an optimal user experience.

Yet, in order to deliver top-tier results, they rely on business information.

Some of that information may be sourced from your review content, such as a customer mentioning the city your store is in or the street name where your business is located.

These words send powerful signals to Google helping your business improve its relevance.

Additionally, a review with positive language from a local customer signals to Google that your business is trustworthy. This applies not only to reviews left directly on your GMB listing but on other third-party platforms, as well.

Reviews left on third-party review sites increase your exposure, drive traffic to your website, and add legitimacy to your business.

Your business can’t dictate what a consumer writes about their business, however, you can ask consumers to mention the location in which they did business within their review.

These mentions can continue to help your brand achieve the authority that Google looks for in its search algorithm.

Conclusion: Why Implement a Third-Party Reviews SEO Strategy?

Consumers’ expectations are continuing to evolve with business operations in an ever-changing and unpredictable climate.

These expectations are showing up more frequently in reviews. If your business is keeping up with current trends and maintaining a solid reputation management strategy, your path towards SEO success becomes clearer.

Following the above tactics will help you improve your third-party reviews SEO efforts, and in turn, provide an exceptional experience for your customers.

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5 Ways To Use Video In Your Marketing

Which would you prefer: To read a description of a product or to watch a video of how it’s used, what it looks like, and it’s features? If you’re like most people, 68% in fact, you’d prefer the video.

Video marketing is quickly becoming the hottest way to communicate with consumers, and consumers are loving it. Video marketing is engaging, can be fun, and gives a lot of information quickly. It’s no wonder that 87% of businesses now use video as a tool in their marketing.

If you’re not using video marketing yet, now is the time to take the plunge. How can you use video in your marketing efforts? We cover five ways to incorporate it here!

1. Introduce Yourself on Your Website

When consumers come to your website, they’re looking for a solution to their problem from a business they can trust. One of the easiest ways to quickly share what you do and instantly build a personal connection is to place an introductory video on your home or about page.

The video should be short ““ under two minutes ““ and can feature members of the team explaining what you do and why you’re passionate about your work. It can also capture your business’s brand story or the value you aim to deliver consumers so they can connect with you and your business.

Learn more about building your business’s brand story here. Then, watch this video we made for our website about who we are:

2. Get Personal in Your Emails

Email marketing remains an incredibly effective way to reach prospects and customers. Incorporating video into these emails is a way to boost their effectiveness even further.

Maybe you include video in your newsletter, introducing your mailing list to a new item or service. Perhaps you send explainer videos to new customers, giving them tips for how to get the most out of their recent purchase. They don’t have to be overproduced videos, either. They can be quick, short videos filmed right from your phone! The purpose of video marketing is to connect with your audience, and audiences have grown used to seeing videos that are more pared down (which is good news for you!).

3. Go Live on Social

Sharing videos on social media is a great way to engage with your audiences. Live videos are the perfect option for businesses looking to promote a new product or event. Because of their ephemeral nature, people get excited about live videos or Instagram stories.

When viewers react to your video marketing efforts, reach back out! Starting a dialogue with your fans builds trust and a personal connection. Think about incorporating hashtags into your event and product promotions, so that you can keep the conversation going even after the live video has ended.

4. Add Viral Content on YouTube

Users watch over one billion hours of video on YouTube every hour. Why not create something that could be discovered by that colossal audience?

It’s free for businesses to set up a YouTube account and easy to upload video. Once you’ve established your presence, the key to creating a successful channel is uploading content consistently. It doesn’t need to be a daily endeavor, but you should tell your viewers what cadence to expect and then stick to it.

A schedule encourages viewers to come back on a regular basis. And when the content you’re putting out is useful, they’ll subscribe and tell their friends!

Speaking of YouTube, did you know we’ve got a channel there? Check us out!

5. Create Versatile Advertising Content

The great thing about video content is that it’s no longer costly to create a high-quality video. Most phones have pretty great video cameras, and investing in an external microphone and the most basic lighting setup can result in a polished finished product.

Video marketing is the way of the future. Getting smart about using video across your online assets will allow you to greet consumers with the kind of content they crave.

Get more YouTube video ideas to try here.

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.

Other posts by Stephanie Heitman

5 Ways To Increase Your WordPress Site Speed

The great thing about WordPress is the content management service (CMS) makes it very easy to edit and alter site elements to keep things simple and efficient. Whether it is changing images or altering scripts, WordPress makes things easy. Many learn how to make WordPress work through Googling their problems. Another way to improve your site’s speed is through the loading process. This means having great servers and hosting services. For example, an easy way to make your WordPress site work faster is by using fast web hosting like Siteground to take care of all hosting issues.

The fixes profiled here are easy to take care of, and many of them will take very little time.

Image Optimization

This process kills two birds with one stone. The first thing you need to know is which image type works best for a specific file type. Without getting deep into the weeds, JPGs and PNGs work differently and each file type lends itself to more efficient loading when visitors access your page. Here is the differentiation:

PNG file types are for screenshots and illustrations

JPG file types are for photos; export JPGs once

Running an image optimizer for your site is very important as well. These optimizers will trim the fat from your images. In fact, optimizing your images will reduce the clutter the image contributes to your WordPress site by up to 95% per image. Here’s what that means in real numbers. Let’s say an image is 523 kB. An image optimizer clears out the clutter and resize the image, essentially. Reducing an image of this size by 25% means your site now only has to manage an image the size of 392 kB instead. This may not seem like a lot, but when you add it up over all the images on your site, you’ll be astounded at how much speed reducing clutter has been removed from your WordPress site.

Use CloudFlare as a Filter

CloudFlare is a useful tool for sifting out junk in your incoming traffic. The easiest way for hackers to shut down a site is with a DDoS attack – overwhelming of servers with massive numbers of requests and the inability to answer them quickly. The site slows down and eventually crashes.  CloudFlare does several things besides act as a filter. Essentially it makes your site run quickly because several tasks such as the ones below work with greater efficiency:

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Static files pull from closer geographic locations via a built-in CDN

Hybrid cache system allows for quicker request handling

DDoS monitoring prevents useless traffic from bogging down your servers

Firewall keeps malicious actors and files from corrupting your site

Understanding How to Cache

There are a couple considerations when page caching, but unless you have an e-commerce site, it is pretty easy to gain much in the way of speed from your WordPress site. Caching is pretty simple – instead of doing the process of generating a page each time someone accesses your site the caching process takes a copy of the page and then gives a copy to all subsequent parties heading to that page. This process makes your site run 2 – 5 times faster. This is a noticeable speed increase. If you’re still unsure of how caching works, just imagine writing the same phrase on a piece of paper for 30 different people each time you’re asked. Now, with caching, what your WordPress site is doing is writing the phrase for the first time and then handing out photocopies to each subsequent request.

Keep Your Theme Trim and Fit

Bulk is always the enemy of speed. WordPress is very exciting because the themes and widgets let your imagination run wild. However, if your theme is massive and there are several widgets, each page will take longer to load. With each widget and improvement on a theme, these are elements of clutter you are adding to your site:

Each widget has its own JavaScript file, which needs a CDN to access it

CSS files embedded within each widget

Third Party API calls are present and cause greater bloat within these elements

Get Professional Help

A Virtual Private Server is an excellent toy for people who like to play around with their site, however many of these VPS’s lack specific WordPress configuration. So, you go and configure the VPS only to find your WordPress site is just as slow as it always was. A great solution is calling a professional. They will charge roughly $100 to tune up your VPS – but it is worth it. The floor for the speed boost is increases in requests per second that the server could resolve of up to 10 times the original amount. This may not seem like a lot, but when your site is buzzing, these little fixes will pay for themselves and allow you to have a responsive and fast WordPress site.

How To Boost Your Landscapes, Cityscapes And Architecture Photos With Luminar Ai

The Luminar AI image editor lets you edit landscapes, cityscapes, nature portraits and architecture photos with ridiculous ease—no need to deal with complex layers and palettes or adjust countless knobs. In this tutorial, we’ll demonstrate how easy and fun achieving eye-catching landscape looks can be by with Luminar’s rich assortment of AI-powered tools.

Luminar AI applies artificial intelligence and computational photography techniques to identify key elements in the frame, like the sky, sun, stars, clouds, etc. It also calculates a depth map defining objects’ relationships to one another in 3D space. This is similar to how your iPhone uses the TrueDepth camera to create a 3D depth map of your face for unlocking with Face ID.

How to edit landscapes in Luminar AI

We will show you how Luiminar’s AI-powered tools make it simple to achieve professional results when editing various landscapes or cityscapes. You’ll first choose a template as a starting point, then customize suggested edits. Lastly, you’ll optionally add some creative effects before exporting the edited image as a JPG file on your hard drive.

Choosing a template

Applying smart edits

The best framing is suggested based on the rule of thirds and other composition rules. Moreover, Luminar can automatically fix alignment for a level horizon, un-skews perspective to remove unwanted tilt/distortion and more. Feel free to edit your landscapes further with tools for adding more brightness (Accent) or enhancing the details (Structure).

Satisfied with your edits so far? Good, because now it’s time to get creative.

Getting creative with filters

Worried about clipping when shooting the sun? The Sunrays tool adds a sun even if there’s none on the photo! You can adjust the sun’s warmth/glow and position it wherever you like to relight the scene. It also lets you combine sun rays with blending modes for even finer control.

Structure AI is another amazing tool worth mentioning. It recognizes critical detail in all the right places, including people, water, skies, skyscrapers and more. As such, Structure AI is well-suited for architecture, cityscape, landscape and environmental portraiture photography.

Exporting the edited image

Other creative filters in Luminar

Aside from the aforementioned creative tools, Luminar offers many others. The Mood brings a bunch of color palettes for achieving a specific emotion. And with Load Lookup Tables (LUTs), you can further explore color as a means of establishing mood.

For the perfect finishing touch, refine your color for balance with the Color Harmony tool. And if you ever need to precisely adjust an image’s tone with six controls spanning highlights, mid-tones and shadows, you’re wholeheartedly recommended to use the Supercontrast tool.

And that’s how you edit landscapes in Luminar AI! Before signing off, this app is especially great for batch editing—you can easily apply one photo’s edits to one or more additional images to achieved the uniform look across a series of photographs

For further information about Luminar AI, read the manual and the official FAQ.

Pricing and availability

Luminar AI is available as a standalone app, a plugin for Adobe Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, as well as an extension for Apple’s preinstalled Photos app. Luminar AI is available to download from the Mac App Store or through the Skylum website.

For further information, ​visit the official Luminar AI website.

Top 5 Ways To Improve Communication In Your Community

An assortment of procedures for further developing communication inside a local area are talked about in this article. This might be amazingly useful to the people living in these networks. You may likewise be intrigued to think about the Seven C’s of communication in a business letter.

Conceive and organize a variety of community gatherings and activities

Two kinds of circumstances can possibly unite individuals: emergency and appreciating or social exercises. Notwithstanding, you can unquestionably make a feeling of divided enjoyment between individuals from your local area, which is something you would prefer not to happen with the first. People can interface and cooperate with each other through investment in nearby exercises.

A wide scope of occasions should be anticipated for different reasons, as is self-evident. Various occasions will interest various kinds of people, so you need to project a wide net when arranging your occasion showcasing methodology and limited time materials.

On account of a farming celebration, people who are keen on agribusiness will be the essential crowd individuals. Thus, you’ll need to think of another thing to draw in the outside and into a discussion with others.

Messaging Services for Large Numbers of People

When speaking with an enormous gathering of individuals, mass SMS is a productive strategy. Just one duplicate of the message must be composed, and it will be disseminated to everybody on the appropriation list when it has been approved. On the off chance that you are looking to unite your local area, this is irrefutably a potential apparatus that you may utilize.

The mass messaging administrations, for example, this one, that is oftentimes utilized by places of worship are one illustration of such a strategy. For anything from occasion notices to pledge drives, numerous places of worship will utilize mass messaging to arrive at their individuals.

Also read: Best 10 Email Marketing Tools in 2023

Urge occupants to take an interest in area watch programs and urge others to do likewise

The motivation behind area watch programs is to keep the local area secure, accordingly, this is a characteristic technique to unite individuals. While it is actually the case that not every person is good for this kind of work, many are. Any individual, paying little heed to age or condition, may fill in as a vigilant arrangement of eyes.

Consider beginning a nearby paper or magazine

Getting anything like this going will require some monetary assets, yet they won’t be over the top. Utilizing a couple of key bits of gear, printing, and duplicating is presently more open than any other time in recent memory.

At the point when you are simply endeavoring to support a little geographic district, you don’t have to print countless duplicates of your archives. That component will help you in keeping your running consumptions really negligible.

A neighborhood paper or magazine can fill in as a stage where individuals can put themselves out there on subjects that are essential to them, similar to a local area gathering. A valuable conversation and the trading of thoughts can likewise occur through it.

Also read: iPhone 14 Pro Max Is Apple’s New iPhone To Be Launched In September (Know The Release Date, Specification, Rumour & More)

Make a progression of neighborhood telephone trees to assist you with your business

In communication, a telephone tree is a framework that is very much organized. Because of its shape, it is alluded to as a “tree.” For every person in the organization, the message is spread to 5-10 different people utilizing a stretching instrument. A telephone tree is as yet valuable crisis insurance, despite the fact that this kind of thing should be possible with mass messaging administrations.

Also read: Top 5 Automation Tools to Streamline Workflows for Busy IT Teams


In view of an assortment of components, a sound local area ought to continually endeavor to safeguard open communication. In addition to the fact that it improves the general information and readiness of the whole local area, however it likewise makes living in the space more wonderful.

Realizing that you are encircled by companions may give a suspicion that all is well and good, and fantastic communication is the best technique to accomplish this. The creators like your time and wish you well in your authoritative exercises. Much thanks to you for setting aside the effort to peruse this article!

3 Ways To Boost Middle Schoolers’ Confidence In Class

I heard Mara’s muffled cries from the bathroom stall and weighed my options. I could give her privacy, or tell her I knew why she was crying and offer reassurance. I decided on a hybrid approach. “I’m going to give you some space,” I told her from a few feet away. “But I’ll come back in a few minutes to check on you. If you’re worried about your presentation, I can help you. Lots of seventh graders think it’s scary.”

As I started to leave, Mara—not her real name—called out, “Wait! How did you know that’s why I’m upset?”

I told her I’d learned to expect frayed nerves on days when kids recorded their Tiny TED talks, a speech about feeling defined by one strand of their personal narrative or one aspect of their personality. They might talk about what it’s like to have a learning challenge or to be adopted, for example. It’s hard for anyone to stand up in front of an audience, but it’s especially difficult for middle schoolers. They have to perform in front of the people whose opinions they care about most at an age when they’re likely to overestimate social risk and misinterpret feedback.

As a therapist and school counselor, I know that middle schoolers are a misunderstood breed. They often get lumped in with high schoolers or treated like elementary school students, but middle school is a distinct phase we can’t afford to neglect. If teachers can equip these students to take risks when they’re at their most self-conscious and insecure, they’ll turn out individuals who can lean into discomfort for the rest of their lives. Here are three ways educators can bolster tweens’ courage.

1. Tamp Down the Pressure

Tweens don’t do better when they think the stakes are high. Brain scans show they can’t prioritize or strategize like adults. They also lack life experience and perspective, and think in polarities. In an attempt to avoid failure, they might exhibit perfectionist tendencies, clown around, or shut down completely. They’ll go to great lengths to avoid dropping a notch in a teacher’s or peer’s eyes.

To normalize failure, designate a regular time for students to share their most productive blunders. You can try a prompt such as, “The mistake that taught me the most this week was….” Publicly praise kids for taking a risk when they volunteer incorrect answers.

You can also try assigning different grades to separate components of a single assignment. On an essay, for example, you could assign separate grades for the outline, the rough draft, and the final product. And in group work, a child who dominates a project because they want to earn a top grade might loosen their grip if they know they’ll also be graded on their teamwork. The idea is to put more emphasis on the process than on the product. If it’s all about one final grade, kids might be tempted to conclude that they’re “bad at writing” or “bad at math.” When you break down the grades, they’re more likely to internalize ideas like, “I’m excellent at setting the scene, but I need to work on incorporating more evidence.”

Or try celebrating failure for an entire week, like the educators at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School in Australia. On Monday, every member of the faculty shares their biggest failure, like flunking out of education school. For the next few days, the students learn skills such as reciting medieval poetry and juggling, something they have no familiarity with. They all perform their new skills at the end of the week in front of everyone, and they’re all on equal footing and equally likely to look silly in front of their peers and teachers—no one performs the skills well. The experience teaches the students to find the humor in their most vulnerable moments.

2. Talk Above Their Age and Maturity Level

Middle schoolers are not high schoolers. They need modeling and scaffolding, but they also need to assert independence, exercise autonomy, and feel respected. To bring out their propensity to lead, give them a voice. When rules are inflexible, students will look for workarounds or rebel. But when they help generate policies around issues such as bathroom breaks or classroom seating, they take pride in their contributions and work to follow their own policies.

Talk to tweens as if they’re older than they are to convey your belief that they can self-regulate and fix problems on their own. Research shows that kids will rise to the level of your expectations. Initiate conversations about thorny ethical issues or complicated world events, ask them to help you solve a dilemma, provide opportunities to lead class discussions or teach peers, regularly invite their feedback, and give them the freedom to explore personal interests. You’ll boost their self-concept and heighten their capacity for risk-taking.

3. Start With Small Exposures

Studies show that kids need small exposures to extinguish phobias. For instance, if a student tends to freeze during quizzes and wants to take them in a separate room, the teacher could map out incremental goals: Perhaps the child first tries taking tests in the same room, but positioned so they’re less aware of classmates flipping pages.

Educators need to move the dial at an appropriate pace. If you push a child too far or too fast and it goes poorly, they might avoid that risk forever. If you don’t push them at all, you’ll reinforce their lack of self-efficacy. Ask them to rate their fear on a scale of one to 10, and then help them identify a risk in the four to seven range.

I took that gradual approach with Mara. After I coaxed her out of the bathroom, we discussed her options, including presenting to a few friends. She realized she was mainly worried that her mistakes would be captured forever, so the fix was easy: We skipped the recording when Mara delivered her speech.

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