How to Get Keywords in Your Reviews – Whitespark Local Insider

Reviews that mention specific keywords and services can have a positive impact on your local rankings, and are a competitive advantage. In this Whitespark Local Insider (formerly the Weekly) episode, Darren discusses how you can start getting keywords in your online reviews.

Video Transcript

Hey, what’s up? Darren here, with another Whitespark Weekly video. Bringing you the latest tips, tricks, and tactics for improving your Google rankings, and driving more customers from local search.

In this series, I do a short video on one specific local SEO tactic, or strategy, or topic. If you’re new here, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up for our email newsletter down below in the blog post.

Last week I talked about what’s the best way to ask for a review? How can you encourage more reviews? That topic was great. I put together a an email template of how you could ask, talked about all the different nuances around the ask.

Reviews are awesome. You can get reviews that are short and punchy, like these ones here. So let’s see here, we’ve got Joshua Spurlock says,

“Very professional and responsive. Would recommend to any small business.”

“Responsive to our questions. Quick turnaround time. Already driving traffic to our store. Thanks, Brianna.”

Those are great reviews. Thank you, Joshua and Pryor, for leaving us those reviews. I love them. We’ll take all the reviews we can get.

But even better, is when you can get a review that has more detail, these kinds of reviews mention specific keywords, and specific services that were done. They might talk about specific people that had helped them out. They really help to sell your business to the reader, and we really appreciate these longer reviews.

I want to help you get more reviews like this, more long form detailed reviews.

Keywords in Reviews Help Your Rankings

The local search ranking factors are interesting, because we’ve seen this come up in the factors. If you’ve ever seen the Local Search Ranking Factor survey; we surveyed the top prominent people in local search, and asked them to rate a number of factors and score them as to what they think is driving rankings more so than other factors.

If you search this for “keywords in reviews,” you can see that in:

  • The local pack rankings, and local finder rankings, keywords in reviews is ranked number 26 overall.
  • In the organic rankings, it also comes in at number 49.
  • Also, as a top competitive difference maker, it comes in at number 17.

This is telling us that people that study the local search think that keywords in reviews actually help your rankings.

Now, we have some empirical data to back that up. Andrew Shotland and Dan Leibson put together this empirical study, the 2017 Local SEO ranking factors where they crawled a bunch of businesses, and then they tried to correlate specific data points with their rankings. They looked at this very specific factor, which is percentage of reviews that have the keyword that was searched, and percentage of reviews with the city. These have a very high correlation with that factor and their rankings. So we have some empirical data to back it up.

It also makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. Google is trying to learn everything it can about your business, and, associate those topics with your business. Let’s say, there is a dentist that is known for doing really good dental implants, and all of the reviews talk about how he’s really great at dental implants, “I had dental implants done here.” Google’s going to pick up on that and say, “Okay, well this guy specializes in dental implants. It might help to give him a lower ranking boost because so many people are talking about that. It makes sense from Google’s perspective.

Take Your Email Template Further

Let’s take a look at the template I put together in last week’s Whitespark Weekly. It looked like this:

We started with a personalized subject line, and something that would catch their attention. We say, “It was a pleasure working with you. Thanks, for your business. Online reviews from awesome customers like you will help others feel confident about choosing our business, and will really help us grow our business.”

You give them some incentive for why they would leave the review, and have the quick ask, you know, “Could you leave us a review?” You want to link to the review site and provide a direct link. “I’d really appreciate it. Thanks, for helping us out.” That’s pretty good. I think it’s gonna help encourage reviews.

But we can make it even better. It’s interesting, because I was inspired to do this from an email I got from Google. I saw this email from Google. They sent it out to all the local guides. They’re trying to help your review stand on our maps. So they provide some simple directions on what you can do to improve your reviews, like you can mention fun facts for each place. You can talk about, you know, whether they specialize in coffee, or vegetarian food. You could note information for people in wheelchairs, or families with kids.

This got me thinking, well, what can we do in our email template to help encourage people to write more stuff? What could potentially talk about?

New and Improved Email Template

Let’s look at that new and improved template. I kicked it up a notch here. I’ve added a little emoji to the subjects. You can take it or leave it, if you wanted to do something like that. It’s basically the same as before, but here I’ve added a little section:

Copy this template!

Hello [customer name]!

It was a pleasure working with you on your project. Thank you for your business!

Online reviews from awesome customers like you help others to feel confident about choosing [business name], and will really help us grow our business. Could you take 60 seconds to leave us a review on [review site]? Here’s a direct link: <link>

Wondering what to write about?

The best reviews offer a wealth of detail, and a helpful tip or two for others considering our services. Here are some questions that should give you some ideas about what to write about:

  • What service did we complete for you?
  • Which location did you have the service at?
  • How did we do?
  • What do you like about working with us?
  • Have you tried any of our other products and services?
  • Did you work with any specific people you’d like to mention?
  • How do we compare to other services you have tried?
  • Are there any tips you would offer others about our business?

I would really appreciate your review. The more detail you can provide, the better, but a short and punchy review is equally appreciated if you’re short on time or inspiration.

Thank you in advance for helping us out!

I think this template might help you to get more detailed reviews. It’ll encourage people to talk about the specific products, and maybe even mention the city. That stuff could potentially give you an additional ranking boost that you weren’t getting before.

All right. Well, I hope that helped, and I hope that gives you some inspiration for how you can improve your review ask process. If you have any questions about it, please leave a question in the comments below.

We Want To Hear From You

I also wanted to ask, if you have any burning questions about citations, reviews, links, your website, your Google My Business listing, that you’d like me to cover in a future Whitespark Weekly, I’d love to hear from you. You can just tweet at us @Whitespark or send me an email to Darren@ and say, Whitespark Weekly Suggestion in the subject. If you have anything you want me to cover in a future Whitespark Weekly, just get in touch. I’d love to cover it.

All right, thanks very much. See you next week.


Darren Shaw

Darren Shaw founded Whitespark in 2005. The company specialized in web design and development, however, Darren's passion and curiosity for all things local search led Whitespark to focus primarily on local SEO in 2010 with the launch of the Local Citation Finder, followed by the Local Rank Tracker.

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