According to Google, positive reviews and rankings help its algorithms understand which businesses are more prominent.
You can ask your customers to leave reviews any way you like. Since we’re focusing on ranking on Google, reviews submitted there will likely be the most important ones.
Things to remember: Don’t buy reviews, don’t offer something in exchange for reviews, and try to reply to reviews as often as possible. (Here are Google’s guidelines for managing reviews.)
Google can help with that by allowing you to create a special link you can share to request a review on Google.
"Review request" tool in Google Business Profile Manager
That’s about it for optimizing for Google Map Pack. Let’s move on to a slightly more complex topic of optimizing for organic results, i.e., the results below the map pack.
2. Optimize for organic results
To stand a chance of ranking in the organic search results, you need pages with content relevant to a given search query. The more useful, interesting, and well-linked that content is, the higher your chances are. That’s what we’re going to focus on going forward.
List your services
SEO or not, you need to provide visitors with a list of services that you offer and also share where you offer your services. Some of the services will have a considerable search demand; others potentially not. Later on, we will expand on that using keyword research.
So for example, say you’re specialized in entertainment law, including a number of areas like talent contracts, music law, and publishing. The absolute minimum here is to create a page that explains your expertise in entertainment law and mentions the above specialities.
However, a more effective tactic is to create a content hub where the pillar page talks about your expertise in entertainment law in general and, at the same time, links to subpages dedicated to each area of that type of law you cover.
This page is an example of a content hub (aka topic cluster). We have the general information on entertainment law (there’s more of it on the whatsapp number list page below that part) and links to relevant areas on the left. Each link leads to a page dedicated to an area.
Content hub with general information on entertainment law and links to relevant areas on the left
And here are some results:
Content hub brings over 1K organic traffic each month, as seen in Site Explorer
This content hub brings over 1K organic traffic each month.
Some of the keywords that the hub ranks for
Some of the keywords that the hub ranks for. A good scenario if you’re an entertainment lawyer in N.Y.C.
In short, here are some benefits of the content hub approach:
More topical authority – Interlinks from related content build semantic relationships, which may be a signal of authoritativeness of the topic for Google (learn more).
More link authority – Pages linked in a hub benefit from each other’s backlinks.
A user-friendly way to navigate your website – Information is just a click away.
More perceived value – People often see such hubs as a valuable resource on the topic (which may also increase the propensity to link to your hub).
An additional idea worth considering is creating separate hubs for practice areas and industries. This way, you will increase the number of keywords you can rank for while providing a clear structure for the user.