Google Reviews not only help improve search rankings, but they also play an important role in a company’s SEO efforts. There are many factors involved when ranking for searches and online customer reviews can be one of the strongest signals to communicate trustworthiness and authority. In this era where competition has gotten tougher because more businesses have come on the web, managing your Google Reviews is a way to differentiate yourself from others while raising your visibility in Google results.
How do we know reviews matter?
In the world of search engine optimisation, reviews are often overlooked. With so many other major SEO focus areas to sort through including content creation and link building, it’s no wonder they’re given little attention. However, for local businesses this can be a big mistake- especially if your goal is attracting new customers.
Do you need to be a local business with an address and phone number to get Google reviews? The answer is no! Reviews still matter, even if your company operates strictly online or doesn’t have a physical location. The review management platform Yotpo researched the impact of adding customer reviews on ecommerce websites without any brick-and-mortar locations. It turns out that Google organic page views increased from 5.5k monthly to 8k over 9 months!
Reviews are critical to helping your business’ Local Pack performance. The Local Pack is the box of local search and map results that appears at the top of relevant searches in Google. It’s been found that the second most influential factor when looking at a local business’ Local Pack performance was reviews that included the searched-for keyword.
The only factor for search ranking that has been found to be more important than reviews is the total amount of additional organic rankings. This means that the site is SEO-friendly and has great organic rankings for lots of keywords, making it more likely to show up in the Local Pack.
Why do reviews matter for SEO?
If you’re still feeling a bit unsure about how online reviews affect a business’ search rankings that’s ok, let’s go a little deeper. There are a few simple explanations for why Google reviews help rankings.
Google trusts your customers
There are a variety of ways to help Google determine whether your site should be given high rankings or not. One way is through links, which work as an endorsement for the trustworthiness and credibility of a business’ website; another is through customer reviews.
Google relies on signals from various sources in order to understand if your site deserves higher ranking than other competing websites. The importance of links is measured based upon how many relevant websites link back to yours. This correlates with high-quality content that can provide value to searchers looking for products or services within your industry. Similarly it’s important that there are plenty of (hopefully positive) customer reviews about you so people know what to expect.
When customers review your business it let’s Google know that your business is both legitimate and that people have interacted with you and can help make decisions for future potential customers.
Google likes to read
With the right content, Google will know everything about your business! Leveraging customer reviews on your site for SEO or generating them through Google My Business means that there are tons of fresh keywords to add to its understanding of you and your business.
By reviewing your business customers unintentionally provide valuable content to Google, without even knowing it. These reviews add SEO value and help fill in any content gaps on your website that may exist from not having enough information available online about your products or services.
Great reviews = More clicks
People trust reviews. If you’re faced with a Local Pack and two of the businesses have 2-star ratings while the third has 5-star ones, which one are you more likely to click on? Google sees an increase in interest for your site if a high percentage of searches choose it from the search results, so they’ll reward you with better rankings.
By enticing clicks through to your website by using positive reviews, chances are it will lead to increased traffic as well as improved web page positions on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
It’s clear that customer feedback is important to both consumers and search engines. If you want your business to show up in the Local Pack, it’s important for customers to feel like they can trust you by reading all of the positive reviews. This helps build better web page positions for SERPs which leads directly back into higher ranking in organic searches. There are lots of ways to get the most out of your reviews, but one of the most important ones is to incorporate reviews across your website to drive trust among potential customers.
Reviews should be an integral part of your SEO strategy. If you want to rank higher get in touch with us today!