The reliance on reviews is becoming more popular. Think about it – we rely on reviews to learn about the best products to buy, whether we should see a particular movie if we want to try that new restaurant down the street, and whether we should use a particular service.
But the questions remain – do reviews help SEO? Read on to learn how positive reviews have an indirect impact on your website’s ranking, and how you can gain more!
How Do Reviews Help SEO?
Online reviews are easy to ignore when it comes to bolstering your SEO, but they’re just as important as fresh, evergreen content, a well-designed website, and informative articles. This is because Google places more trust in consumers rather than your business.
Google Trusts Reviews
Just like having quality backlinks allows Google to gauge whether your site is relevant and informative, it uses customer reviews in a similar way. If you have a large number of good reviews, this lets Google know that your business is both authentic, relevant, and helpful for customers, and when customers search for a keyword, it wants those websites to be seen first.
The right amount of reviews with varying lengths is also incredibly helpful for local SEO. Google utilizes review signals that are focused around quantity, velocity, and diversity, and if these signals are well-balanced, this drastically helps push your business to the top of local search results.
More Traffic Means More Conversions
As consumers are browsing their search results, brands with a large number of good reviews naturally catch the eye and earn trust. With this higher website traffic, it sends a signal to the Google algorithm that your website is a relevant solution to their query. Of course, the more traffic you gain, the higher the likelihood that you’ll convert consumers to loyal customers!
Helping Googlebot Learn
Googlebot crawls through websites to learn about them, utilizing keywords and site structure. As customers write reviews for your site, they’re naturally adding more information and keywords that aid Google in learning about the services you offer.
Google reviews essentially act as free snippets of content creation.
Review Sites Contribute
Consumers naturally want to learn more about a product or service before they try it out. As they search for relevant information, sites like Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook rise in search results.
This is a powerful and effective way to funnel consumers to your website. Even if your website doesn’t rank for a particular keyword, the customer reviews on these review sites have a higher chance.
Improving Product Rankings
Consumers are often searching with specific, long-tail keywords that can take them directly to a product’s or service’s page. You have a higher chance of getting them to those pages by adding a visible review system.
Not only do these reviews add relevant content to the site, but products with high star rankings also have a higher chance of ranking at the top of search results. The added benefit is that reviews provide instant information and social proof.
Consumers are more likely to purchase your product or service because they don’t have to leave the page!
How to Gain More Reviews
Now that you know many of the main ways reviews can help your business, how do you get more of them?
First of all, make sure you have profiles on the below networks. Not only do they almost always appear on the first page of search results, but they also provide an authoritative backlink for your website.
- Google My Business
- Yellow Pages
- Better Business Bureau
Google My Business is especially important to keep updated with new images, updates, and up to date information on business hours and location. It’s typically the first review site customer’s find when they’re searching.
Ask Customers for Reviews
Some customers just need to be prompted in order to leave a review! If your business has a physical location, you can post signs on your walls that request reviews. You can also have a reminder printed on the back of your business cards or other promotional material.
However, asking customers in your online communications with them and on your site itself is the easiest way to attain more reviews. By providing a direct link to your review pages at the bottom of blog posts, in your email signature, or within the body of a message, customers will find it to be less of a hassle, and the likelihood of them leaving a review increases.
Ask Open-Ended Questions First
Depending on your product or service, it may be better to start a conversation with your customers to start the process.
You can gauge a customer’s level of satisfaction by asking questions such as:
- How are you liking this product?
- Are you ready to renew your purchase?
- How was your recent interaction with customer support?
This is helpful because you can filter out the customers that had bad experiences from the ones who had good experiences. Not only that, but you’re collecting helpful customer feedback that aid in the improvement of your product or service.
Educate Your Customers
Let customers know, through blog posts or email communications, how reviews help your business. If they’re loyal customers, they’ll be more likely to leave a review if they know it improves traffic to your site!
You can also provide links to each of your review sites, along with instructions on how to navigate each site and leave a review. It’s all about making the process as transparent as possible.
Sometimes customers need an incentive to leave a review – after all, time is precious. Offer incentives to make it worth their whiles such as discount or coupon codes, entrance into a contest, or gift cards.
Remember to emphasize that you’re looking for honest, unbiased reviews and not simply positive ones.
Have the Right Timing
It’s important that you ask for a review during the right step of a customer’s journey to get optimal results. If you ask for a review at the wrong moment, the customer won’t understand the point of leaving a review, or they’ll even leave a negative one.
Here are some moments when it’s optimal to ask for a customer review:
- After they re-purchase or re-order
- After they experience success with your product or service
- After they tag your brand in a social media post
- After they refer a customer to you
- After they’ve spent time on your website browsing other products or services
Remember that there are different timeframes for different products and services. For instance, ride-hailing apps ask for a review as soon as the ride is over and the experience is fresh in your mind. Some apps will ask you for reviews after you’ve completed certain milestones or spent a certain amount of time using it.
Think about your particular product or service and when the customer is at the peak moment to leave a review.
Keep It Simple
It’s important to remember to keep your communications concerning reviews as simple and concise as possible. You don’t want your customers to feel hassled, or that they’re time is being wasted.
Utilize short paragraphs, clear sentences, and bullet-point instructions with hyperlinked text.
Utilizing Third-Party Tools
If you have a large business or operate multiple franchises over several different locations, soliciting and managing reviews can become an arduous process. There are many SEO agencies and third-party tools that can streamline, automate, and manage customer reviews for you!
Respond to Reviews
It’s important to respond to as many reviews as possible. Customers are more likely to leave reviews when they see that your business is reading each review and is grateful for their time and appreciation.
Responding to negative reviews is especially important. Not only are you providing stellar customer service, but you’re showing other customers that your business takes customer complaints seriously.
This is a great way to improve your brand’s image, increase engagement, and bolster customer loyalty.
Gaining Social Proof
Do reviews help SEO? The answer is a resounding yes. As you gain more positive reviews for your business, social proof for your product or service naturally increases.
Not only does this improve your site’s authority for Google’s algorithm, but this will also lead to more traffic and more conversions.
Keep browsing SEO Service to learn more tactics and strategies on ways to improve your site’s SEO!