When purchasing an item or ordering a service online, what’s the first thing you do? Google it, right? In today’s eCommerce-driven world, people cannot physically experience a product until it is delivered to their doorstep. So, they turn to online product reviews, seeking reassurance before committing to a purchase. Let’s face it: we’re much more likely to take action if we see other consumers – even strangers – agree it’s a good decision. That’s the thing about online reviews – they’re social proof of a brand’s quality and credibility. In fact, things have gone so far that a brand’s overall star rating and the number of online reviews started to shape how a business is perceived online. That’s why it’s all about understanding and harnessing the potential of online reviews and learning how to turn ratings into revenue. But how exactly do company reviews boost your SEO efforts?
Let’s shed some light on the subject!
Role of User-Generated Content
Fresh content is essential for SEO. Without content, Google’s algorithms cannot index your website’s pages properly and help you rank due to lack of information. At this point, user-generated content is a life-saver.
Reviews aren’t mere feedback from your customer – they’re content. Google recognizes them as such. And your customers are, in a way, content creators. Whenever a client leaves you a review or shares something relating to the services and products across social media platforms, it gives search engine crawlers entirely fresh and authentic content. And, it doesn’t matter if the comments are good or bad; people still use keywords (product and/or company name) relevant to your business. This provides Google with important information and helps you rank better on SERPs.
The best thing about it? There’s no hard-selling. It’s just a bunch of genuine customers talking about their shopping experiences, sharing their opinions, or offering advice to other people.
Google trusts word-of-mouth marketing
Virtually everyone reads online reviews nowadays. Humans are instinctively skeptical, and we base our judgments and decisions on the collective actions of other people. So, reading a few trusted positive reviews from other consumers who made similar purchases and seeing good ratings drives our confidence. It convinces us that we’re making a good choice purchasing this well-reviewed item or service and not getting ripped off. It builds trust and credibility.
And Google is just like consumers: it trusts word-of-mouth marketing. It aims to provide the best and most relevant results to a user’s query, and, for that, it relies on positive reviews from happy customers. Customers leave you good reviews, bots crawl them, and the algorithms, smart as they are, understand what they say. If the reviews are positive, Google recognizes you as of high quality and value and recommends it to the searchers.
This then puts reviews among the top factors determining a site’s search rankings.
Even negative reviews can be positive for your SEO
As it turns out, even negative company reviews boost your SEO efforts. At first glance, it seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Let us explain.
There are a few distinct ways these can also be beneficial at the end of the day. For one thing, negative reviews are still reviews. Business owners should stop viewing them as the grim reaper because, in the eyes of Google, the more reviews you have, the closer you are to the top of the list.
Similarly, negative reviews still imply some customer engagement, which is better than no engagement in the first place. This also gives you an avenue to respond and thus show how you handle bad experiences and take care of your customers. Even more importantly, personal insights are a valuable source of information. You can learn about their likes and dislikes and, as a result, improve your brand’s customer experience and continue growing your brand.
Next, customers will use keywords relevant to your business even if they leave a bad review. In other words, they’re giving bots even more keywords to crawl.
Finally, they give you more authenticity in consumers’ eyes. Way too many positive reviews aren’t very good for you either. It tends to look fake and biased, and Google may end up suspending them all from a key review website. So, the negative ones tend to provide a necessary balance.
They give you a competitive edge
The main objective of any entrepreneur on the planet is to grow a successful business – basically, to have customers and make a profit. But one cannot succeed when they’re “the best-kept secret in town.” And, it is pretty simple, reviews equal visibility. So, if you want to get more bodies on your doorstep and eyeballs on your website than your competitors, you must ensure that you have plenty of quality consumer reviews.
In an overly-saturated online marketplace, company reviews boost your SEO efforts and help you stand out from the crowd.
The three things that Google factors in for showing up search results are:
Hence, businesses with more reviews and higher average ratings get more visibility and traffic (both digitally and physically) than their competitors, even if their competitors are within your immediate vicinity. Algorithms and consumers tend to see them as an authority in their industry.
From that point on, it pretty much turns into a self-feeding cycle: Greater exposure results in more foot traffic and sales, leading to even more reviews. So, if your rankings don’t seem to improve or your brand’s struggling for more conversion, don’t worry. It only means you have to start prioritizing high-quality review generation.
Let’s wrap things up
The moral of the story – SEO is essential for succeeding in the online marketplace. You don’t need us to tell you that. Keyword stuffing is the thing of the past, and optimized alt-tags are no longer enough to get you ranking for prevalent KWs. But SEO is ever-evolving, and you cannot afford to rely on a stationary strategy. Customer reviews are an integral part of SEO for businesses that want to stay ahead. So, now that we discussed how company reviews boost your SEO efforts, what’s holding you back? Now is an excellent time to start if you aren’t yet collecting.