Google Reviews do help to improve search rankings and overall SEO efforts. There are many factors involved in search rankings; online customer reviews can be a good signal to search engines that your business is trustworthy and authoritative. In an era where competition is only getting stronger for small businesses, online reviews are a way to make your business stand out.
HOW DO WE KNOW REVIEWS MATTER?
When you consider SEO, reviews from customers aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. With all the other significant areas of SEO to concentrate on, reviews can be overlooked.
Reviews matter most for local SEO. Reviews containing a searched for keyword can improve a local business’s performance, particularly in the box of local search and map results that appears at the top of SERPs, called the Local Pack.
If you search for something like ‘DIY Store’, Google will use one of the factors to determine which businesses to display is reviews. Snippets of reviews will appear at the bottom of each business’s space, with the search terms used (and sometimes similar ones) bolded, showing what Google determines to be relevant.
If your website is SEO-friendly and already has strong organic rankings for plenty of terms, then combined with reviews, then your site is more likely to show up in the Local Pack.
But what if you aren’t a local business? Do reviews still matter then? If your business operates only in the realms of e-commerce or has no real physical location, some suggest that reviews are still crucial for SEO.
Why Do Reviews Matter For SEO?
Research is great, and everybody likes to see charts of businesses gaining more traffic, but you might still be unsure how online reviews can affect a business’s rankings in this manner. There are a few relatively straightforward explanations for why Google reviews do help SEO rankings.
Google trusts your customers more than it trusts you
This is a slight exaggeration, but it is a fact that Google does depend on signals to determine whether a website is worth a good ranking or not. We have seen this since the very early days of Google with the importance of links. When your website gets a link from another relevant website, Google considers this link as an endorsement of trust in your website and will reward better visibility in the search rankings. In the same way, when a customer leaves you a review, whether good or bad, this review tells Google that your business is not only a real, and legitimate operation, but one that other people have interacted with it. The review can also help future potential customers to make decisions.
Google likes to read
Google reads your website to understand it. The more content it has available to read, the more it will learn about your business. When you use customer reviews on your website for SEO purpose or generate them on your Google My Business page, Google has plenty of new content to read and more keywords to add to its understanding of your business and what it does.
Remember that when you search for ‘DIY store’, and Google pulled your query out as a keyword from the businesses’ reviews? Customer will describe your products and services to Google unintentionally. Those reviews will add to your business’s SEO value with your customers, even realising that their reviews are helping you in this way. A review can also help to fill in some of the content gaps that might exist on your website, and increase your overall website rankings and visibility in this way.
Great Reviews Mean More Stars And More Clicks
Whether you like it or not, people do trust reviews. Think about it like this, if you are looking at the Local Pack and see that two of the businesses have 2-star ratings, and one has a 5-star one, which one do you think you are more likely to click on? SEO rankings are influenced by click through rates. If a high percentage of searches choose your site from the search results, Google will take this to mean that you are doing something right and will give your site better rankings. Reviews can boost your click-through rates, especially if you are getting good reviews regularly. By encouraging more clicks with high ratings, you should see a boost in rankings.
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Edited by Temitope Adelekan