Can positive reviews give you more than a good feeling?
Can reviews help SEO? We take a look.
Reviews are vital. If nobody reviews my work, who will know if I’m any good or not? Even you, as a business owner, rely on what other people have said prior to engaging with a wholesaler, or service provider.
In a world where we rely on the internet to provide us with services, it is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of what a review platform can give you in addition to positive feedback.
So, do reviews help SEO?
We all rely on reviews.
If you’re new to the internet, you might not know that reviews are almost a currency these days. You need good reviews, and lots of them, to make an impact online. 97% of people will read reviews prior to making an online purchase. 93% of people say that reviews impact their decision.
You need to use review platforms.
Now, you might feel that none of your business comes from online platforms. If you have a website or social media account, though, you should be trying to grow the leads you get online. Reviews can help more than just a good reputation.
Google cares about what other people think of you.
Why does Google care about reviews?
The main aim of a search engine is to send you off to a website that will answer your query, so you never return. It’s not like Instagram, whose every click and turn attempts to lock you inside its platform for another minute or more.
How does it do that? By providing you valuable, accessible and authentic information.
Yes, it has means of assessing that itself, but in the same way you look to review platforms for a business – so does Google.
Google wants to know you are a brand.
Anyone can build a website, but Google wants to serve you with a business that is well known for doing what it does well. It does this by looking at your brand signals. This is the process of investigating what is out there in terms of you being a legit business fulfilling legit services.
Reviews are a great testament to your brand signals being real, or fake.
This also helps Google do a better job. Again, it wants you to leave having answered your search. So, if it can demonstrate that you have lots of reviews (by showing this alongside your search) then it will convince the user of your brand legitimacy.
If people do indeed leave Google, without returning, then this is a positive circle for your business. In fact, your click through rate (the rate at which people search for a term, then click on your site) is higher when Google lists your review rating beside it.
How does this help SEO?
It is no longer a battle of keywords. You need to have an efficient, pleasant customer experience on your website. If you’re a small business, you have millions of competitors so you need to differentiate yourself. Many positive reviews will help.
If you have a high click through rate (because you have lots of good reviews) and you also have a low bounce rate (because you provide a legitimate service that people want to use) then you will perform favourably in other areas too.
Google wants to deliver the best possible information, so if it understands that you are a viable source, it will promote you above someone who doesn’t use reviews.
Where should my customers leave reviews?
Google relies on a few big review sites, but not every single review is counted. My advice to you would be to use Trustpilot and Google Customer Reviews. Facebook is not a great idea, because Social Media posts are not indexed for SEO purposes. This means they won’t count to boosting your rank on a Google search.
Trustpilot does offer a paid service, but their free service is good enough. You can claim your business identity, have people leave reviews and invite 100 customers per month to respond to your service. That would be enough for most small businesses, I imagine.
Back links help local SEO!
A back link is a URL that sits on another website, and links back to your website. Trustpilot, or Google My Business, will link back to you. So, the stronger presence you have there, the more inclined Google will be to push you closer to the top of a search.
If your business name appears consistently across a review website, this helps add to your brand authority which, as I discussed, boosts your SEO.
It’s really easy to create an account on these platforms, to allow customers to leave feedback that in turn gives you a hidden boost on Google search.
Don’t forget to interact with the reviews you receive, as this will add to your brand authenticity and authority. Why not update your website with a selection of amazing reviews? Google also monitors how often your website is updated, so if you’re not the type to blog very often, this is a quick way to update your site and add keywords with absolutely no effort.
If you want help building your reputation online, speak to us about SEO today.