The SEO Value Of Online Reviews
Find out why online reviews matter before the point of conversion by boosting your brand's SEO visibility and follow our tips to building and managing your reviews.
In the era of the always-on digital consumer, it’s hardly surprising that consumer purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by interactions with their peers.
Almost half of Britons have reviewed a product online, and customer reviews have become a key part of eCommerce.
But online reviews don’t just drive conversions and improving customer service. They’re also great for shooting your brand up the search engine ranking positions (SERPs), making it easier for customers to find your business in the first place.
Here are three key reasons why online reviews are great for SEO.
1. Search engines love fresh, unique content
In fact it’s Google’s mission to encourage original, high quality content, as that’s what’s best for web users.
A regular stream of fresh and unique user-generated content serves as fuel to drive your brand up the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Tip: Google’s recent Pigeon update is giving local directory-style sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor a boost, making reviews key to gaining visibility in local search.
2. Customer ratings increase click-throughs on results pages
By enabling Google to search for rich snippets, your reviews and ratings can be carried back to search results, displaying an overall star rating for your brand.
Rich snippets like these can increase CTRs in the search engines by up to 30%.
3. User-generated reviews mean long tail success
Your reviewers are your audience, so naturally the words and phrases they use in their reviews will be the same words and phrases people are searching for.
Your online reviews are keyword-rich, user-centric content which will help your business to rank for long tail searches.
Give the people what they want—by getting found for it.
How to manage your reviews
Negative reviews are always a scary possibility—but shying away from customer reviews will only hinder you in building up a positive online presence.
Follow these five tips to harness the power of customer reviews, without any backlash.
1. Always ask your customers for reviews.
Many are more than happy to oblige, so don’t be afraid to give them some encouragement through online channels as well as at the point of sale.
2. Never write false reviews.
Your customers aren’t idiots—they’ll realise something is amiss and it’ll most likely come back to bite you.
3. Don’t ignore negative reviews.
Instead, use them as an opportunity to demonstrate your great customer service and turn negative reviews into positive experiences.
4. Try and respond to reviews quickly.
A massive 72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour. While that’s not always doable, don’t keep them waiting too long.
5. Use positive reviews to your advantage.
Place them in widgets on key pages of your website and use them in Adwords campaigns or in emails.
Another channel for your visibility strategy to consider, online reviews are being taken more seriously than ever before by the search engines. By increasing traffic as well as conversions, reviews have a part to play in a joined-up digital marketing approach that focuses on gaining local visibility across all channels and connecting the customer experience—from initial search to point of sale and beyond.
Points to take away
• Online reviews are SEO gold. Unique and user-generated, online reviews offer a lot of SEO value that will help your brand stand out in the search engines.
• Go further than Google+. Get your business listed on TripAdvisor, Yelp and any other directories used by your customers, as they all count in the SERPs.
• Don’t be scared of negative reviews. Ignoring online reviews altogether will do more harm than good, allowing competitors who do use them to gain an advantage.
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