How Important are Google Reviews for SEO?

How Important are Google Reviews for SEO?

Very important. You see, online reviews for SEO don’t just tell a story to your potential customers but also to search engine bots that are trying to understand what your website is all about.

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If your goal is to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more customers to click on your website, then you must not neglect to acquire more of these business reviews in SEO and respond to them accordingly.

Without taking care of your reviews, your business will more likely become unprofitable as it gets left behind by competitors who have more excellent online reviews and SEO.

Let’s talk more about it.

Here are the Reasons Why You Should Care About Online Reviews for SEO:

  • Online Reviews Help Improve User Experience
  • Reviews for SEO Can Build More Content & Target More Keywords
  • Business Reviews in SEO are More Trusted than Any Business Claim of Trustworthiness
  • SEO Reviews Improves Search Ranking and Customer Engagement
  • Reviews for SEO Drives More Traffic and Boosts Clickability

Now, before we dig deeper into these reasons, let’s make sure that we’re on the same page when defining SEO reviews:

What are Online Reviews for SEO?

Online reviews are feedback written by your customers, through your online reviews platforms, after they have completed a transaction or purchase with your business – these reviews could be negative or positive.

Now, when your customers write business reviews, they are somehow helping the search engines, especially Google, learn more about your services, products, and your business in general – this is how reviews impact SEO.

So, encouraging your customers to write reviews for your products and services can be one of your effective strategies to get free content creation that can impact your search rankings and web traffic.

Review Platforms Your Customers Can Use

There are heaps of review platforms that you can use for your customers to leave a review. But using your Google My Business (GMB) account and your website are two of the most highly recommended platforms because of the following reasons:

  1. GMB can be your excellent leverage to be found in local search and branded search
  2. Putting up reviews on your website will help your site visitors quickly see what others are saying about your business, and when it’s an excellent avenue for your customers to help you add more content to your site.

You should choose other review platforms depending on your industry or niche. However, you can also start with Yelp and Facebook as they cover a wide range of industries and consumers.

Now, it’s time to dig deeper into how online reviews can significantly impact your search rankings, overall SEO strategy, and business in general.

Online Reviews are a Great Way to Know How You Can Improve User Experience Which is the Main Goal of SEO

We all know that the search engines, especially Google, prefer to rank websites that deliver the best user experience to their site visitors.

SEO methods such as making sure that the web pages are easy-to-navigate, fast-loading, mobile-responsive, intuitive, and engaging can really help in crafting user-friendly web pages. However, you can’t be complacent enough not to know what your customers are saying about your website, especially about your content, services, and products.

So, take some time to know the feedback of your customers, especially the things that they want. After all, enhancing user experience is mainly giving what your customers want as long as it’s practicable and profitable.

listening to customers feedback help improve user experience on your site

Online Reviews Help You Build More Content for Your Business and Target More Keywords Effectively

You see, the search engines, especially Google, are voracious readers. The more content you have on your website, the more they will understand your business – and online reviews for SEO can be your leverage.

When customers leave a review on your site or your Google My Business account, or any other review platforms, the search engines will get heaps of new content to “read” or “crawl” as well as multiple keywords to index for your business – keywords that your customers use about your products and services.

When customers write online reviews for your business, they are indirectly describing your services and products to the search engines. So, these reviews bring value to your SEO efforts without the customers knowing that they are helping you build more content and target more keywords for your business.

In fact, business reviews often help websites fill in content gaps and this results in increased search rankings and visibility.

Google and Other Potential Customers Trust Online Reviews than they Trust Your Business

Search engines and users indeed trust business reviews in SEO more than any trustworthiness claim that businesses often tend to do. After all, the majority of online reviews come from real people with truthful transactions.

In fact, one study revealed that 68% of consumers consider reviews as a significant factor that influences their sense of trust in a business and their willingness to buy from a website.

Relatively, when a customer leaves a review for your business whether it’s negative or positive, it serves as a signal to the search engines, especially Google, that people have interacted with your business, so it is real and running a legitimate operation.

Plus, search engines will treat your customers’ online reviews as a guide to help other potential customers in the future to make the right decisions when interacting with your website or purchasing from your business.

Take a look at one of the online reviews for Delante.co below:

sample business review in SEO for Delante.co

Responding to Business Reviews in SEO Improves Your Ranking, Trustworthiness, and Engagement

Since early 2019, Google confirmed that responding to online reviews can profoundly impact your SEO, brand image and trustworthiness, as well as your level of engagement with your customers.

“Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.”

You see, Google and other search engines prefer to rank websites that continually build trust and relationship with their customers by engaging them in their websites or by professionally responding to their feedback whether it’s a good review or not.

How to Respond to Your Customers’ Online Reviews

Allowing your customers to leave feedback about your business is essential. So, you there’s no way you can’t say no to criticisms – with this, you must be prepared with the right strategy on responding to a customer’s review whether it’s positive or negative.

Here’s a quick guideline when responding to a positive review:

  1. Thank the customer for any compliment, especially for the time taken to write the review.
  2. Get specific; make sure to add a more personal touch when responding to a customer’s review.
  3. Encourage your customers to come back; you can entice them with new product deals or referral, or just let them know that you are looking forward to doing business with them again.

Here’s your guide when responding to a negative review:

  1. Apologise for any inconvenience and ensure to thank them for their feedback.
  2. Respond professionally, online reviews are seen by the public, so never attempt to argue or blame the customer.
  3. Invite unhappy customers to an offline or private conversation, don’t risk discussing with a dissatisfied customer on a public platform. Try asking for more details about their experience so you can reassure them that it will not happen again, and provide them with the contact information for customer service.
  4. Keep your response short and simple, try handling the review as quick and polite as you can, and don’t say more than what’s needed.

Reviews for SEO Drives More Traffic to Your Website

One survey on consumer online reviews revealed that the average customer reads at least 10 reviews before getting convinced to trust a business with their purchase. Also, 47% of people will not consider doing business with a website that has less than 4 stars – these are significant numbers that must not be ignored if you want your business to thrive.

Take a look at the example image below.

If you search for “face mask clay” and take a look at the two results, would you click on the first result that has zero reviews? Or click on the second search result that contains 4.4 stars with 21, 388 reviews?

I bet you’d choose the second result.

reviews for SEO drive more web traffic and clickability

See, if you manage to gather heaps of reviews with 5-star ratings, detailed, and excellent feedback, your target audience will more likely trust your business and click on your site than any competitor out there.

As results, your web traffic will grow, and your click-through-rate will increase – the search engines will see this positive consumer behaviour as a signal that your website is trustworthy, authoritative, and relevant, and thus worthy of being ranked on top of the first page of Google.

Final Thoughts

Reviews for SEO are essential, especially if you want to stay ahead of the competition – they influence the way your potential customers will interact with your business listings and your site. Thereby impacting your SEO efforts.

So, you must care about the quantity and quality of online reviews that you’re getting for your services, products, and business as a whole – as well as how you encourage your customers to give you feedback and how you respond to them.

If you find it challenging to leverage business reviews in SEO, feel free to talk to the SEO reviews experts.

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Author
Head of SEO & SEM - Matt Calik

Head of SEO & SEM

Technical SEO specialist experienced in creating scalable processes based on agile methodologies. Responsible for international SEO strategies. He has strongly analytical approach to online marketing supported by over 12 years of experience. Previously associated with IT, motorsport, tobacco and financial markets. He has been building Delante for 5 years where he is Head of SEO and SEM department.

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