There’s nothing ground-breaking about customer reviews for businesses. In fact, businesses have using reviews for years to serve their customers better.
Of course, customers play a key role in running a successful business, and happy customers often tell their family and friends about one if they have had a good experience. However, gone are the days where keyword-stuffed content and alt-tags were enough to help your website rank. Google is consistently changing, and customer reviews have become a crucial part of SEO and search engine marketing overall.
So, if you are yet to start collecting customer reviews, then now is the time to start. Let’s take a look at why.
More reviews, more keywords
The chances are that you have never considered your customers as content creators, but once you have finished reading this piece, you might think differently. Instead of seeing your customer reviews as just feedback, see them as content because that how Google sees them. Think of it this way, every time a customer leaves a review for you; Google is provided with new content to crawl. Whether the review is good or bad, it’s highly likely to contain keywords and key phrases that are relevant to your business.
Google trusts reviews
In the past few years, one thing has remained consistent in the world of SEO; the importance of high-quality links. With reviews, the same principle applies. Positive reviews tell Google that your business and website is of high quality and therefore, highly valuable. So, does it really come as a surprise that Google shows businesses with a lot of positive reviews first?
Social media affects ranking factor
It comes as no surprise that social media has become an influential factor when it comes to a website’s ranking. And, it makes sense considering that social media is now the driving force behind the majority of web traffic. Google tracks user behaviour and can actually determine whether a social media user’s discussion about a website is positive or negative. Therefore, it makes complete sense that the search engine giant will increasingly rely on social media users to tell their algorithms what websites are good and what ones are bad.
The local SEO benefits
When it comes to reviews, we know that they have a big impact on SEO, but for local ranking, they play an even more important role. This is all to do with the way a local business review is laid out. They contain much less information than standard reviews do. They become a key indication for local searchers and help you to distinguish yourself from the local competition within your community. Think about it this way. If you are shopping in your local high street and search on Google for ‘coffee shops near me’ you will be greeted by a lot of search results. What the best way to determine which shop is better? By reading their customer reviews, of course.
They impact bounce rates
As many marketers and SEO specialists are aware, a high bounce rate can have a huge effect on a website’s ranking. Reviews increase both customer knowledge and trust. Therefore, users are likely to spend more time browsing your website and be convinced enough by your content and offering to convert into a paying customer. The result? A lower bounce rate and a better position in Google.
Are reviews the new backlinks?
A review that comes from a customer that has a Google account and is active on social media can have a positive impact. We actually believe that in the future, the way Google ranks websites will all be down to customer reviews.
All aboard the review train
SEO is one of the fastest moving digital marketing channels out there. So, you can’t afford to have a strategy that is stagnant or stationary; you need reviews to stay ahead of the competition. Whether you offer a product or a service or a bit of both, reviews will influence how people interact with your website, which directly and indirectly impacts your SEO.