Why Invest Time in Getting Online Reviews? SEO. SEO. SEO.

Online reviews. Every marketer’s dream and nightmare. They can be dreamy because they can give your product or services third-party credibility and make the sale for you.

And of course, they can be a nightmare because if someone has a negative experience, the whole world can learn about it for years afterwards.

According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal in 2017 :

  • 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews.
  • 97 percent of consumers read online reviews.
  • 73 percent of consumers trust a local business if they have positive reviews.
  • 49 percent of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they’ll use a business.
  • Consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business.

With so much consumer awareness no wonder that Search Engines are paying attention. Moz estimated that Google weighs review signals as having a 13 percent impact for the local map pack and 7 percent for local organic results.

4 Ways Online Reviews Help SEO

1. Increases Likelihood You’ll Rank in Organic Results:

Let’s say you’ve become famous for your poutine and you’ve received many positive reviews about your Poutinerie. Since Google wants to deliver what people are looking for, Google might see your Poutinerie as a possible solution for a “best poutine” related query because so many people clearly loved the poutine they got from you. Google can also connect all of your reviews to your website, which will lead them to show your site more within search results.

2. Impacts Google Local 3-Pack Ranking:

Google’s local search algorithm incorporates third-party data from sites such as Yelp, giving you more credibility and respectability. Positive reviews on third-party directories and review sites will impact whether you’ll have a ranking on Google’s Local 3-Pack, which is the map that points out three local businesses when you make a local search query (such as best poutinerie in Ottawa).

3. Delivers Unique Content:

Online reviews provide a regular does of unique content to your website. Fresh content tells search engines you’re more relevant and have higher authority, giving your site more chance of those pages being ranked (of course you have to have the ability to review on your site). But you can also ask your happy customers who have reviewed you on third-party sites if you can include their review on your own site, or develop it into a case study, or reposting via social media, thereby increasing the unique content on your site.

4. Increases Site Traffic:

For a search query such as “best poutinerie in the city”, no matter how good your poutine, it’s still likely that a third-party site like Yelp will list first, above your restaurant website, since it offers the person a choice and third-party credibility. People often start their search with third-party sites, then end up on your website, therefore the volume of traffic online reviews that are driven to your site will, undoubtedly improve SEO and your SERP ranking. In fact, Yotpo reviewed 30,000 online businesses (with the only common denominator was adding reviews to their site) and found that organic page visits grew from approximately 5k to 8k in a period over 9 months.

A Little Piece of Advice About Negative Reviews

A few negative reviews will not impact SEO. In fact, a few negative reviews can actually help your business because it’s less suspicious than if every review you have is positive. In that same survey by BrightLocal that I mentioned above, 79 percent of consumers have read a fake review. Consumers can be suspicious. Negative reviews are never fake. So, a negative review can create more credibility surrounding positive reviews and if you answer your critic sensibly and timely, you can minimize the impact of a negative review even more. And according to that BrightLocal survey, 30 percent said that how companies respond to reviews is key to their judgement of a business.

All in all, it’s a win-win for businesses if they receive online reviews. Need a strategy to increase your online reviews? Why not reach out to us. We’re available to help info@searchwarrant.ca.

Find out how to use online reviews for paid search.