Here is a statistic for you: 93 percent of consumers use online reviews to educate themselves about which product or service to purchase. If you overlook the value of online reviews and testimonials, you are doing yourself a disservice. In the past, search engines like Google didn’t care about your reputation as much as they do now, and the algorithms have gotten intelligent when it comes to monitoring certain actions and behaviors from the consumers.
This means that online reviews will affect your SEO. Here’s how:
The Consumer Is Usually Right
Think about the relationship between search engine results pages (SERPs) and SEO for a moment. If you want to gain authority, you need to establish links, both inbound and outbound. Google treats online reviews in the same way—by looking at online reviews as a measurement for the quality of your service or product.
Reviews serve as a way for search engine algorithms to tell whether your business or product is legitimate and does what it claims to do. Additionally, positive reviews mean that you are living up to consumer expectations. As a result, your website rises to a higher rank in the SERPs. A negative review or even mixed reviews tells algorithms that your service might not be all it is cracked up to be, and that will lead to a drop in rank.
Whether people are posting about your business or product on a review site like Yelp or Google Maps or Amazon or somewhere else, they are talking about your brand. This means that the brand name and the services you provide become a keyword. Information is disseminated, and that means there is more data out there for search engines to figure out what it is you do.
This benefits you, because it is information that you don’t necessarily have to create. Think of a review as user generated content that points to your reputation and trustworthiness, especially in the local setting.
More Conversions and Web Traffic
At the end of the day, people are always going to go by word of mouth to dictate their actions. A product with several positive reviews is going to be purchased ahead of something with negative reviews or no reviews. Therefore, the more reviews and testimonials that your website, business, or services have, the more appealing it will be to the potential customer.
Higher traffic signals to Google or other search engine algorithms that something is appealing to consumers. You are providing an answer—and Google likes answers. That will increase your rank and your conversion rates. And that is another green SEO light.
To conclude, online reviews help you appeal to both search engines and consumers. They influence how others view your brand, and this can support your credibility, increase brand visibility, and heighten your reputation. If you want to succeed, make sure you are getting positive reviews and feedback!