Putting Stock in the Valuable Power of Online Reviews to Boost SEO Performance

Putting Stock in the Valuable Power of Online Reviews to Boost SEO Performance by Carrie Wick

Online customer reviews still remain a relatively uncharted part of the marketing landscape. So uncharted in fact, that some business owners don’t even recognize them as a legitimate marketing tool, one that can significantly increase your SEO standing. According to a Yodle survey, as much as 23% of small business owners don’t see any value in collecting client reviews. This juxtaposed with 90% of customers who read online opinions to inform themselves and to influence their purchasing decision clearly points to what merchants need to pay attention to.[1]

It’s important to note that influencing decisions of your customer base is not the sole purpose of online sentiments. The murky waters of marketing go much deeper and you can find quite a few SEO treasures there. Review testimonials can boost many areas of your website’s performance in search results and ultimately increase your turnover rates. Google rankings seem to be governed by sophisticated algorithms but can yield great results once you have got a hold of them. Customer reviews therefore are, and will remain, the most vital of digital currencies for the future and the time to invest in them if not already done so is yesterday.

For the most part, the vast bulk of businesses out there — especially those thickly invested in the digital and mobile marketing landscape — are perpetually seeking insights on how they can advance their placement in search engine results. Put your money where your customers’ mouths are with these 4 reasons why online customer experiences will elevate your business’s SEO performance.

Extra unique content

Most online business owners see unique content as product descriptions and ads written by themselves. While they provide numerous SEO benefits, Google doesn’t favor them as the best, most relevant kind of content. The best boost for your website’s rankings can be achieved through UGC (User Generated Content). For online businesses this means customer reviews. They very often contain relevant keywords, drawing attention to your product or brand but their biggest strength lies in how Google perceives them. Each opinion written by a client contains unique wording and style. Search engines recognize this and prioritize your websites over other outlets. Search spiders favor submitted content as it’s more reliable and harder to manufacture by review writing services, which makes it more valuable to users searching for specific information. It’s important to engage your customers and keep new reviews coming, as fresh content attributes to the relevancy of your business. According to a market study carried out by MOZ, the quality, velocity, and diversity amongst online reviews can boost your ranking up by nearly 10% — a big improvement for a relatively low input.

Reviews answer questions

The main purpose of search engines is to answer questions and to find relevant information. It’s easy to predict they will favor content which does exactly just that. With 67% of customers who actively look for reviews online, it’s even easier to guess which websites will be displayed first. Internet users prefer to find information directly on the company’s website. If you don’t have reviews integrated, your potential clientele will continue looking on different opinion outlets and your SEO position will sink. By deploying buyers’ reviews, your website becomes the answer-hub for information about your products and services.

Local search potential & Rich Snippets

In the world where the number of mobile-only users (11.3%) has outgrown the number of desktop-only users (10.6%), business owners should start paying more attention to maximizing their SEO efforts for mobile, localization-based search. Having your ads show up in the local results is one thing, but having them noticed is another. Rich Snippets are a powerful tool by Google to make your product stand out from the crowd of businesses and against the backdrop of plain text. Some independent review collecting customer experience companies, like eKomi, offer Google-integrated reviews through their partnership with the search engine giant. Added pictures and star ratings are reported to increase the CTR by up to 17%.

Avoid fake reviews

Google is constantly improving their spam-detecting algorithms to tackle the problem of fake reviews. Unfortunately, it’s quite common for brands to hire third-party companies to write unauthenticated positive reviews for their products. Not only are those rather easy to distinguish by regular customers, they’re also picked up on by Google and excluded from relevant search results, thus decreasing their SEO potential. Effective content should be first-hand and unaffected by the business in question. That’s why it makes sense to hire an independent customer experience-collecting company. Increased authenticity means credibility and higher position in rankings. Even bad opinions can turn out to be helpful when managed carefully. By responding to negative reviews you can showcase your initiative, provide customers with a better experience, and ultimately generate new content.

In conclusion, business owners should maximize their efforts to drive customer reviews acquisition. The best way to do it is simply to ask. Happy customers are very likely to submit their opinion and unsatisfied clients will probably do it anyway. Encourage content about a specific product or location if your business has multiple branches. Detailed reviews score better in their SEO performance so it’s in your best interest to ask for them soon after the purchase. Their quality, velocity, and diversity leads to higher visibility, helping your business to perform better and to increase your turnover rate. Look into a solution adapted to your needs and harvest the benefits.