How many times has a business requested you to drop in your feedback on platforms like Google?
And how many times have you checked out such ratings and reviews before visiting any facility or transacting with them?
In all likelihood, your answer to both questions may be “often.”
Clearly, it highlights the correlation between reviews or ratings and business popularity. But did you know that these ratings and reviews go beyond brand awareness and play a crucial role in determining your SEO performance? Let’s take a look at how they can help with SEO.
Search Engines Trust Reviews
As a business, you could be manipulating data or omitting facts. However, a customer is your direct benefactor and offers an unbiased view. As a result, search engine crawlers grant more credibility to reviews and ratings.
Regardless of whether the review is negative or positive, it offers legitimacy to your operations. It indicates that you have real customers who interact with your website and its product and services. Of course, positive reviews are a stronger indication that your business offers high value and, as such, should feature prominently in its results section. On the other hand, negative reviews could allow you to display that you listen to your clients and give due importance to their opinions.
Ultimately, no matter how much you blow your own trumpet, a single review could tip the scales either way, especially when it comes to purchasing decisions.
Room for Organic Keywords
From a rookie to an SEO expert, everyone knows that keywords play a vital role in determining your search engine ranking.
But here’s the exciting part – search engines determine keywords based on a user’s search patterns. Common and recurring terms get classified as “keywords,” for which you have to battle it out with your competitors.
If your business enjoys hoards of reviews across multiple platforms, your customers would inadvertently brand terms like the location details, product or service names, and other such pointers as keywords! And since these determiners are present for your website organically, your brand name can quickly get to the top!
Maintaining a Hive of Activity
Even though these may be user-generated content, search engines view ratings and reviews as content. As a result, it offers a unique opportunity to involve your customers as content creators and collaborators.
For starters, it offers a wealth of information to the search engine. As a result, the search engines can understand your business and its core offerings. Along the same lines, high volumes of information lend greater clarity to the industrial sector, the region of operation, working hours, etc. Based on this data, the search engines will then connect you with a wider audience!
Simultaneously, even if your blog or website is not actively posting or promoting itself, the relevance and posting frequency of ratings and reviews can help search engine crawlers recognize the activity surrounding your business. Plus, the improved intent match, as indicated by the CTR (click-through-rate), can help you climb the SERP!
Attracting Clicks and Increasing Traffic
Speaking of CTR, here is another aspect where reviews can come to your rescue.
We have mentioned above how good reviews can fetch you, new clients. Since reviews eliminate all the guesswork involved in a purchase-related decision, your prospects will thank you for hosting reviews and ratings – good and bad. And, of course, if they have to choose between two (or more) brands offering the same product or service, they would naturally opt for the one with the better rating.
And how do they exercise this choice? By clicking on its website.
In essence, better reviews mean that you are more likely to register a better CTR. And clicks bear a noticeable impact on SEO. Getting a large number of clicks on your website would tell the search engine that you have something valuable to offer. In return, the search engines will put you at the top spots.
Reduced Bounce Rates and Higher Engagement
It is a well-known fact that high bounce rates can dethrone even the top-rated, branded websites and bury them into anonymity. Naturally, there is a growing need to capture your visitors’ attention and maintain it until they check out.
And while overall reviews of your website or business are crucial, individual reviews of your product or services are equally important, especially in the eCommerce environment.
A significant section of internet users is more likely to purchase from your website if they come equipped with their reviews. It improves consumer knowledge and offers them a well-rounded and holistic overview of the item’s pros and cons without them having to refer to other sources. So, in a way, it helps establish brand trust and retains the consumer’s interest.
A Platform for Interaction
Popular search engines encourage the practice of responding to reviews. Sites like Google My Business emphasize engaging with customers by reading and replying to reviews.
By following this approach, you can benefit your SEO efforts in two main ways.
First, it is nice and considerate of brands to value customer opinions. It makes them feel heard and establishes your image as a customer-centric business. Your remedial actions may inspire a user to update their ratings or change a bad review to a good one!
Next, responding to reviews leaves you enough wiggle room to incorporate keywords, add information, and enrich your profile from your end.
Finally, chatting up your customers also indicates regular activity and adds fresh updates to your website.
So keep interacting with your clients through the medium of reviews and ratings.
SEO is no less than a gamble, and you cannot afford to leave any base uncovered. Reviews and ratings are one such thread in the entire SEO fabric.
The above post highlights how they play a crucial role in boosting your SEO efforts and put you in the digital spotlight. Its role is further heightened for small businesses aiming to capture the top slot in local SEO. That being said, businesses small and large must adopt a proactive approach to accept and encourage customer feedback than treating it as a mere formality.
Sheryl is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at Uplers who has great experience in designing well-defined user journeys across the digital marketing domain. She leverages her digital marketing expertise to help businesses draw significant ROIs.