Do Business Reviews Affect SEO?

Reviews & SEO

When businesses sell services and products, customers form opinions based on their satisfaction. These opinions are communicated through a variety of mediums, including word of mouth advertisement, online reviews, and more. And in today’s age, it is more important than ever to make sure these opinions are positive.

A bad review can put a sting on a company’s reputation, making it crucial to address all negative reviews in a timely manner. Not only do positive customer reviews help build customer trust but they can also help improve SEO. Let’s take a look at the true value of customer reviews for SEO.

It is important to gather more positive online reviews to help increase the business’ star rating and drown out the noise of negative reviews. There are sometimes dodgy tactics employed to improve reviews but these will only get you in trouble from Google. So don’t buy Google reviews, don’t pay employees to leave reviews and certainly don’t create fake accounts to boost your reviews. Real reviews are what customers trust and they can almost definitely see when something isn’t right.

Online Customer Review Statistics

  • 40% of consumers will decide whether to make a purchase based on reading between 1-3 customer reviews.
  • 48% will visit a company’s website if they read a positive review of the business.
  • 68% of consumers build greater trust for companies that have both good and bad reviews.

How Do Customer Reviews Boost SEO Efforts?

Online reviews help provide social proof. Consumers want reassurance that the purchasing choices they are making are the right ones. Take for example a person who wants to buy a new digital camera. After reading through reviews, the consumer determines the camera he is thinking about purchasing has a 4-star rating; this rating gives him the extra boost he needs to go through with the purchase.

From a local viewpoint, online reviews will help a consumer determine which local businesses they want to make purchases from. In fact, 88% of consumers will read reviews to develop an opinion about the quality of local companies. But the question is, how do these reviews impact SEO efforts?

There are many factors that impact SEO efforts, with three of the most important being:

  • Google Reviews: These impact SEO efforts more than any other type of review. The rating scores that businesses obtain through these reviews act as an essential signal for Google in regards to how this major search engine ranks a company’s site on its search engine results pages.
  • Google My Business listing: This type of listing makes it simple to obtain customer reviews. More importantly, it makes it simple to respond to both positive and negative reviews; this engagement increases customer trust and loyalty, and even more important, it increases local SEO visibility.
  • Wording: Ideally, you will want customer reviews to include valuable keywords. For example, if you are aiming to get high rankings for the long-tail keyword ‘best flooring store in Melbourne‘, then you will want your customer reviews to include this phrase.

Collect Reviews To Boost Social SEO

In addition to Google Reviews and a Google My Business listing, obtaining reviews through other popular review sites is essential to SEO efforts. Some of the best sites include TripAdvisor, Yellowpages and Zomato. Getting reviews through these sites can lead to the following benefits:

  • Signal to Google and other search engines the legitimacy of a company.
  • With positive legitimacy comes greater search visibility.
  • Help prove the opinions found in Google Reviews.

Companies need to realize that fake reviews can be detrimental to a company and is why real reviews from real customers are essential to SEO efforts. However it can be difficult to delete fake Google Reviews when they are detected so it is best to always try and get more positive reviews to help outweigh the negative ones. Fortunately, there are several avenues for attracting reviews from customers.

One of the best ways to secure customer SEO reviews is to ask for them, both in-store and online. Any time a customer makes a purchase, asking for a review should be a top priority. The reviews can be completed at the time of purchase, or if preferred, the customer can be given a web address to visit to complete the review at a time that is more convenient.

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