The simple answer to this question is yes. Your customers’ reviews go a long way in helping your local SEO and your business rank high on Google. Gone are the days where local businesses rely on word-of-mouth exclusively; online reviews are much more important. In short though, it’s all about playing by Google’s playbook and using the tools that Google provides to improve the user experience of Google users. If you tick those boxes, Google will most certainly reward you with better rankings.
Far too often as an SEO agency, we find clients that have a boring Google Business profile with no up-to-date information, zero reviews and a lack of [SEO Optimised] products or services uploaded. This in Google’s eyes does not look great, can make your business appear relatively dormant and subsequently hinder your ability to rank on Google Search. Play their game people! At the end of the day, this is often the first thing users see when Googling for a service or product, so well and truly think of this as your Shop Window and sell yourself!
To give an example, this one of Atomic Digital Marketing’s Google Business Profiles!
- We collect reviews for all of our different office locations on different Google Business profiles we have.
- Keep information 100% up-to-date
- Ability to request quotes through Google
- SEO Optimised products and services uploaded
- Frequent social posting to Google Business
- COVID Restriction information included.
Why Do Google Reviews Affect SEO Ranking?
In short, it all comes back to whether you do or don’t improve the user experience on Google. A content-rich, review filled Google Business profile will often always have a better chance of ranking than one that is bare.
Customers need to see reviews for your products or services before they can trust your business. Google uses your customers’ reviews to point potential customers to your website, but they must be reviews that it can read. Business websites with a sufficient amount of content relevant to the user’s search supersede those lacking in such content.
Google reviews and SEO ranking are interdependent to give a business the best possible outcome. One of the fastest ways to make your website visible is to validate your website with positive reviews.
Three main factors affect the ranking of any business website:
The relevance and distance factors come into play when Google ranks a local business’s website within the user’s immediate region. However, a business with hundreds of reviews will outrank any local business. This is why the prominence factor is important. So, for your business to have more prominence, you need as many reviews as you can have on your website.
Why Do Reviews Matter For SEO?
Most people do not think reviews are as important to SEO as on-page SEO, link building and content marketing, but they really are. Your on-page SEO could be absolutely on-point but a lack of reviews in combination could still lead to poor SEO.
According to research conducted by Local SEO Guide in 2018, Google My Business reviews come second among the factors that improved a local business’s performance. The top factor is the business’s total number of organic rankings. Here are the reasons why reviews matter for SEO ranking:
Google Trusts Your Customers More Than It Trusts You
Truthfully, people would rather go for a product or service that others have reviewed than a product without any testimony. In the same way, Google works to provide users with relevant information that would guide them through getting the right products or services to provide a greater user experience. Another way Google provides users with relevant information is by checking for other websites that link to a business website. It tells Google that the business is legit and users can trust it. So, Google reads all the recent and relevant information that will help the user’s search.
Great Reviews Lead to Better CTR
In a world where hundreds of businesses offer the same services, reviews are important to help you make informed purchases. For example, if you have the option to choose between two businesses offering the same service, you would most likely choose the one with the most reviews.
So, having a business website with great reviews increases your Click Through Rate (CTR). The more customers that click the link to your website, the higher your chances of getting them to buy your products or services. Besides, Google uses the click-through rate of a business website to determine if it is offering something valuable to its users or not.
Google Loves to Read
One of the ways Google searches for the best results is to read through thousands of websites and match the best possible result to the user’s search. So, the more content on your website, the easier it is for Google to rank it highly. Leveraging customers’ reviews will help your business website get valuable content that Google can read.
Additionally, Google uses the keywords on your website to match the keywords searched by the user. So, reviews are one of the ways your customers are unintentionally describing your products or services to Google. Interestingly, the more Google knows about your website, the more ranking you get and the more customers you are likely to pull to your website.
How Can Businesses Manage Online Reviews For Higher Rankings?
The more quality service you render to customers, the easier it is for them to leave your business a positive review. However, you are now left with the problem of how to manage your online reviews effectively. There are several ways you can go about this, and one of them is to incorporate reviews across your websites. Some of the tools you can use to integrate your reviews are Kudobuzz or Yotpo.
Getting positive reviews is key to building trust among potential customers and driving sales for the business. As a business owner, Google reviews should be part of your SEO to help your business rank on Google. If you need assistance with their your SEO, collecting reviews or even strategies to deal with negative reviews, get in touch – we will be happy to help!