How Customer Reviews Can Improve Your SEO

by Winston
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There’s a lot of different ways you can improve your SEO efforts, but did you know customer reviews are amongst the most powerful?

SEO is most commonly associated with marketing content. However, it actually stretches far beyond this. Customer reviews have proven to be extremely important in terms of boosting your SEO efforts.

The importance of customer reviews is undisputed when it comes to SEO and helping a potential customer decide to do business with you. Equally as important, make sure you respond to both positive and negative reviews to show your customers you care.

In fact:

  • If one negative review shows up for your company during a search, it could cause you to lose up to 22% of potential customers?
  • According to Marketing Land, a massive 90% of consumers admit positive reviews have influenced them to make a purchase.

But here are 3 ways customer reviews can help as far as search optimization…

  1. Increasing your rankings with fresh, unique content

One thing search engines look out for when ranking websites is fresh, unique content. Customer reviews provide this, especially if you encourage them on a regular basis and are placing them on your website.

  1. Better mobile visibility

The amount of consumers turning to their mobile phones to search for local businesses has increased dramatically over the years. Did you know that businesses with positive reviews are shown higher up in MOBILE search engine rankings than those without them? The more reviews you receive, the better you will rank on mobile search.

  1. Search engines love companies with positive reviews

 It isn’t just the fresh and unique content that search engines look at with customer reviews. They’re also interested in whether you’re getting positive reviews; especially local search engines. Google Local/Map searches always show businesses with the most positive ratings first in order to increase customer satisfaction. So those with higher ratings will be given preference and will therefore draw in a lot more traffic.

How many review sites is your business focused on? One? Two? None at all?

There’s been a lot of buzz in the marketing world surrounding the importance of consumer reviews on SEO and how they can significantly impact a business. But if you’re currently relying upon just one review channel, you’re not getting the most out of this lucrative opportunity.

Your customers don’t just hang around in one place. This applies both offline and online. So finding out exactly where your customers are leaving reviews, is essential to your marketing efforts, regardless of what industry you are in.

Google is extremely popular for local business reviews; and so is Yelp. However, there are plenty of other review sites out there that can also be critical to your business, such as FourSquare, Urban Spoon, Angie’s List, and more.

Does your industry have its own local authority review sites?

If so, you should be focused on those too. Social media sites, such as Facebook, also have strong review sections. You can also try and Bing. As you can see, there are plenty of platforms out there where customers can potentially comment and rate your company. So it makes sense to have an updated, accurate, and complete business profile on as many as possible.

Once you know exactly where your customers are, you can then work on getting them to leave a review for your company. Of course, you can’t get good reviews without providing excellent products and services. Try to go above and beyond for your customers and you’ll automatically start seeing more positive reviews being added across the various sites.

If you’ve been struggling to get online reviews

It can be tempting to pay customers to leave one. Don’t do it. Yes, reviews of your company have a significant impact on how many new customers you receive. So it seems only natural to do whatever it takes to get them. Unfortunately, what many businesses don’t realize is that paying for a review can have serious consequences on their reputation.

The reason consumers look at business reviews is because they’re looking for an unbiased, true reflection of what to expect if they choose to buy from the company. If it’s discovered your business has paid for reviews, it eliminates consumer trust.

Losing consumer trust is damaging enough in itself

Did you know fake or paid reviews could also be illegal? If you’re found guilty of faking your reviews, your business could be either be hit with a huge fine, or it could even be shut down.

Paying for fake or positive reviews isn’t just misleading to the consumer, but it can skew your ability to get real insight on your products and services. The whole purpose of receiving reviews is so you get an idea of how happy customers are with your business. Real, honest reviews give you the opportunity to know what you should be doing differently and which aspects of your business your customers are happy with.

The implications of paid reviews are devastating for companies so you need to ask yourself whether it’s worth the risks. You may benefit in the short term, but in the longterm it could cause significant damage to your reputation.

There’s no reason to pay for something that you could probably get simply just by asking your happy customers. Don’t know where to start? Contact me and I’ll help you discover the best ways to encourage genuine, positive reviews that will boost your reputation and your profits.

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