The short answer is yes, Google reviews can help improve search rankings and general SEO practices. Whilst there is much more to it, online customer reviews can be a strong signal to search engines, it communicates trust and authority to the company.
Before technology advanced and Google was yet to introduce its algorithm updates, word of mouth was the go-to for consumers. Well, fast forward to now, the new way of purchasing goods. Word of mouth has taken its toll and transformed into the region of online reviews.
In this GrowTraffic Blog, we are going to discuss the impact of Google reviews on SEO, whether you should Reply to them and some tips to follow to gain more reviews.
Do Ratings and Reviews Impact SEO?
Search engines value feedback, they’re not just listening to what you say about yourself. In fact, they value your stakeholder’s opinions and ratings higher. A recent study that was conducted on 30,000 online businesses found that their SEO rankings improved significantly because of getting more customer reviews.
How Do We Know That Reviews Help Search Rankings?
When Google updated its algorithm assessing one website, they came up with a ranking system that is called EAT – Expertise, Authority, Trust.
In measuring that “T” in EAT, Google reviews play a key role. Positive reviews from real-life local customers send a signal to Google that your business has the trustworthiness the algorithm is looking for.
Last year, Google decided to ban anonymous reviews without profiles being attached to them. Google wanted authentic reviews from real customers, some companies suffered from this update and as a result, their search engine rankings dropped.
Why Do Reviews Matter For SEO?
You’ve probably tried to figure out why reviews matter for SEO and come across graphs and charts and the effect it has on their website. We are going to outline to you three relatively straightforward explanations as to why Google reviews do help your rankings.
Google Trusts Your Customers More Than You
Maybe, I’m exaggerating a little, but the fact is Google relies on signals to determine whether your website should rank good or not. We’ve noticed this with the importance of links.
When your site receives backlinks from another relevant site, Google deems this as an endorsement of trust and rewards you with a higher ranking. The same concept applies to consumer reviews, it tells Google that your business is real and people have interacted with you. This will help potential customers searching search engines find the most relevant to their query.
Google Likes To Read/Crawl
Google crawls your website to understand your business. The more content that is available to read, and optimised, allows Google to know more about your business. The more genuine reviews, whether that be from Google My Business or another website like Trustpilot, gives Google fresh content and a greater understanding of your business.
Great Reviews Generate More Traffic
Like I’ve previously mentioned, people trust word of mouth. Even though it has moved to online reviews, the principles have stayed the same. Let me put it to you this way. If you’re searching for a product and you have three potential companies to buy from. One has a 2-star rating, another 4 stars and the last one 5 stars, which one are you going to pick?
SEO rankings have long been known to be influenced by click through rates. If a high percentage of consumers click on your website, Google assumes you’re doing something right and will reward you with a higher ranking.
How to Handle Negative Google Reviews
You should always respond to reviews even If you get a negative customer one. Use it as an opportunity to make amends and win back that customer.
Many business owners chose to respond to negative reviews in an unprofessional manner. Don’t be that person or business. Instead, comment directly on the review, go the extra mile and give them quality customer service.
Just think about it, you can kill two birds with one stone. Winning back what would be a former customer and effectively cancelling out the bad review. You’ll be surprised at how many customers will change their tune after you reach out and listen to their concerns.
The impact of reviews on SEO ranking cannot be undermined. Customers, now more than ever, rely on online ratings and reviews to assess the brand reputation and quality of their product or service. It’s safe to say that many positive, yet authentic reviews would result in higher rankings on SERPs.
GrowTraffic is a multi-award-winning digital marketing agency based in Lancashire and Yorkshire. We specialise in SEO, whilst also providing a wide range of digital marketing services.
If you would like to increase your Google reviews, get in touch with our team today. You can call us on 0161 706 0012 or email us at [email protected].