You know about the importance of a fast website, keywords, and links for SEO. Did you know that customer reviews also have an impact on ranking? Read this.
There are endless ways to put a powerful SEO strategy together.
Many companies start with the basics – they research keywords, see what competitors are doing, and build out their landing pages. After that, there is plenty of creative freedom to decide how to generate new content and where to place it.
But, as you’re busy coming up with new SEO ideas, you need to keep an eye on your company’s day-to-day performance. This includes everything from research and product development to sales fulfilments and customer service.
Otherwise, you may end up with negative customer reviews.
These turn people away as they read what previous customers have been through. More so, a bad review can hinder the SEO rank you’ve worked hard to achieve.
Here are some of the ways customer reviews can have a negative or positive effect on your digital marketing efforts.
Reviews Generate Content
You know the keywords you try to implement ever so slyly into your copywriting? Many of those terms and phrases feel natural to your users, and they will type them when writing a review.
This creates more and more signals for Google bots to notice your online presence. Some will be general keywords in your industry while others will boost the use of long-tail keywords on your site.
Both are necessary to your SEO strategy. But, pay attention to how customers are using such phrases in good versus bad reviews.
The good reviews can help push your ranking scores a little bit higher as you continue striving to gain momentum against competitors. Unfortunately, the effects of negative reviews happen much faster, bringing you down in rankings if you aren’t careful.
Reviews Help You Compete in Your Market
Beyond your SERP rank, reviews make a difference in your overall market performance.
Consider this: a user searches for something in your industry and Google supplies them with a list of results. A few results have customer reviews and some have none.
Users are likely to glance at the options without any reviews.
These simply don’t seem as legit as the ones who clearly have a star rating, whether it be good or bad. In fact, a recent study discovered people are more likely to trust customer reviews that have a mix of positive and negative opinions!
This is likely because no company is perfect, so reviews that are only good make tech-savvy consumers think some statements might be made-up for ranking purposes. Not to mention, a few bad reviews help users fully understand what to expect.
Customer Reviews and Local SEO
The positive and negative effects mentioned thus far are even more valuable in the world of local SEO.
Think back to the concept of having targeted keywords used in customer reviews.
When such terms use local references – like your city, borough, or even county – this reinforces your local SEO efforts. It creates truly organic content that supports the SEO efforts you’ve planned and perfected.
In addition to the quality of the keywords is the quantity in which they occur.
The more reviews you get on your local business, the stronger your presence becomes to Google. This can help you dominate the local SEO space and even gain strength in your industry as a whole.
Reviews Validate Your Offers
Speaking of quality, consider the real value of what you offer your customers.
Whether you think you have the best home tool kits around or the absolute most delicious bake shop in town, you need something to back these claims up. Sure, the foot traffic you get on a daily basis and the awards you receive each year help.
But, online users need something that convinces them right away.
They are looking for customer reviews to tell them if their search is headed in the right direction or not.
The importance of this is so high that users aren’t even going to your website after reading a positive review anymore. They are skipping this step and choosing to contact you directly or head straight to your brick and mortar location.
Reviews Establish a Connection with Customers
Why the sudden rush of consumers to go from an online search to making a purchase?
Because it’s human nature – they are looking to fulfill a desire and do so as quickly as possible!
SEO rankings are only part of the equation. A search engine fulfills a user’s need to find out more about the product or service they are looking for. It introduces them to the best possible options available.
Reviews seal the deal.
These are what convince customers to pick you over your competitors. Some people will read a handful of reviews before making a final decision. Others will want the result that is geographically closest to them and the most well-reviewed.
Either way, what past customers have to say matters.
Customer reviews make your business feel genuine. Users don’t feel like other people are trying to sell them something. They feel people write reviews because they had an experience with your company that they are passionate about.
When the review is good, a potential new user wants to feel the same thing. They want to get to know you and find out the truth behind the review for themselves.
Manage Your Customer Reviews to Protect Your SEO Efforts
How can you make the most of your positive reviews, and keep negative ones under control? With the help of reputation management.
This is the tool your brand needs to ensure you are always putting your best foot forward. It helps you resolve conflicts with previously unhappy customers while you keep working to create more and more potential new conversions.
Think of reputation management like digital insurance for your brand image and loyalty.
However, keep in mind this is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to turning your general audience into your customers. For more insights on how to better engage your online customers and create conversions, click here.