SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Customer reviews: The not-so-secret SEO tactic

Last Updated: November 6, 2017

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No matter what industry you’re in or what your business does, you want to be as close as possible to the top of a search engine results page (SERP). And of course, SEO is what gets you there, taking into consideration more than 200 ranking signals, such as the quality of your content, backlinks, mobile optimization, and keywords. While these traditional SEO tactics have dominated strategies since the formation of Google, customer reviews are another ranking signal hot on their heels, now making up 7% of Moz’s localized organic ranking factors. Reviews provide search marketers with a huge opportunity to go above and beyond. But how do they enhance SEO? You could say that customer reviews piggyback on one of the most important ranking factors: the ‘freshness’ of your website content. By providing your business with a continuous supply of fresh, unique user-generated content (UGC), webcrawlers know your site is active, driving your website listing higher, achieving Google organic stars, and increasing website conversions. Content produced in association with Feefo. Obtaining organic stars But just having reviews isn’t enough. Ideally, your business should show Google organic stars, the recognizable rich snippets that help your website stand out in search listings. These stars have been proven to increase click-through rate (CTR) by up to 30%, according to Search Engine Land. In order to achieve that seal of Google approval when hosting third-party reviews on your website, it must be marked-up appropriately with the correct schema: code that helps algorithms return more informative results about websites. There are three key types, focused on homepages, specific products and a business’ individual locations. Coupled with the right schema, your reviews could also appear in Google’s Knowledge Panel the box that appears on the right of search results with relevant business information. So even if you have reviews, you still won’t show those stars without the correct schema markup on your website. Fighting fake reviews Reviews may add credibility, but what if they’re fake? It’s not uncommon to see fraudulent review-writing services advertised, despite crackdowns (and lawsuits) against prolific offenders. Consumers are practical; they know that nothing is truly perfect and are skeptical of products and services with uniformly positive feedback. Often believing five-star reviews may be too good to be true, people are more likely to be influenced by ratings between 4.2 and 4.5 out of 5, according to GetApp. Invitation-only platforms negate the threat of fake reviews by only soliciting them from genuine customers who have purchased products from their clients, rather than leaving it open for anyone to leave a review. When people know that your reviews have all been left by genuine customers, the power of that relationship will help you build confidence and sales. Reviews and revenue Most people factor online reviews into…

Source: Customer reviews: The not-so-secret SEO tactic

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Mike O Brien

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