It’s no secret that positive online reviews can improve a company’s bottom line. A few good reviews can make potential customers more likely to do business with you, and one bad review can tank your sales. But what most people don’t realize is that online reviews also play a big role in how well your website ranks on search engines. Good reviews can attract new customers, while bad reviews can push them away. Likewise, strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help a website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), while poor SEO can make it harder for potential customers to find the site in the first place. In short, they’re both essential ingredients for a successful online business. But what is the connection between online reviews and SEO? How do they impact each other?
Google and other search engines use algorithms to determine which websites should show up first in search results. One of the many factors these algorithms take into account is the number and quality of online reviews for a given website. So, if you have a lot of positive reviews, you’re more likely to rank higher in search results. And if you have negative reviews, you could be pushed down the list. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your online reputation and make sure you’re doing everything you can to get positive reviews. Here’s a look at how customer reviews can impact your business for the better.
When customers leave reviews, they are basically giving your business a vote of confidence which tells search engines that you are an authoritative source in your industry. Good customer reviews will improve your Click-Through Rate (CTR), which is how often searchers click on your website after seeing it in the search results. CTR is a key ranking factor for SEO because it tells search engines that people are finding your website helpful and relevant to their search query. Additionally, more and more consumers are looking at online reviews before making a purchase, so having good reviews can directly impact your bottom line by convincing potential customers to do business with you.
Bad reviews can also have an impact on your business, but it’s not all doom and gloom. While you obviously don’t want customers to leave bad reviews, they can actually be an opportunity to show off your customer service skills. Responding to bad reviews in a timely and professional manner shows potential customers that you care about your clients and are willing to go above and beyond to resolve any issues they may have had.
How Reviews Impact SEO
There are two ways that reviews can impact a website’s SEO: indirectly and directly. Indirectly, reviews can impact SEO by affecting CTRs from SERPs. If a listing on a SERP has a high CTR, it’s a good indicator to Google that the listing is relevant and useful for searchers. This, in turn, can help to improve the listing’s position on the SERP. So, if a website has good reviews, searchers are more likely to click on its listing when it appears in search results—which can ultimately help to improve the site’s SEO.
Reviews can also have a direct impact on SEO by impacting the site’s crawlability. Online reviews are often published on third-party websites (like Google My Business or Yelp), which means that they exist outside of the businesses’ main website domain. As a result, Google’s crawlers may have difficulty discovering them when crawling the web. To get around this, businesses can add review schema markup to their website code, which will help Google’s crawlers to find and index reviews— thus improving the visibility of both the business’ website and its reviews in search results.
How to Get More Online Reviews
There are a few different ways to encourage customers to leave reviews. The best way is simply to ask them. You can do this via email, social media, or even in person. Make sure you incentivize them by offering something in return, such as a discount on their next purchase or a free product sample. You also need to add review icons on your website that link directly to your Google My Business or Yelp page. And don’t forget about review sites like Angi, HomeAdvisor, and TripAdvisor—if you have customers in those industries, getting reviews on those sites can really help your SEO.
How SEO Impacts Reviews
Just as reviews can impact SEO, SEO can also impact reviews—albeit indirectly. The higher a website ranks in the SERP, the more likely it is to receive organic traffic from searchers looking for its products or services. And since organic traffic generally converts at a higher rate than other types of traffic (like paid traffic), this increased visibility can lead to more customers for the business—and more opportunities for those customers to leave reviews. So while SEO doesn’t directly generate customer reviews, it can indirectly lead to more of them by increasing website traffic from potential customers who are likely to convert into actual customers.
Online reviews and SEO are two important factors that impact each other in several ways. Strong reviews can help improve a website’s CTR and visibility in SERPs, while poor reviews might have the opposite effect. Meanwhile, good SEO can lead to increased organic traffic from potential customers—and more customer review opportunities as a result—while poor SEO might make it harder for searchers to find your site in the first place. Therefore, businesses should aim to create quality content and optimize their website for both online review success and strong search engine performance if they want to achieve long-term success online.