How a customer reviews strategy can impact SEO
Chris Bullick, Managing Director & Head of Marketing Services for Pull Digital, delivered an interesting presentation at Brighton SEO last week about how reviews can affect purchasing decisions and what this means for SEO.
When we discuss the idea of adding reviews to a brand’s strategy, here are the most persuasive stats to support the decision:
“88% of consumers trust online reviews like personal recommendations” – on reviews and SEO #BrightonSEO
— Search Engine Watch (@sewatch) September 2, 2016
Google’s ranking factors are changing all the time and there seems to be an increasing focus on content, uniqueness, device friendliness and social sharing.
Thus, every new piece of content should be:
It is estimated that review signals account for 9.8% of the total ranking factors, which means that they cannot be ignored during SEO, especially if a brand can benefit from their use.
Content is never enough and reviews make a great form of user-generated-content, coming directly from users – which is more influential for future customers.
What’s more, it’s a great form of relevant content and they should always be encouraged.
As reviewers are buyers of your products, the language they use is similar to the one your target audience will use. Thus, the consistent flow of reviews will help you target more traffic through the right keywords, coming directly from your own customers.
What if a series of impressive reviews helps your product become popular, increasing both the social reach, but also the sales? How about incorporating reviews to your social strategy as a way to prove the love for your products.
Google takes into consideration the rating of sites, favouring those having the highest ratings. It’s your social proof and authority that reviews can boost, which means that it’s not just about adding reviews to your site, you should also to focus on how to improve them.
When star ratings are displayed in Google search results, prospective customers can instantly judge whether they can trust your product enough to visit your site. This helps increase the traffic, and possibly the sales, but it’s not always easy to achieve it.
Google relies on specific third-party review sites to determine your star rating. You should have at least 30 unique reviews during the past year, with an average of 3.5 or higher.
Star ratings may lead to an increased conversion rate of up to 17%, which is a great incentive to research more about them, along with Google’s guidelines on how to be eligible.
As more people start searching for the reviews of your products, there will be more opportunities to rank higher in SERPS, increasing the chances of seeing more searches in the form of [product name] + review.
This may serve as an additional opportunity to reach your potential audience in the most relevant way: right when they are searching for more details about your products.
According to Chris Bullick, here are the best ways to use reviews for your brand’s strategy: