Here’s 8 Quick Ways Reviews Impact SEO
(don’t worry, we’ll give you the tools to make your mark later in the blog so keep reading!!)

  1. Google Knows They Can Trust You
    Positive reviews signal trust and enhance search rankings.
  2. Reviews Boost Local SEO
    Positive reviews will improve your visibility in local search results.
  3. Quality Prospects Are More Likely to Click
    Gain more positive reviews and you’ll notice an increase in your CTR.
  4. Online Reviews Are Social Proof
    People trust people before they trust the internet.
  5. Reviews Give You Consistent, Fresh Content
    Google loves fresh content, but it also showcases authenticity. 
  6. Users Use Your Keywords For You
    User reviews likely include relevant keywords with their natural language.
  7. Provide Search Engines with Rich Snippets
    Snippets may feature reviews and this can make your search listing stand out.
  8. Gain a Competitive Advantage
    Numerous positive reviews give a competitive edge.

You know online reviews are critical to your business’ success, not just because they show prospects that customers are singing your praises. Online reviews also play a key role in your SEO. Not only do they prove to Google that you’re a legitimate business, but they also bump you to the top of local searches, help you double down on keywords, and give you an advantage over the competition (who may not have the insider knowledge that they need to do a big review push for SEO!).

To dig deep into the science and art of online reviews, we went straight to the expert: Red Thinking Senior Website and SEO Specialist Molly Hall. With an SEO career that spans nearly a decade, she understands which pieces of the internet puzzle matter most in maximizing SEO, and now she’ll go more in depth on the  eight reasons she always recommends her clients prioritize reviews when they decide to invest in SEO.

  1. Google Knows They Can Trust You

Search engines, like Google, want to give their users the best possible user experience. If users are happy with them, they keep using them, and the search world continues to churn along nicely. This doesn’t just refer to their experience of using the search engine, but also whether they are getting the results they want with each search. Users want to know that the information provided is legitimate and useful. Reviews help prove that point. 

For instance, if a user searches for an accounting firm in McLean, VA, and the first result is a firm with 22 Google reviews, most of which are positive, they feel good about their search. That’s what Google wants.

  1. Reviews Boost Local SEO

If you have a physical location that is customer-facing or work primarily with clients in a specific region, then local SEO should be a critical piece of your marketing plan. And, the best way to boost that local SEO, is often through reviews. These positive reviews will improve your visibility in local search results. “Local search algorithms take into account factors like location based searches and customer reviews,” says Molly.

It’s important to remember that part of this local component lies with you and your team. Optimized Google My Business and Yelp profiles will help guide people towards leaving reviews and give them a straightforward place to do so.

  1. Quality Prospects Are More Likely to Click 

As you gain more positive reviews, you’ll notice an increase in your click through rate (CTR). People appreciate knowing that their peers trust a business. It gives the business a reference point when prospects see that others took the time to write a review, vouch for the business as legitimate, and explain why they were happy with them. This makes them more likely to click through from your listing on Google or another search engine. 

This dynamic creates a cycle — higher CTRs let search engines know that your content is relevant, which then improves your ranking.

  1. Online Reviews Are Social Proof

Piggybacking off the idea that prospects love hearing from their peers, positive reviews also serve as social proof. Think about an online review the same way you would someone sitting in a restaurant telling their friend about your business or an influencer posting on their Instagram. It’s a one-to-many version of social proof and it reinforces your credibility. 

  1. Reviews Give You Consistent, Fresh Content

We know posting new content to your website regularly is a good way to show Google that you’re providing consistent and valuable information for users. But we also all know that the time and effort involved can be hard to come by (hey, we help with that!). Utilizing reviews across platforms ensures a dynamic and efficient approach to maintaining audience engagement and trust! 

Consider adding customer reviews to your website as testimonials– not only will this give you that fresh content we mentioned Google loves, but it would be a showcase for authenticity. Take it a step further by highlighting them on social media– creating an Instagram Stories highlight for example or even sharing them in a newsletter. This not only boosts engagement but also provides genuine insights into you and your brand. 

  1. Users Use Your Keywords For You

You probably have a list of SEO keywords that you’ve incorporated throughout your site and content, but, of course, you don’t want to be dinged for keyword stuffing. However, users can use your keywords for you, and they’ll use them in a way that feels natural, relevant, and speaks to how strong your brand and value proposition truly is. 

“User reviews often contain natural language and keywords related to the business, products and/or services. This can contribute to the website’s keyword relevance, helping it rank for relevant search queries,” explains Molly.

  1. Provide Search Engines with Rich Snippets

A rich snippet is a summary of a webpage’s content that appears in search engine results. They’re there to give you a more informative and visually appealing preview of a website’s content. “Search engines display rich snippets to showcase additional information like star ratings, number of reviews, etc,” says Molly.

  1. Gain a Competitive Advantage

You’re reading this blog post, so you know the story now. You know that online reviews are critical for SEO, and, now, you’re going to funnel every customer or client towards leaving a review after their next positive experience. But your competitors may not realize that, and they may assume they’re set with just a few five-star reviews. Meanwhile, you know it’s a numbers game. 

Continuing to Track the Impact of Reviews

We know the online landscape is always changing, which is why it’s critical to have experts by your side to help navigate the evolution of SEO and what matters today vs. what matters tomorrow. And, regardless of industry, we also know the online landscape is only going to become increasingly competitive. 

Above all else, your users need to be able to find you organically. Paying for the top sponsored spot on Google isn’t always the answer. Consumers are getting savvier, and often they’re going to rely on peer social proof over paid ads. That’s where SEO and online reviews give you the extra edge. 

“Investing time to encourage and curate reviews will help ensure that those looking for your business or service can not only find you easier through organic search efforts but also understand that you’re legitimate,” says Molly. People don’t want to spend their hard earned money on a scam or a business that isn’t going to value them, and online reviews through Google, Yelp, and other search engines show you’re the real deal. 

And, if you’re ready to invest in optimizing your strategy for earning reviews or your overall SEO strategy, let’s talk. Email and let’s get the conversation started!