The digital marketing platform has made businesses available to almost every individual virtually.
The competition among companies offering the same products and services is making customers increasingly swift in their decision-making.
What contributes to their decision-making process? Customer and peer reviews are getting more and more attention.
Customers who want to make a quick decision rely heavily on the information available on the page where they search for businesses that provide solutions to their needs.
One of the biggest factors that help them make a decision to take action is customer reviews paired with a star rating.
So, how does a customer review exactly help your Google ranking if it does at all?
What is Google Ranking?
Search metrics defines Google Rankings in search engine optimization (SEO) as a website’s position on the search engine results page.
Do Google Review Affect SEO?
How a website ends on top of the search engine results pages or on higher rankings depends on several ranking factors such as:
- Number of backlinks
- Sitemap and internal linking
- Usage of keywords in text elements like meta titles or meta descriptions, text, etc.
- Term optimization of content, based on comparison with other documents on the same topic
- URL structure
- Trust assigned to the page
- Page load time (site speed)
- Time on site and bounce rate
- Click-through rate in the SERPs
- Page traffic
- Quality of information
- Cold outreach
- Guest posts
So, you may ask, where do reviews fit in the picture? Do reviews really help Google’s ranking?
It was mentioned earlier how reviews have become an integral part of the decision-making process of customers.
The rate at which customers are writing reviews and referencing them is growing exponentially as fast as the number of review sites has also grown.
But even more important than the influence of reviews on customer decision-making, it has also infiltrated search engine algorithms.
This means it has an impact on a website’s ranking on the search engine results pages. And this works for both local rankings and general results.
How Do Customer Reviews Affect Google Ranking?
Google rankings are a good source of traffic.
When you are at the top of search engine results pages, you are most likely to have higher click-through rates than the ones on the succeeding pages.
This explains why it is important to be at the higher ranks of SERPs.
The better your position, the more likely you will be clicked on by a searcher. Hence, the increase in traffic.
If you’re looking to rank locally, we’ve created a more in-depth post on how to rank on Google Maps.
Now, how can customer reviews impact your ranking in Google search engine results pages?
Let us consider these principles:
How Reviews Impact the Behavior of Your Customers
Understanding how reviews can impact your customer’s thinking and behavior will help you understand how reviews will impact your Google ranking.
Here are some quick stats:
- 95% of people aged 18-34 read reviews before buying from a business
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business
- 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past two weeks
- 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars
- 80% of 18-34-year-olds have written online reviews—compared to just 41% of consumers over 55
- 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 89% of consumers read business’ responses to reviews.
Customer reviews can be one of the most important ways that you can drive traffic to your site without needing to spend money.
When potential customers read your reviews and see 5-star rankings, they are most likely to click your desired action on the page and be engaged with your website or landing page.
In short, they will most likely buy your product or service.
Quality and positive reviews can increase the trust value of your site, further indicating to search engines that your product or service has value because they are loved by your customers.
Improving Local SEO Ranking Factors With Customer Reviews
Moz’s 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors show that organic local search gives a 6.47% weight to customer reviews and 15% for local pack or finder ranking factors.
Reviews are also estimated to make up 10% of the ranking factors in Google.
To further understand this principle, local pack and local finder are local search page displays that show the pins in maps of local businesses.
If you acquire good reviews as a local business, you will perform 15% better in customer search compared to your competitors.
This means you will be more visible in the local pack/finder ranking.
Match Content Against Customers’ Real Search Inquiries
Reviews can help in a long-tail keyword search because they can match your site’s content with real search queries of potential customers.
If your reviews contain keywords that will match a search inquiry, your website will appear in their search.
More User-Generated Content
Search engines like regular new content and if your customers post regular reviews on your pages, they are considered new descriptive content about your product and service.
These reviews are considered user-generated which will increase the relevance of your site in the search queries of other potential customers.
Drive Brand Reputation
A positive review is one of the best ways to boost your site’s online credibility.
This is one place where you can genuinely stand out above your competition. Most companies use online reviews as their priority strategy for their online reputation management.
With honest reviews on your site that boost your online credibility, you are increasing the likelihood that Google will show your site to other customers’ search inquiries for your product or service.
Keep Your Review Posting Process Simple
Make your customers and potential customers happy by keeping the review posting process as simple as possible.
Stick to a few questions that will bring them to write honest reviews containing keywords to increase your probability to appear in search queries.
Create a customer review strategy that will encourage your customers to leave more feedback.
Likewise, include how you will respond to negative reviews if you receive any. Use reputation management tools to automate the process.
Remember, your reviews are evidence that you should be on Google rankings on the first page of the search engine results pages.
Need help with your reviews? Contact Big Easy SEO today and we will take care of you. Besides Google review marketing, we also do fake review removal, which we also talked about in this post: How to Remove Fake Google Reviews.
More from Big Easy SEO
Big Easy SEO is a web design, SEO, and digital marketing agency that strives to help small to medium sized businesses boost their brand in the online market and search engines.
Our goal is to provide metrics, results and services tailor made to your business through a variety of strategies including search engine optimization (SEO), web design, and ads