Although it’s not a secret that business reviews directly impact search engine optimization, not many people know it. Additionally, customer testimonials are one of the most important things potential customers take into account when purchasing a product or service.
NOW IMAGINE THIS: Let’s take a moment and imagine that you’ve recently moved and are looking for a new local dentist. You conduct a search which yields a multitude of results, and many of the results have a lot of reviews.
NOW ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION: Would you choose to call the dentist who has a 3.2 star rating or the dentist that has a 4.9 star rating. I don’t think this will be too difficult to answer!
As reported by Shopify, 93% of people say the decisions that they make about what they buy and which services they use are impacted by the reviews they read online.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOUR BUSINESS: If you have a business that has some online reputational damage it will definitely impact the money you make. To put it bluntly, a negative reputation is something you will want to fix immediately because customers will choose to not buy from your business.
As you know, your business reviews are either helping you or hurting you. So if your reviews are hurting your business, it’s important to do something about it immediately and be proactive because you have quite a few options. Additionally, focusing on reviews will also result in positive improvements in your business SEO.
Business Reviews Greatly Impact SEO
A recent report done by Moz states that review signals impact ranking up to 7%. Another significant factor is that these review signals are more important to page rank than social signals, signals induced by online behavior, and personalization online.
Additionally, Google explains all of this on one of it’s support pages online. It outlines that relevance, proximity, and prominence all affect a business’s local search ranking.
As you can see from the above screenshot, the two factors which contribute greatly to a business’s online “prominence” are:
- the number of reviews a business has
- the rating of the business
As stated by Google, both qualities are factored into local SEO and “will probably improve a business’s local ranking”.
Good Reviews Build Customer Trust
In addition to businesses with larger amounts of reviews more often showing up in local results, the impact of good reviews is relevant as well. Customers are more likely to buy products or purchase services if a business has a good star rating of 4 or 5 stars. Once a business begins to dip below 3.5 stars, it gets a little iffy.
Because of this, it’s very important for local businesses to focus on review management and when there’s a problem to seek help with reputation management services. Additionally, there are many companies that provide reputation management and SEO services alongside each other such as NJ SEO Bizmap LLC.
THINK ABOUT THIS: Harvard Business School has reported that an increase of 1 star on a site such as Yelp or Google can increase a company’s revenue anywhere from 5% to 9%.
The fact that your customers are reading consumer reviews and testimonials means your business can be hurt by information online. Customer reviews create reassurance, trust, or distrust of a business. What is publicized online about your business is leading your customers to believe your company is either “good” or “bad”.
Good Reviews Means Higher Conversion Rates
Let’s say one of your customers performs a search in the Google search bar. As you know, results will automatically populate in the Google snack pack as well as in the organic results of the page. In the Google 3 pack (or snack pack) your reviews are exhibited to your customers. Additionally, sites such as Yelp, home advisor and others with a high DA are likely to show up in organic results and display your rating to the world.
Businesses that are blessed with a large number of good reviews will likely experience a higher level of traffic and business due to the boost in ranking. This increased amount of traffic and thus credibility additionally means higher conversion rates for the business. Yipee!
Take a look above at the boxed area in the Google maps snack pack results. If you look closely, you will notice that the attorney with the highest number of reviews is the first one listed in the 3 pack (not including the paid Ads of course).
ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION: When you look at the results as displayed in the screenshot above, ask yourself this question: if you needed an attorney, what business would you reach out to? Would you choose a business with hundreds of reviews and a great rating, or would you choose a business with a lower review count and a great rating? Most people would choose to reach out to the business with the highest review count.
Reviews Are A Signal Of Authority And Prominence
Reviews signal a high level of authority to search engines in addition to everything else. This strong signal as displayed online, can significantly improve your ranking in local search results.
In addition to this obvious and powerful signal that is relayed to Google and search engines, reviews also show your customers that you are a credible and authoritative business. This is a very important factor for any business to consider with great weight. As you know, the more reviews and the higher the rating, the more likely consumers will do business with you.
Think about a business that has tons of 5 star reviews on their business listing. What does this signal to you as a buyer? What it shows is that the business has done a lot of business with many different people and that the business has made a lot of customers happy and feel inclined to leave a review for them.
This is a huge indicator of both authority and your future as a business owner.
Reviews are no joke in today’s online marketplace. If you are a business who plans to be in business for the long term, you should take your reputation very seriously. Not only will your reviews have a strong impact on your ranking, they will also either motivate or discourage customers from using your services and buying your products.
Maintaining your online reputation by focusing on good customer service is a must when it comes to running a good business. Additionally, responding positively and with concern to any online criticism is an important way you can begin to improve local SEO.
But the fact is very clear. Reviews are an important indicator of your business’s overall health and a ranking factor for the long term. So why not begin to focus on showing your customers and Google how great your company is!