Online reviews are a local ranking factor that can help boost your website traffic and offer free content. They’re also an easy opportunity to showcase customer engagement. Reviews benefit your practice’s SEO strategy and have become more important over the years as customers frequently use reviews to weigh their decisions.
While the reviews from more industry-specific websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp prove beneficial to some businesses, Google reviews make up the majority of all online reviews and they are relevant to practices across the board.
Trust with Customers
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to receiving reviews on Google is that positive reviews indicate to customers that your business is legitimate and trustworthy, earning you more clicks, calls, and interactions naturally. More and more over time, people have relied on reviews to help them make decisions.
Local Ranking Factor
Along with the benefit of earning the trust of users, Google rewards practices that receive reviews. The more reviews, especially with a positive average, the better chance your practice will have at showing up in the Google local pack. The local pack is the top 3 results that show up on the map. Reviews that are keyword-rich or mention specific services and products act as free content to help boost rankings.
Receiving reviews is only the first step, however. In order to maximize your SEO benefit for your reviews. It is always recommended that businesses respond to reviews. Not only do customers appreciate seeing responses, but Google will also take responsiveness into consideration. Check out this guide provided from Google on how to respond to reviews.
What About Negative Reviews?
Even negative reviews, so long as they aren’t too abundant, can benefit your business. Negative reviews offer:
- Authenticity: Customers are more likely to trust a slightly below 5-star average than a perfect 5-star average on Google Business Profiles
- Insight into Customers’ Reactions: Negative reviews can give you a chance to see something from a customer’s point of view and can offer new ways to improve your business
- Be a Part of the Conversation: Showing sympathy and a genuine desire to make a situation right will show your potential customers that you will be there for them whether their experience is good or not.
Online reviews matter more to SEO than one might think. Both in the way they can make an impression on users, and in the way that Google judges authority and rankings.
Next time you are looking at your Google reviews, make sure to consider each of these points!
—Team Member, SEO Specialist, Sesame Communications