Climb up search results and generate more product traffic with the help of customer reviews — here’s how.
Customer reviews don’t only influence purchasing decisions (they can increase conversion rates by 76%), they also influence your position on search engines.
In the past, Google has indicated that reviews are the fifth most important ranking factor, while a survey from SEO-bible Moz shows that reviews make up 10% of how search engines decide to rank results.
So if you’re wondering “do reviews really help Google ranking?”, the answer is yes.
If you’re languishing low down on the first page for a competitive keyword, or have been relegated to page two and beyond, get some customer reviews under your belt.
Here are some pointers on the importance of reviews for SEO.
3 ways reviews improve SEO
1. Reviews help your site rank for long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are three or more word phrases specific to your product and the user’s search intent.
For example, someone looking for a “red winter cocktail dress” will use that search term rather than the shorter and more vague term “red dress”.
If you’re using the long-tail keyword on your product pages, there’s a high chance you’ll encourage a conversion since you’re offering exactly what the customer is looking for.
Reviews often feature these longer search terms — it happens organically when a customer describes their purchase. This makes it more likely for a future customer to find your page when they use similar search language.
Reviews also come with a trust factor, and Google trusts your customers more than it trusts your website itself.
Best Practice: Respond to customer reviews
Responding to customer reviews for SEO isn’t just good practice for building deeper customer relationships — it can add additional keywords that help you rank higher.
Let’s use the above example again. If a customer leaves a review about their “red winter cocktail dress” and you reply using the same term, it gives search engines a very clear indication of what the page is about.
Google is keen for brands to respond to reviews. On their My Business Support Page they clearly state that you should “interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business”. This is because Google only wants to recommend the most credible businesses to their customers, and reviews indicate a high level of trust.
2. Reviews promote new content for search engines
Search engines are hungry for fresh content.
Publishing new content indicates that you’re still in business and are staying relevant. But it also gives you new content and keywords to rank for.
And think about it: reviews are one of the most powerful (and easiest) ways you can incorporate fresh content on your site.
Although product reviews and SEO go hand-in-hand, search engines still measure the quantity, quality, diversity, and frequency of product reviews.
For example, a page that has 1,000 two-word reviews from six months ago isn’t going to rank as well as a page that consistently gets 50 high-quality reviews every month.
Best Practice: Create a dedicated reviews page
A dedicated reviews page means you can add new reviews and give customers access to past buyer experiences all in one place. It also boosts search engine optimization.
A lot of customers will actively seek out reviews for a brand before they buy, and ideally you want them to land on your site if they run a search.
Take Wolven Threads, for example. When a shopper searches “Wolven reviews”, the first result is an entire brand page filled with reviews.
3. Reviews increase website traffic
Often, this will mean firing up the search engines and typing in a relevant keyword. They’ll be served thousands and thousands of results. Brands literally have a matter of seconds to grab shopper’s attention and encourage a click-through.
Having reviews readily available in the search results will instantly make your entry more enticing. They also give you more opportunities to reach shoppers during the most crucial stage of the buying process.
48% of people will visit a brand’s site after reading a positive review. This will give you an uptick in traffic (and traffic is another key ranking factor) as well as a lower bounce rate. Reviews increase both consumer knowledge and brand trust, so people are likely to spend more time browsing your site long enough to be convinced to buy.
Best Practice: Add Google rich snippets to your product listings
Rich snippets bulk out your Google listings with information relevant to a shopper’s journey.
Remember that people actively seek out reviews before making a purchase, so displaying them front and centre within your search results takes a step out of the buying journey.
As you can see here, Bali Body uses rich snippets to share customer reviews, star ratings, and the price of their products.
Google Reviews are ideal for incorporating customer experiences into your listings. Through the Google My Business dashboard, merchants can collect overall business reviews to increase search engine trust and boost online visibility. Showing future customers what past buyers thought about a product instills confidence and increases the chances of a click-through.
Improve SEO with reviews using Okendo
While Google Reviews are great for collecting business reviews in general, it’s vital to use a tool like Okendo for post-purchase reviews, product specific reviews, and other UGC. Having a healthy mix of all these kinds of reviews helps improve SEO and ultimately increases your click-through rates.
Okendo’s suite of review-related features will help you optimise your store and improve your SEO. It hits every point we’ve mentioned here:
- The review generation feature lets you consistently collect new reviews
- The review display feature lets you create beautiful dedicated review pages
- The content management feature lets you respond and interact with reviewers
- Their Google integrations lets you easily add reviews to search results and create more enticing product ads with rich snippets, PLAs, and Seller Ratings
The equation is simple: an increase in high-quality reviews leads to more traffic and higher search engine rankings which, in turn, leads to more sales.
If you haven’t started incorporating customer reviews into your SEO strategy, now’s the time to start.