If you’re like most business owners, you’ve drawn the link between reviews and SEO. Especially if you’ve ever looked at online review management services or affordable SEO services. The industries are linked, and one usually mentions or includes the other.
Though you’ve probably already guessed it, customer reviews do indeed help SEO. They help quite a lot thanks to Google’s algorithm, and they can help you improve your bottom line.
In today’s virtual landscape, customers rely on reviews more than ever before. Without good reviews, you’ll struggle to attract customers, and Google will favor other businesses over yours. This is particularly true if you don’t have a review management strategy that keeps you in touch with your audience.
How Are Reviews and SEO Connected?
Let’s start with the obvious fact that positive reviews are always good for business. Think about it. What do you do when you’re looking for a new company?
Most people head to Google, search what they’re looking for, and look at star ratings on the first page.
And they click on the businesses with the highest star ratings to compare before spending their money.
The more stars you have, the more clicks you receive, because who wants to look at the 2-star business instead of the 5-star one? Customers have an easier time trusting companies with higher star ratings, and so does Google.
Not convinced? Look at these statistics to learn more about the link between reviews and SEO:
- On Yelp, every one-star rating increase leads to an average of 5-9% revenue increase.
- A whopping 91% of people trust reviews as much as they believe in-person recommendations.
- Average customers read about ten reviews online before they decide they can trust a business.
That’s right, star-rating increases correlate with improve revenue, and customers are judging you by your reviews.
Customers also care about how businesses respond to and manage reviews, which means that it isn’t enough just to collect them. You need to be active on review sites with recent feedback, consistent customer interaction, and reliable resolution/elimination of negative reviews.
When you consider how positive reviews help your business with search engines, you’ll begin to realize just how invaluable they are.
Your search rankings are dependent on several factors, and it’s all used to decide where Google places your site on the listings for related keywords.
Because most people never click past the first page, and some don’t even scroll past the first few results, higher is always better. That’s what search engine optimization, or SEO, is all about.
Positive online reviews from your customers have a strong influence on search engine ranking. When search engines like Google see that your company has several positive and recent reviews, it shows that your site has authority. It makes your brand more trustworthy.
With more small business competition than any other time in history, SEO through review management can set you apart.
Where Do Review Management Services Come In?
You wouldn’t leave your business without financial management, and since review management directly impacts your revenue, it’s equally important. But managing your reviews isn’t easy.
That’s why online review management services are in high demand across every B2C industry—as well as most B2B fields. Since customer feedback impacts search engine rankings, you’ll find that most affordable SEO services also offer review management. They can’t afford not to.
When you launch a review management plan, you’ll be able to track your company’s progress and watch how it changes your performance.
Once you have a higher rating and are receiving more clicks from customers, your SEO ranking will start to increase. This means you have more traffic and new chances to convert your target audience into paying customers.
And that’s what it’s all about. You want to get as many people as possible to your website, interested in your brand, and willing to spend their money on your products and services.
In short: Better star ratings → More clicks → Improved search engine ranking → Improved revenue.
How to Get More Reviews and Improve Your SEO
Since Google trusts your customers more than it trusts your site, getting more reviews is in the best interest of your SEO plan. This is true whether you own a local company or a digital one, and it isn’t going to change any time soon.
Google looks at reviews, backlinks, click-through rates, bounce rates, and several other factors to decide which sites are reliable. It ranks sites based on these factors and then decides which ones will appear and where they’ll rank on search pages. This is why more reviews can help your site show up higher in search results when customers look for related terms.
It’s all about enticing clicks with higher reviews and converting those clicks into sales.
If you’re not focusing on reviews, the rest of your strategy can be perfect, and your company will still suffer — both in terms of SEO and attracting customers.
For example, did you know that 40% of consumers only look at reviews that were written within the past two weeks? That number has steadily risen in recent years, and the trend is expected to continue as costumers become ever more discerning.
Ideally, you want to future-proof your company before that 40% turns into 80%. You want to create a system that’s pulling in reviews, managing them, and keeping your customers happy.
That’s why we’ve outlined the top four ways to get more customer reviews and improve your SEO below:
#1. Ask Your Customers for Reviews
Since the link between reviews and SEO is in no danger, you’re going to want as much customer feedback as possible.
And a surprising number of customers will respond when asked to lead a review for your product or service.
The following methods are just a few of the many ways to ask for reviews:
- Email your past customer mailing list with a simple request.
- Set up emails to request reviews from loyal customers at the point of purchase.
- Include a request for a review on your receipt, so every customer sees it.
Tell your customers how much good reviews mean to your business and thank them for their loyalty. This genuine interaction improves brand loyalty and can result in remarkable things!
#2. Incentivize Customer Reviews
If your customers are unresponsive when you ask for reviews, consider incentivizing. A small discount on a future order can go a long way in convincing someone to leave a review for your site, products, or services.
Use the same methods as we recommended above for asking your customers, but include the incentive to get a better response.
Customers like to feel appreciated and valued. And what better way to show that than with a discount?
Plus, discounts can lead to a snowball effect. The customer buys your product, leaves a review, gets a discount, buys another product to use their coupon, and leaves more feedback. In doing so, they also provide recent reviews, so your company can compete when customers are looking for input from the past two weeks.
#3. Hire a Review Management Firm
Online review management services are affordable and straightforward ways to collect reviews. Most affordable SEO services offer review management as well, and they can get impressive results.
These firms will collect new reviews, manage existing reviews, and even work to remove negative reviews from your company’s online profiles. This is a great option if:
- You don’t have time to learn the skills required for review management.
- You aren’t ready to hire and train a dedicated review and reputation management team.
- Managing your reviews is taking your attention away from running your business.
- You want to outsource to someone who specializes in reviews and SEO so that they can handle your company’s customer interactions.
The list could go on, but this option is one of the best for business owners of all types. From large to small operations, adding new responsibilities is difficult. And if you’re already wearing many hats, it’s not always exciting to try on a new one.
Plus, with a review management firm, you’ll have people working on your plan who get proven results. Which means there’s a higher chance of success.
#4. Add a Review Plugin to Your Website
The easier you make it for your customers to leave you reviews, the more inclined they’ll be to do so. If your customers make purchases or appointments online, providing a straightforward way for them to leave a review right on your site increases your chances.
You can do the same with emails, so your customers can give you feedback without leaving their inbox. This lowers the risk of them deciding to write the review later and then forgetting.
With tools like Kudobuzz, you can also link your site to your existing reviews, increasing trust on your website and encouraging new reviews. These tools are standard with most online review management services. So, if you’ve opted for the choice above, don’t worry about it.
#5. Essential Tips for Getting Customer Reviews (Bonus)
Regardless of which option you use to get new reviews, the following tips will help:
- Follow a plan. You’ll want to do your research, decide how you’d like to spread out your reviews, and pick which platforms you want to focus on first. The better prepared you are, the more favorable results you’ll have.
- Keep it easy. The easier you can make the review process for your customers, the more likely they are to leave feedback. Today’s consumer is all about convenience, and you must cater to it if you want results.
- Reward each review. You don’t want to give products away in exchange for reviews, but offering a small discount or reward points to use in your store is a promising idea. Customers want to get something out of their effort to praise your company.
- Send follow up emails. Follow up after each purchase with a request for a review. Then, check back in to say thank you or to remind your customer to leave a review. The more you follow up, the better.
- Ask for reviews quickly. You don’t want a post-checkout popup asking for feedback, but the sooner you make your request, the better. Customers will feel more compelled to leave a review when the experience is fresh in their minds.
How to Get Started
Now that you know your options, you’re ready to start making a plan to capitalize on the connection between reviews and SEO.
You’ll probably want to browse affordable SEO services to find the best package deal for your small business unless you’re doing it all yourself. Look at what these companies offer to get an idea of what you want to do, and then make your own strategy.
Don’t forget to research industry-specific review sites and make a list of top websites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook. These leading platforms will help boost your organic traffic, especially if you’re using local keywords.
Thankfully, collecting and managing your reviews isn’t too difficult if your business provides quality products. This is true whether you’re doing it on your own or with affordable SEO services, though it’ll be much easier with the latter.
We Can Help
At Reputation Sciences™, we specialize in advanced A.R.M. (Audit, Repair, Monitoring) services that provide proven results. The services we offer include review management, brand management, reputation repair, reputation management, reputation reinforcement, and more.
Every plan is customized for what you and your business require, so you never pay for anything you don’t need.
With the Reputation Sciences™ team handling your review management, the work required on your end will be minimal. We recommend this option to business owners who already feel pressed for time.
With review management, it’s all about quality and quantity. And if you can’t dedicate a team to your review management, outsourcing typically yields the best results in both categories.
Click here to get in touch with Reputation Sciences™ today!