How Customer Reviews Help with Your SEO
The best kind of advertising you can get as a business is word-of-mouth. Let’s face it: potential customers view this as the most credible source of publicity because frankly, it’s not coming from the company’s own megaphone.
In this day and age, traditional word-of-mouth has transitioned to digital platforms, meaning there are plenty of podiums available for the public to spruik their varied opinions upon. As a result, the opportunity for customers to leave reviews is boundless.
90% of customers say their decision to buy is influenced by online reviews
Simply put, online reviews are critical to your campaign. They play a big part in search engine rankings, and should therefore be considered an important anchor of your SEO strategy. The fact of the matter, however, is that many businesses still fail to drive the necessary methods for acquiring and managing customer reviews.
Let’s take a look at how consumers use online reviews
If you’re still not convinced that your digital marketing needs to build a channel for customer reviews, a quick glance at the facts is sure to sway your mind. Basically, the mental gap between reading a review and making a decision is almost miniscule, which means reviews carry exponential weight in influencing that all-important yes/no verdict. They play a major factor in carving out your online reputation, and make up a core stage of the purchasing cycle. Hence, something as seemingly simple as a customer review can directly impact your bottom line.
What does this mean for your SEO campaign?
Search engines love online reviews because, as has been outlined, they are a major go-to for consumers. In Google’s eyes, customer reviews are credible sources that can give on-the-go users quick, concise and accurate information. Google knows that this is what people are looking for when making a decision regarding a future purchase, therefore it only makes sense that these are some of the first pages to pop up when certain keywords are plugged into the search engine.
It’s integral to craft a smart and responsive review strategy
In order to elicit the best results from your online customer reviews, you need to dedicate a bit of time to the cause. For instance, what platform will you opt for? To give you a bit of a guide, some of the most critical review platforms that consumers love at the moment are Google+ Local, Yelp, Foursquare, Citysearch and YP.com.
However, establishing your platform and setting up your review strategy is only one part of the process; you also need to actively manage and respond to your customer reviews. Not only does this help you strengthen your campaign from an SEO perspective, it also allows you to shape a positive online brand reputation centred upon customer-loyalty.