Online Reviews – Are They Important for SEO?

online reviews- are they important

If you own a local business do you bother to get any reviews? If not then you are missing out on a whole lot of business.  Reviews are really powerful and help your website visitors convert to buy your product or service.  They provide trust and reassurance in your company. A recent online review survey found out the following information:

  • 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews
  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • Only 9% of consumers don’t read online reviews

So if you don’t have any reviews and your competitors do – you are potentially giving away your business to them.

We often hear that it is really difficult to get reviews, and we do agree but like everything- you have to work at it as a local business – especially if you’ve done a good job. Apparently – according to the survey mentioned above – 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if they are asked.  So that is a high hit rate if you bother to ask your customers in the first place.


Best Places to Get Online Reviews

It is best to get reviews on a number of platforms so all your eggs aren’t in one basket. Let’s say that you decide to get 30 Yell reviews which would be great,  but you didn’t get any reviews elsewhere. It might be that one day Yell will disappear or be bought over, or it might shut your listing down for violating one of its guidelines, or you may lose the logins entirely and can’t access the page anymore.  Then you lose all your reviews. This would be a  shame. It is therefore  much better to get reviews  on a number of platforms such as:

  • Google+
  • Yelp
  • Yell
  • Freeindex
  • Facebook

Why Online Reviews  Are Important

Recent  analysis by experts in the field of SEO have indicated that  the signals that Google gets from reviews  may  account for 13.1%  of the  total  signals it uses to rank a website.  In other words, without reviews your website has significantly less chance to rank compared to a competitor who is getting reviews on Google.  If you have done a good job for your clients you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking for a review.

Make it Easy To Give a Review

It is an effort to write a review and nobody can be bothered really so make it as easy as possible for your client to give one. Send them a follow up email with the actual link to your Google Review page, or Facebook Page etc. – don’t expect them to search for it.

What To Do With Online Reviews

A review is very precious. It is a tangible piece of evidence that your service or product is good and people can trust you. There’s no one better placed to shout about your business than your happy customers. So you should use the reviews as best you can. Don’t leave them hidden away in a place where no one visits.  Some platforms have a widget which you can add to your website which lets you  display some of your reviews. You can also gather a few of them and add them to an “About” page.  Or add an excerpt to the bottom of your email signature.  There’s lots of ways to get the most out of your reviews.

Do you have any more ideas on how to get an online review? Please share!

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Caroline Phillips

Caroline Phillips is the owner of Alba SEO Services which offers quality SEO services to SME's. Established since 2013, Alba SEO has a track record of success.

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