How to Use Customer Reviews and Ratings for SEO
How customer review and ratings can help with your SEO
More than two-thirds of online users are influenced by customer reviews and testimonials. The likes of corporate e-commerce juggernauts like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba understand that online users may see a review and be compelled to take an immediate action, through a purchase of your products or services, or by referring a friend or family member to your company. This helps increase on-page conversion rates.
We know what these reviews can do, but what about increasing search engine visibility? Can these reviews help increase your visibility and position on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)?
Embedded Reviews vs. Dedicated Review Pages
There are two main ways to feature reviews on your site. Embedded reviews are reviews that you see on single product or services pages. A dedicated review page is exactly what it sounds like – a full page of just reviews – something like this (https://www.insidetracker.com/testimonial/ ) . The option you pick depends on your business approach. If you have numerous individual products which need specific product based reviews, you may want to choose embedded reviews. If you’re a B2B service provider and people are searching for reviews about your brand, you’ll most likely be better off with a dedicated review page.
Keyword Targeting and Opportunities
Online reviews will help create more natural language content which helps add extra keywords on your individual pages. If customers are writing about individual products or your business, it is likely they will feature some of the most important phrases associated with them. You encourage people to leave specific types of reviews through subtle messaging or offering prompts.
Microformatting is embedding reviews of products, services, businesses and events in HTML, XHTML, Atom, Rss and arbitrary XML. You’re creating a snippet that describes the review so it can be more easily understood by search engines that support interpretation of the format. With this information Google can create rich snippets of information to display to your users in their immediate search results. If they see the rating from their search results, it will make them more likely to click through to a specific page.
Ongoing Content Submissions
Google loves to see content that is updated regularly. Accepting and publishing reviews gives you an opportunity for a free stream of regularly updated content. It won’t help much with rankings but will help your customers trust you as you show you’re dedicated to keeping your site up to date which can ultimately lead to an increase in conversion rates. This is more suited to a dedicated review page.
Earning a place in the local 3-pack
The local 3-pack refers to Google’s local search results listing. They recently changed from local 7-pack to local 3-pack. Before, local listings were shown in packs of 3, 5 or 7, meaning that more local businesses had a chance to squeeze in to the first search results page, even if they didn’t perform well organically. A move to 3-pack listings makes competition for page-one listings even more difficult. (https://www.link-assistant.com/news/google-local-3-pack-update.html ). The more reviews you’ve got in third-party directories and other offsite sources for your business, the more likely you are to earn a place in the local 3-pack.
Final take: Acquire as many reviews as possible!
Reviews are worth obtaining for local SEO visibility even though you won’t have much control over them or their quality. Your goal should be attracting as many (positive) reviews as possible because more reviews will earn you more traffic, increase your conversion rate and help build your reputation. You can’t go wrong!