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How Ratings And Reviews Influence Your SEO

Alina Wojslaw
Published by
Alina Wojslaw
Read Article

How Ratings And Reviews Influence Your SEO

Alina Wojslaw
Published by
Alina Wojslaw

Do you use Google? Of course, you do. Over 90% of all information searches today start with a web search. Various search engines strive to help you find the information you seek as easily and efficiently as possible. At the same time, the Internet is an extremely long highway of existing information, with new content arriving every minute, every day. Did you know that as much as 15% of search results that come up on Google are results that Google itself has not seen before?

So how do you make sure these search engines know that your online shop exists? To be visible in organic search it is crucial that the content of your website describing offered products or services matches what the users type in when they search for them. It requires having the right content in the right places in your webshop, app, and social media – content, which allows search engines like Google to funnel users into your shop.

Reading this article, you probably already have a good understanding of what SEO is and how you should organize the technical aspects of your website to optimize for search engine algorithms. At the same time, you are probably looking for this little extra that gives you an edge over your competitors – you are in the right place!

Ratings & reviews – what’s the deal?

Now is the time for a broader focus. In the 47 Experts on the 2019 SEO Trends That Really Matter report, Jeremy Knauff, the CEO of Spartan Media, points out that meeting the user with the right content and having answers for their questions ready – ideally even before they ask them – is the future of effective SEO in 2019. It’s Search Engine Optimization 2.0 that we’re talking about here!

“The time is now to stop matching keyword phrases and start making sure your content comprehensively answers questions your audience is asking through search” – Jeremy Knauff, CEO of Spartan Media

It is not enough to optimize the technical level of your website to be searchable, visible, and found by customers in a search engine – you have to optimize your presence in social media and take control of your reputation. In order to achieve the best ROI (return on investment) for your search engine optimization, you have to be proactive in meeting your target customer segment.

Collecting customer reviews is an investment that provides you with a continuous stream of unique and user-oriented content. Customer reviews are often far more relevant to the users’ online search than product descriptions, and they’re easy to read on all devices! Not to mention, this is the type of content others want to share.

How often your company or products are talked about obviously influences their popularity. Customers tend to trust what others recommend, which is why objective opinions expressed in customer reviews are so important in eCommerce.

Since Google is also a company made up of people, this and other search engines function pretty much the same way:

  1. Search engines like new information
  2. Search engines trust your customers more than you
  3. Search engines favor websites with high ratings

It all boils down to one thing: recognition. If nobody knows you, do you really exist?
How easy it is for a customer to find you and the feeling they’re left with after doing their business with you are both the things you can influence.

1. Search engines crave new content

Google and other search engines love new content but it’s challenging to produce new content all the time, at least by yourself. If you open up for customer reviews, these are the customers who will be creating good content for you!

With customer reviews, the content and keywords on your website and in other channels are defined naturally by the language used by your target customer group. Those who leave reviews on your products and services often share several characteristics with others who look for what your company offers.

Let’s look at an example. Imagine you run a web store offering equipment for car owners, including washing accessories. Among others, you have a high-pressure washer in your assortment. If one customer uses the term ‘high-pressure washer’ chances are that others will do the same. Besides, if the review is positive, search engines like Google will gradually start associating your website with these keywords, some of which will attract the so much desired ‘long-tail’ traffic from organic search.
The more new content, the easier it is for search engines like Google to understand what your website is about!

2. Search engines trust your customers more than you

Your web store is most likely filled with content you have produced yourself, where you’re trying to show how awesome your company and products are. But self-adoration does stand a chance in comparison to positive reviews from your customers. Appreciation from your customers is very valuable and, in many cases, influences other shoppers to move towards you.

Like customers, search engines communicate on several levels. It is never a bad idea to have a few sources confirming your business is genuine. If you’re afraid of negative reviews, you can read more on how negative reviews can have a positive effect on your online shop.

Not only can stars and reviews contribute to better positioning in search engines, but also they may result in an increased social conversion. Social conversion is to be understood as word-of-mouth in social media. Positive word-of-mouth enhances trust, which again, can lead to better conversion rates.

3. Search engines favor websites with high ratings

As mentioned above, search engines trust your customers more than you. Trust is important, also on the web. With customer reviews, you prove to Google that you are worth lifting up in the search results. These websites which are well-recognized and talked about are acknowledged as ‘popular’ by the search engines.

Recent years show gradually increasing focus on content’s quality and relevance gaining more and more importance for search engine’s algorithms. A high number of reviews and good star rating translates to better positioning in organic search. When your business comes up in organic search, a clear star rating will immediately show potential customers that your business is worth their trust. Stars increase traffic and thus potentially boost sales!

With professional ratings & reviews software, you can collect feedback valuable for your business, expressed in both stars and opinions, which gives you priceless insight into your customer base. Collecting customer reviews is also an effective way to provide your potential customers with objective and versatile knowledge about your company.

Stars and user reviews make you visible across platforms and devices. Word-of-mouth is a powerful weapon, so why not have your finger on the pulse with star ratings and customer reviews?

Alina Wojslaw
Customer Success Manager