SEO: What Customer Reviews Mean to You

Of course, you love hearing great things about your company from the mouths (or keyboards) of your customers.  And, you hate heading the negative comments.  However, these reviews mean much more than a moment’s happiness or disappointment.  They can make a big difference when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization). The goal is to drive consumers to your website.  In order to get them there, you first have to attract the search engine spiders.  So, essentially, there are two reason to get as many customer reviews as possible.

Reason #1: People Refer to Them

According to recent research, close to ninety percent of internet users will seek reviews of a product or service before buying.  They further admit that they use these reviews to form their opinions about companies and organizations.  This is particularly true in service-based industries, such as hotels, car repair, and salons.  Furthermore, there is evidence that a jump from zero reviews to ten reviews can lead to improved customer trust in your organization.

Reason #2: Bots Seek Them

It’s not just the human visitors that are impressed by reviews.  The more you have, and the more locations that they can be found, the better your standing will be with the search engines.  Experts agree that reviews rank on the list of the top five most important SEO factors.

While reviews on your own website are great, there is more advantage to be gained by having your company reviewed on third party websites, particularly those that are related to your industry.  These, much like the much sought after backlink, can be strong indicators to the search engine spiders regarding the legitimacy and value of your website.

So, how do you get reviews?  Ask for them.  Review requests are excellent calls to action.  There are many ways to make the request, including simply printing directions for leaving online reviews on your receipt or offering email offers in exchange for product evaluations.

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