Local SEO

Does Google Reviews Benefit SEO

19/10/2020

Google Reviews & SEO

It’s no surprise that there’s a vast amount of different ranking factors that Google looks at when determining a website’s SEO rankings.  One question that we get asked frequently is, does more Google Reviews help boost SEO rankings?

In this article, we’ll explore this question and aim to cover all facets that tie Google Reviews and SEO together.

Do Google Reviews really matter?

When it comes to SEO, most digital marketers would think of major areas such as link building and content development. Customer reviews get less attention in comparison, but for leading brands and large-scale enterprises, whether local or global, Google reviews can make or break your visitors’ buying decision.

#2 most important factor when trying to appear in Local Map Pack

Google reviews that include target keywords in Google My Business appeared to be the second-most driving factor when determining a local brand’s ranking in Local Packs

That said, the only factor that is more significant than Google reviews is your website’s organic ranking. Hence, if your brand has been implementing best SEO practices and has sustainably achieved high organic ranking among several competitive keywords, then your page will most likely rank on top of Local Packs.

But what about eCommerce giants who strictly operate in the digital realm?

The figures don’t stop there, as online surveys imply that highlighting and responding to customer reviews significantly impacts your website’s performance. Throughout the study, it found out that organic page views in Google skyrocketed from 5,500 up to 8,000 visits a month.

Google Reviews & SEO: Understanding their relationship

Watching your statistics rise is cool, but most brands still have no idea how these numbers and rankings work the way they do. Here are a few straightforward reasons as to why Google reviews positively impact your rankings:

  • Search Engines Trust Consumers More than Websites

More often than not, Google relies on organic signals to determine whether a website deserves compelling rankings. SEO agencies that have been in the industry since day one know how Google values high authority backlinks.

For instance, when your eCommerce page gets a link from an authoritative site, Google interprets it as a trustworthy endorsement. Hence, they will reward you with an improved online presence.

Similarly, when a consumer reviews your services and products, they are signalling to Google that your business is providing something of value to its market place. Additionally, it also helps future users reinforce their buying decisions.

  • Google Loves Reading Websites

Google has an army of crawlers that reads your website and understands what your content is all about. And the more information it has to read, the more it will know about your brand.

As a result, you want to also ensure that customers are leaving Google Reviews that mention your product or services. By doing so, you’re providing Google with fresh information to crawl through, building a wealth of topic relevance.

  • Excellent Reviews = More Clicks

People trust reviews as much as word-of-mouth and peer suggestions. So if someone sees plenty of one or two-star reviews on your business, they’d most likely skip to your closest competitor with better reviews.

Furthermore, we have been associating SEO rankings with click-through-rates since day one, and that’s mostly correct. When a huge portion of users picks your website from SERPs, Google will know that your site performs excellently, thus rewarding you with better ranking.

When you’re gaining better reviews from customers regularly, you’ll most likely experience a boost in Google rankings as a result.

Leveraging all benefits of Google Reviews to boost SEO

Now that you understand how Google reviews impact your ranking let’s discuss why local reviews influence your overall position and why Google cares about it.

  • Local Reviews Establish Brand Trust

As discussed, Google trusts what online users say about your brand more than your statements about yourself. You can promote how great your products are as much as you like — but when customers speak about the same opinion, Google trusts it much more than yourself.

Hence, search algorithms reward your online brand with an improved organic presence.

  • Excellent Consumer Ratings Bring in More Traffic

To the end-user perspective, online users find Google reviews as turning points for their purchasing decisions. BrightLocal states that 57% of online consumers will only engage with a business if it has 4-star reviews or more.

Hence, putting an effort to earn a solid star rating with compelling reviews will reward you with unparalleled trust and improved traffic to your website. Combining great reviews and a robust organic traffic stream, Google has the signals it needs to identify your brand as authoritative, putting you in a better spot in SERPs.

  • Local Reviews Tell Google About Your Content

For Australian brands dominating their niche, having a detailed and in-depth page description is vital for the best SEO practices. Not only do these descriptions help Google crawl and index your site, but they also increase the chances for Google to include your site on SERPs.

On the other hand, online consumer reviews do the exact same thing. Local reviews are responsible for letting crawlers determine your site’s content and fill in gaps that your web content might have left.

  • Review Content Matters

We already established that reviews with target keywords are among the core SEO factors to index and rank leading brands in Local Packs. That said, securing your name on featured boxes on top of SERPs with mapped locations is possible if you mention:

    • Target keywords you want to rank
    • Local keywords of the city or neighbourhood your offices are in

Moreover, reviews help rank your page across specific keywords, but leveraging Google Q&A at Google My Business will let you answer crowdsourced questions from consumers. That way, your answers will show up in SERPs along with product reviews as long as they feature the target keywords.

  • Engagement is a Two-Way Street

Engagement matters a lot in search engines and Google My Business as much as it does on social platforms. So instead of using social channels to focus on Facebook posts and comments, you can take a step further and encourage users to leave reviews on Google My Business.

Likewise, you can establish a two-way engagement by responding to customer reviews and inquiries on Google Q&A.

Additionally, Google published a support page focused on giving tips to improve your overall Google rankings. Using the guide, large-scale enterprises can learn that interacting with consumers is more effective through review responses within the business website or GMB.

Looking at the support page itself, you can imply that responding to your consumers certainly impacts SEO rankings. Besides, the way you respond to negative reviews can turn tides to your favour and have them improve their reviews positively.

Research also finds out that 89% of consumers will change from a negative review to a positive one depending on how the brand responds to their comment.

  • Product Reviews Earn Clicks, Clicks Earn Visibility

At this point, you should have an idea that Google Reviews go beyond SEO and towards user experience. Research shows that reviews and product ratings are primary factors that influence people when choosing local brands to convince consumers.

In other words, compelling product reviews will earn you more clicks. Consequently, earning more clicks rewards your site with better visibility on Google SERPs. That’s because Google rewards leading brands with an excellent organic CTR, creating a positive loop.

  • Leverage Online Reviews for Better Rankings

As long as you’re implementing the best SEO practices and our business performs well, responding, and managing your product reviews shouldn’t consume much of your resources.

You can leverage online reviews using many proven and time-tested ways. But one thing that stands out is by incorporating product reviews across your website pages.

Depending on your niche, product line, and brand message, there are countless methods to implement this strategy, and it varies among brands. What counts is that you can tie your site to relevant product reviews, acquire new ones, and propel trust among your target and potential consumers.

Using Google Reviews together with SEO, it’s a no-brainer!

Google Reviews provides huge amounts of benefit to your SEO strategy – in many ways than one. Maintaining a solid star review rating will fortify your footing above your competition and put your brand into the spotlight to naturally attract more organic traffic.

Ultimately, how effective you’re able to leverage Google Reviews all boils down to how you incorporate it into your existing SEO strategy. That said, adopting the best practices for SEO is more attainable with a time-tested SEO agency to back you up.

Achieving long term design objectives can be possible through relevant data and a best-in-class SEO Strategy. At Red Search, our search enthusiasts use results-focused and data-driven SEO strategy to secure and sustain your rank on the first page of SERPs.

For your questions and enquiries, call our SEO experts at 1300 101 712 or drop a message in our contact form.

Daniel Law
Written by

Daniel Law

Daniel Law is Managing Director at Red Search, an SEO agency based in Sydney. With over 10 years of experience in SEO, I've grown a burning passion to help Australian brands achieve their business growth goals by leveraging powerful SEO and content strategies.

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