Do Google Reviews Improve Your Search Rankings?
While there may be confusing information out there on the web from search engine optimization (SEO) “experts” on whether reviews on Google will improve your rankings, we’re here to make a definitive statement for you (with a caveat, of course…. Google reviews DO have an impact on your website and business.
Find that a bit of a bait-and-switch answer? We do too. The reality is that no one outside of Google’s headquarters actually knows the algorithm. We can take educated guesses, but we don’t knowhow the algorithm works. What we can measure, however, is the impact of reviews on client’s businesses.This allows us to make a definitive statement where others will not. Read more, and we’ll explain.
What do Google Reviews Do?
One of the main reasons that Google reviews succeeds is that online customer reviews can convey authority and improve the level of trust for your site, company, or brand. According to a survey by BrightLocal, a large UK-based marketing agency, more than 70% of internet users trust Google reviews as much or more than they trust a family member. That’s an astounding, telling statistic.
More and more people are using Google reviews for everything - which restaurant to dine at, which pair of shoes to purchase, which car mechanic to go to. The list goes on and on. Google reviews make a difference in how a customer views a product, company, or service. Customers want to know that they are getting a great product or service in return for their hard-earned money.
Customers are willing to part with their money when they feel comfortable with a product or service. Of course, a business with an average Google review of 5 stars is sure to increase one’s comfort level more than a business rated only 1-star. Positive Google reviews establish a business as respectable, with a reputation for customer satisfaction.
So, Do You Think That Reviews Impact Rankings, or Not?
With the caveat in mind, we think so. Google reviews boost SEO and search rankings indirectly because they increase user engagement and trust. Because of this, business owners should focus on establishing a review presence on their Google listings. When your Google reviews are high in rating and volume, it shows your potential customers that your business has had success with real people, your business makes customer satisfaction a top priority, and, quite simply, your business does good work. The more that you can make your potential customers feel comfortable, the more trust you can build, elevating the chance that those potential customers will buy your product.
Google is especially good at following consumer trends, looking at the way customers search for products and at their buying behaviors. Google adapts its algorithms in accordance with evolving customer behaviors to better meet the needs of their users. Put simply, Google likes using reviews as an SEO factor because consumers like using online reviews.
We believe that backlinks have always been a factor in determining where your website will show up in Google search results, despite what others might say. When your website gets links from other relevant, high-quality websites, Google recognizes this as a vote of confidence. Reviews work in a similar way because they allow Google to determine whether or not your brand is meeting the needs and demands of customers. Numerous positive reviews show Google that your customers are having positive experiences with your brand. On the flip side, a bunch of negative reviews tell Google that you are not offering customers a good experience or product, causing your site’s search rankings to fall.
Positive Google reviews make users much more likely to click on your site based ofthe good reviews alone. Good reviews definitely lead to better click-through rates. An increase in clicks to your site can directly influence your search rankings, as long as you provide the consumer with value once they arrive on your site. If your site is providing users what they’re searching for, then your site will receive an SEO boost based on Google users clicking through. The actions of many users, rather than a single user or single review, will, therefore, have a major impact on where you rank.
In summary, while the effect of Google reviews on SEO is indirect, it certainly has an effect, and it’s a significant one. Be sure to make Google reviews an essential building block to your web presence, SEO, and rankings.