There’s no denying that word-of-mouth marketing on the Internet helps businesses establish credibility, boost sales, understand their customers, get the pulse of their customer service and also drive traffic to their websites.
SEO Benefits of Online Users Reviews
At the same time, reviews give customers a voice and an influential way to engage with their online fraternity, enabling one another make informed decisions. But over the time, online reviews have also proved their potential in enhancing a site’s SEO in more than one ways.
Before we delve into the SEO value of online reviews, let’s get a quick view of how these are classified. Online reviews fall in two categories:
- Product Reviews: These are unsolicited, onsite reviews that show up directly on the business website and are a useful resource for site visitors looking for a sneak peek or comparisons for certain products. These are important for their “content value,” which I have elaborated later in this post.
- Company Experience Reviews: These are solicited reviews appearing on third party sites such as Google, Yelp and others, providing an insight into how good the company’s processes are. These add to a site’s online visibility besides delivering other benefits.
Higher Search Engine Visibility
Reviews give your business name more space and visibility on the Internet, a factor that directly benefits your search engine ranking. The number of mentions your business, products and services get over the virtual world indicates to the search engine spiders that people are talking about you. The buzz speaks of your value and relevance for customers, and algorithms certainly figure that in, as they dish out search results for related keywords.
Storehouse of Organic Keyword Variants
When a customer posts a product review on your site, you reap two-fold benefits. Firstly, the reviews contain first-hand keywords generated directly by the visitors, and we already know how heavily a site’s SEO relies on keywords. Search algorithms are not going to miss these organic keywords when indexing your site.
Also, the way visitors draft their reviews, gives you an insight into different permutations and variations of keywords, which can be used for SEO improvement of your site.
Unique User-Generated Content
Search engines have a fetish for unique content, and what better than user-generated reviews to meet that SEO requirement. Unless a bot churns out identical reviews and splatters it across sites, you will benefit from the uniqueness of this content.
Constant Content Updates
User-generated product reviews on your site ensure that you have a constant feed of fresh content. When, in current times, content marketing teams toil hard to ideate, generate and curate content, reviews are a great value addition both for their SEO potential as well as in building brand credibility. Every time a review is posted, it counts as an update and contributes its bit boosting SEO juice of the site.
Content Volume Goes Up
Search engine algorithms attribute more weight to websites with high volume of user-centric information. Reviews constitute highly relevant information for site visitors and lend voice to consumers while gradually beefing up content volume on the site, which is a good way to earn SEO points for the site.
The merits listed above make it amply clear why online reviews are an important part of marketing strategy by any leading SEO Company in India. With the below actionable tips, you can tap the SEO potential of online reviews.
- HTML Tagging: Search engines can read reviews coded in HTML only. So, to make your on-site reviews count, use HTML.
- Don’t Copy & Paste: Lifting a customer review as it is from a third party site and publishing onto your own counts as plagiarism – a red flag for search engines. Instead, rehash or abstract the content while retaining the keywords while republishing.
- No Fake Reviews: Both the users as well as search engines spot fake reviews, so better maintain distance with this rampant malpractice.
- Respond to Negative Reviews: Filtering out negative reviews might not present you in good light but responding to them and trying to convince the critic may just win you new backers.
- Reward a Review Post: To generate more reviews, you can offer value-based incentives like a coupon or other freebies to your customers. Also, you may subtly nudge your customers to share click-through reviews on niche sites to boost traffic.
While SEO trends are highly dynamic in nature and keep changing as per new updates from the search engines, for sure, genuine reviews will continue to be rated highly by search engines spiders. All a site needs to do is to encourage its customers to leave a review, and their SEO benefits will follow. 🙂