Increasing your business’s online visibility and traffic are essential revenue-generating strategies. You can increase your brand’s online presence through social media platforms and well-placed call-to-action (CTAs). However, online customer reviews also play a role.
Customer reviews have become significant reference points for potential customers. They’ll likely check your business’s online reviews before deciding if your brand can meet their needs. Thus, it’s no surprise that most search engines use online reviews to rank your business in your geographical location.
How The Reviews Affect Your Website’s Local SEO Ranking
Therefore, online reviews can significantly change how and where your website appears on a search engine’s results page. Below are vital points to note about customer reviews and local SEO (search engine optimization) ranking.
- Reviews Can Boost SEO Ranking
When customers perform a local search, they can see a list of businesses with no visible numbering. However, they’ll click on the first website result they see at the top. Search engines will rank your website higher if it has quality reviews. Similarly, when customers go to this website, it gets increased online traffic. The online traffic increase tells the search engine that your website is genuine and trustworthy.
Additionally, reviews are the feedback of other people about your business. Thus, search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms give them more weight than your writing. The reason is that such feedback is impartial. It’s not you, the owner, or someone you paid, like a paid article in your local newspaper. Thus, as search engines crawl through your website, the reviews help give it authenticity.
Therefore, to gain more online traffic to your website, it’s essential to pay attention to your customer reviews. High ratings on your reviews can boost your website’s local SEO ranking. Additionally, more positive customer reviews make your website appear more prominently on a search engine’s results page. A higher ranking increases your website’s online traffic. This can help raise your return on investment.
- Reviews Are Rich In Keyword Content
Search engines rely on content for ranking. The content helps the SEO algorithms understand your business better. Therefore, more content on your website can mean a higher search engine results page (SERP) position. However, more content doesn’t necessarily mean quality content.
Content on your website needs relevant keywords and phrases to enhance quality. Customer reviews cover this aspect very well. To point out, your existing customers will use keywords in their reviews relevant to your industry of operation. Similarly, these are the keywords your potential customers will use to search the internet. SEO crawlers use these keywords to decipher search parameters and rank websites accordingly.
Customer reviews will give your website keyword-rich content. Therefore, helping your website get more hits for a better SERP placement. Keyword-rich content also improves your website’s local SEO ranking, which consequently helps increase its visibility. Thus, you’ll be better positioned to grow your customer base and returns.
- Customer Reviews Have More Trust From Search Engines
Customer reviews come from an outside perspective rather than from the inside. Thus, the content in these reviews represents the outlook of others about your business. This content can be more helpful to potential customers than you writing about your business. Developers have also designed SEO algorithms to recognize this content. These algorithms will crawl through the reviews on your website.
Therefore, more reviews can help search engines’ algorithms trust your business profile more. If your website has more positive reviews, the algorithms can place it higher on the SERPs. Thus, you can get higher digital visibility against your local competition. This can increase your online traffic, thereby boosting your local SEO ranking.
- Customer Reviews Increase Clicks
Customer review content can help better place your website in a SERP. However, the content isn’t the only part of a review that matter. Its rating is also vital. Rating typically ranges from one star to five stars. Therefore, a review will have the customer’s content and rating.
Both content and rating will appear against your website on a search engine results page. However, the rating appearing is an average of the star ratings for your business. Thus, your average will be significantly higher if you have more five-star and fewer one-star ratings.
Customers with a local keyword search will see the search results of businesses near them. Each of these will have a star rating according to reviews done. However, the results may not specifically range from high to low. But each rating will show the number of reviews done.
For instance, one business can have a four-star rating from 100 reviews. Another can have five stars but with 20 reviews.
A potential customer might click on the business with more reviews from these two instances despite the lower rating, which means that rating alone may not be enough to earn you clicks. You’ll also need more reviews to show you have more traffic with high-rating feedback. However, it would still be crucial to pay attention to individual ratings as they affect the average, affecting the click-through rate.
Potential customers’ decision to click or not to click a link lies on the star ratings they see. Thus, your website will likely get more clicks if it has a higher star rating than your competition. This is taking, of course, everything else constant. Your website’s click-through rate (CTR) will rise as a result.
The CTRs indicate to SEO algorithms that your business is trustworthy and valuable. Therefore, your website’s local SEO ranking will significantly improve.
How You Can Manage Reviews For Better Local SEO Ranking
Customer reviews are independent of your input or suggestions. However, you can still manage other aspects of the review content. For instance, you can encourage your customers to leave reviews on relevant local review platforms. This can be through feedback cards or forms. Such reminders can help get that customer’s attention who might not have left a review.
Additionally, you can engage your local digital marketing agency for review management software. Such a software solution can help send review invitations via email or text. It can also monitor review sites to enable you to respond to reviews, thus enhancing engagement.
Furthermore, your invites for review should be carefully worded to ensure your customers use relevant keywords in their content. For instance, say you’re a local restaurant outlet. You can mark your invites with sections like wine cellar feedback, fine dining experience, and lounge encounter. This can help increase reviews with keyword-rich content.
Local SEO ranking can heavily rely on your customer reviews. Therefore, knowing how they affect your business’s online presence is vital. The above points show that customer reviews boost your brand’s local SEO ranking. Thus, investing time and resources in them would benefit your business.