Regardless of the type of industry that your company operates in, your goal is to ensure that it appears as close to the top of the SERPs. SEO is what is going to help get you there, which requires taking into account over 200 ranking signals, including backlinks, content quality, keywords, and mobile organization.
These are the types of SEO tactics that tend to dominate, but there is one more strategy that you will want to focus on: customer reviews. Customer reviews consist of seven percent of local organic ranking factors, according to Moz. They have the ability to offer search marketers with a fantastic opportunity to exceed. However, the question that remains is how customer reviews can improve SEO.
Ultimately, reviews piggyback on another ranking factor: the freshness of content. By ensuring that your website always has fresh and unique content, crawlers will know that your website is active. This pushes your website closer to the top of SERPs, obtains organic stars and helps to increase website conversions.
Achieving Organic Stars
It is important to understand that it is not enough to simply have customer reviews. Ultimately, your business needs to show organic stars on Google, which is recognizable snippets that assist your website in standing out in online search listings. These stars have shown to improve click-through rates (CTR) by as much as 30 percent.
To obtain those stars with reviews on your site, it needs to be marked-up correctly with the appropriate scheme, which is code that assists algorithms return informative data about sites. There are three different key types, which are focused on homepages, products, and individual locations of businesses.
When combined with the correct schema, your customer reviews may appear in the Knowledge Panel on Google, which is the box that is on the right side of the search results that features relevant information about businesses.
Therefore, even with reviews, you may not have stars if you don’t have the proper schema markup on your site.
Battling Fake Reviews
Reviews offer a certain level of credibility, but what happens if the reviews are fake? Believe it or not, it is not at all uncommon to see fake reviews where writing services are potentially being advertised, despite the fact that offenders are being cracked down upon, sometimes even with lawsuits.
Consumers tend to be mostly practical, meaning that they realize nothing is 100 percent perfect and that they are usually skeptical about services and products that have mainly positive feedback. People tend to believe that reviews with five stars are simply too good to be true. Instead, consumers are more influenced by reviews between 4.2 and 4.5, according to research.
Platforms that send out invitations help to disprove the risk of fake reviews by soliciting the reviews from sincere customers who have bought products or services from their clients instead of simply leaving it so that anyone at all can leave a review. When people are aware of the fact that your customer reviews have actually been left by legitimate customers, it will build a certain level of trust and confidence with prospective customers and increase sales.
Reviews and Revenue
The majority of consumers use online reviews as a factor when purchasing a product or service. According to research, 92 percent of consumers will hesitate making a purchase if there are not any reviews on the product or service. Additional research has found that 88 percent of consumers put their trust into online reviews as much as they put their trust in recommendations from friends, family and colleagues.
Word of mouth is also a deciding factor for many consumers; however, looking at online reviews is often viewed as impartial and more varied, which gives them equal value. Regardless of how you look at it, people trust others. This trust instills confidence, which then increases both traffic and sales. For an oil and gas company based out of Northern England, their sales have been boosted by nearly 70 percent year-over-year once organic stars were displayed on their site.
Many believe that positive reviews are the only thing that is important, but the truth of the matter is that negative reviews are just as powerful and beneficial as positive reviews when it comes to SEO and consumer trust.
For a lot of it, volume and variety is important. You are showing that there is nothing for you to hide when you can display both positive and negative customer reviews. The positive customer reviews will obviously speak for themselves, and the negative customer reviews allow you to demonstrate your company’s customer service skills.
By giving consumers an inside look at the way things are handled, especially negative feedback, it can make your business more appealing to them. With everything becoming more and more automated as each day passes, that type of personal touch can mean all the world to your company’s value.
Today’s consumers have a variety of choices at their fingertips, which almost makes transparency a requirement when it comes to your business, especially if you want to ensure that your company stands out in a crowd of competitors.
As long as your reviews are collected, displayed and coupled with schema correctly, your business can utilize them in a way that they can help your SEO and show organic stars in Google. They can also help to build trust and confidence with your customers by ensuring that they know they can purchase products and services through you with peace of mind.
If you have any questions about how customer reviews can assist you in obtaining organic stars, improve your click-through-rate and increase your business sales, contact us at WebDetail today.