Online reviews and SEO have been closely tied together for a long time. That’s common knowledge at this point. According to Moz, online reviews are estimated to make up 10% of the criteria for how Google displays search results.
That’s a hefty chunk!
The importance of online reviews in today’s business world is undeniable. However, thanks to the famously secretive Google algorithms, knowing exactly how to leverage them to achieve stellar rankings is still somewhat of an ambiguous task.
Over the years, there have been all kinds of studies and strategic advice given on how to work customer reviews into SEO plans. While the precise details will vary from company-to-company (and industry-to-industry), there are several commonalities that can be applied across the board.
Let’s talk about a few of the big ones in making online reviews one of the strongest weapons in your SEO arsenal.
Develop a strategy to collect in numbers
First and foremost, online reviews aren’t doing your SEO strategy any good if you aren’t getting them!
Google and other search engines like to see that people are choosing your business and taking the time to leave their opinion on it. Unfortunately, most people won’t take the time to write a review on their own, unless the experience was exceptionally bad. In fact, studies have found that more than 30% of consumers will leave a negative review following a subpar experience!
That being said, you need to make a conscious effort to collect reviews from as many customers as you can. The good news is that 70% of consumers will leave a review if asked – per a BrightLocal study.
Plain and simple, you need a plan to follow up with customers after their experience to gauge their thoughts. Now, this is a task you need to handle carefully.
Step one deals with timeliness
Regardless of whether your review follow-ups are done through email campaigns, SMS messages, review…