Building trust used to be all about word-of-mouth and long-term reputation. Now, however, most of our purchase decisions are made online, and reviews are key to the experience. A recent survey found that 97% of customers use online reviews to make decisions about where to buy. If no reviews are available, most customers will bounce off to another site. More than 4 good reviews, though, and a phone call or email becomes highly likely.
The SEO team at Imagefix has seen the importance of reviews grow dramatically over the past 5 years. In 2015 Google valued reviews at 10.8% of how they rank a business. Now that figure has shot up to 15.44% and it’s likely to keep rising. Reviews are now important – and here are 6 compelling reasons to start collecting reviews for your business.
If you want your website to rank highly with Google you need to show that you value your customers. Requesting online feedback demonstrates that you pay attention to what your customers think. According to the Google My Business support page
“high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”
Google values the regular creation of fresh, original content. Reviews are recognised as an excellent source of new copy, and positive reviews will help you to climb the search engine rankings. The higher you get, the more your website will be recognised as both authoritative and trustworthy – which means more visitors, and more conversions.
Reviews that are detailed and authentically enthusiastic about a product or service will get people talking. We’re hard-wired to be helpful, so good reviews tend to get shared on local forums, social media and via TripAdvisor, or Yelp. Once this starts to happen, Google will recognise it as evidence that your business deserves promotion in the rankings.
There’s no need to dread the bad review. Google values ‘interaction’ highly, so responding professionally to bad reviews is perceived as a positive mitigating factor.
There are clear guidelines for how to tackle these responses:
Businesses that consistently attract good reviews will be recognised by Google with a gold star rating in their search results. It’s hard to underestimate the impact this can have on a searcher trawling the net to find a business they can trust. 5 gold stars is considered to be a solid recommendation of worth, Less than 4 stars though, and your website could be passed over.
When promoting local businesses there’s two key criteria for Google: relevant keywords and location. So reviews that use relevant keywords, and mention their location, help to bump you up into the ‘local pack’, under the map at the top of the search results.
We’ve become terrible ‘naggers’ over the past few years, when it comes to businesses managing their reviews. We absolutely get how busy everyone is, but we also know how critical reviews are to your sales. For SEO to be working at its peak in growing your visibility, reviews need to be part of the mix. The good thing is that we can help with creating an efficient framework for collecting and posting reviews, so all you have to do is get your customers to share how brilliant you are!
Imagefix offers 6 compelling reasons to grow your customer reviews. If you need help to get started, or with your review strategy, call us on 01525 715608
Imagefix Web Design,
Brickhill Drive, Bedford,
Bedfordshire, MK41 7PH.
Imagefix Ltd, Building 52,
Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedford,
Bedfordshire, MK45 4HR.
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