How Reviews Impact Local SEO

In the online world of today, word-of-mouth and personal recommendations now have more impact than they did even a decade ago. With all the review sites available to consumers, it’s easy for them to rate a business and provide testimonials. That can be good or downright horrific in the way it impacts your SEO, especially for local businesses.

In a survey conducted by Bright Local in 2016, the following results were revealed:

  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to
  • 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
  • 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews
  • 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant
  • 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important

This data is pretty convincing that great reviews are likely to sway customers toward using your product or service or your competitors with more negative reviews or any at all. But how do reviews actually affect customers finding you in the first place?

5 Reasons Reviews Help Your SEO

Search engines are always looking for the best ways to satisfy consumers and to give them results that most match their queries. Reviews reflect the level of customer satisfaction, so it’s a given that they have an impact. How?

1.    Reviews provide fresh content.

Fresh content is important to your SEO, but it can sometimes be challenging to keep up. Let the reviewers provide it for you! This review content will prove that your site is active, people are talking about you, and it creates conversation—getting your name and brand out there without you having to create it.

2.    Reviews help with basic SEO attributes.

Keywords, back-links and internal links are some of the factors used for SEO. Customers adding reviews for your business can build these attributes for you.

3.    Reviews help your long-tail keywords ranking.

Customers leaving reviews use verbiage that many searchers will use to find you. Therefore, these keyword phrases, also known as long-tail keywords, can be gleaned from the reviews and added to your site’s keywords to build SEO.

4.    Reviews boost social SEO.

Social media sites are also used by search engines in determining the relevance of information and therefore, rankings. Many reviews are in the form of social shares, comments and likes, which link back to the brand being discussed.

5.    Reviews are noticed by search engine crawlers.

Search engines are constantly looking for content that is useful and relevant to consumers. Reviews provide great content for this purpose; therefore, they rank high in SEO. Reviews validate the existence of a business and increase trust, thereby increasing SEO.

Do Only Positive Reviews Count Toward SEO?

Although good reviews are always preferred over less positive ones, the impact on SEO is not that different. Search engines consider reviews as “humanized”, meaning that different people will have different ratings. They also know that not all businesses are perfect and can’t get five stars all the time. What they are looking for is reputable sites, fresh content and useful information.

Of course, you’ll want to mitigate those less-than-stellar reviews; even better, prevent them in the first place. But that’s a completely separate topic outside of this blog.

Colorado Springs SEO for Growth Can Help

Whether you want help with managing your reputation and reviews, increasing your SEO, or any other part of your online marketing plan, Colorado Springs SEO for Growth has the expertise to fine-tune and optimize your online presence. We offer a free SEO Audit that will show you where your business stands in the rankings. Contact us today to learn more!



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