Do Google reviews help your website ranking and SEO?
Short answer: YES.
Google considers user reviews while ranking your local business or website.
Also, Google reviews create a HUGE impact on your business, as 93% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase (Source: Dixa).
So, in this post, we’ll find out does responding to Google reviews help SEO. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents ☰
How Do Google Reviews Help Your SEO in 2024?
The DIRECT benefits of Google reviews include:
- They positively impact rankings for your business.
- The potential conversion rate increases as most people go through customer reviews before purchasing something online. According to Trust Pilot, positive reviews can increase conversion rates by up to 18%.
- Google reviews help with improved trust and confidence from potential buyers.
- They help you with BETTER optimization of keywords related to your business. People often naturally use long-tail keywords while writing reviews about any product or business. This can ultimately help your website rank higher for those keywords.
- Reviews on Google increase your website traffic (if you have a website and mention its URL in your business listing including platforms like Google Business, Facebook, Yelp, etc).
The INDIRECT benefits of reviews are:
- Positive reviews can help you with brand building and word-of-mouth promotion for FREE.
- Responding to customer reviews (be they negative, positive or neutral) indirectly shows that you care about them.
- They can impact your local SEO, which ultimately helps with better organic visibility and brand recognition.
- Above all, you can use positive reviews about your business as social proof, as they can be reused as testimonials. When potential customers see “good things” about your business, they’re more likely to purchase from you.
User Reviews on Google = User Generated Content (UGC)
Have you ever wondered why Google sometimes ranks sites like Quora, LinkedIn and Medium?
Because they ALL are user-generated content platforms, meaning the users using those platforms create ALL the content.
Here’s an example of a LinkedIn answer ranking in Google;
Search engines like Google give A LOT of weightage to content created by USERS. That’s why platforms like Quora, Reddit and LinkedIn rank for many search queries.
All in all, user-generated content (UGC) like reviews act as social proof, showcasing your brand’s popularity and influencing search rankings.
The Importance of Review Signals in SEO
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the important review metrics influencing SEO in 2024;
- Quantity: More reviews, positive or negative, often indicate one thing: HIGHER engagement from users, which ultimately creates an impact on your SEO. If you want to improve your organic SEO, focus on getting as many quality reviews as possible.
- Quality: Quality > Quantity. Aim for detailed reviews, as search engines give MORE value to helpful reviews than generic ones. Ask people to leave genuine reviews about your products.
- Sentiment: Positive reviews carry more weight, but negative feedback can signal areas for improvement.
- Freshness: Try to get new reviews now and then. Why? Recent reviews have MORE impact than the ones written years ago.
Quick Tips to Get 5-Star Reviews on Google
The more reviews you have, the more credible your business appears on Google. Here are a few quick tips to get 5-start Google reviews for your business in 2024.
- Encourage customers to leave positive reviews through various channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Google Maps, etc. Reviews from customers with photos create a HUGE impact and they tend to stick at the top longer. So, encourage people to leave reviews with photos of the products they purchase (or photos of your physical store).
- Focus on creating high-value products at competitive prices. Nothing beats QUALITY. If people genuinely like your products, they’ll leave positive reviews.
- Provide excellent customer service. Treat your customers as a family. Create a system where your customers can easily connect with you if they need help.
- Invest in the RIGHT local SEO tools, as they can help you manage your reviews, listings, citations, and more. You can also use free tools like Google Alerts to keep an eye on online mentions of your business.
- Respond to all reviews promptly. Make sure to deal professionally with negative reviews and address their concerns.
- Print “Leave Us a Review” cards with special incentives such as discounts on future purchases.
Make sure to go through this local SEO checklist if you want solid tips to improve your local business visibility.
How to Deal With Bad Reviews on Google?
If you’re running a local or online business, you must learn the art of dealing with bad reviews. Here are some quick tips to handle them carefully.
- Make it a habit of replying to the reviews within 24-48 hours (especially the bad ones). Don’t abuse. Deal with them professionally.
- If the review has a SOLID point, accept your mistake and use phrases like “I understand your frustration” or “I apologize for your experience.” Then, address their points.
- Above all, show REAL care to the reviewers who are in frustration. Offer a refund, replacement, discount, etc.
- In case of abusive or threatening reviews, report them directly to Google for removal.
Final thoughts on the impact of Google reviews on SEO
Google reviews can DIRECTLY impact local searches. Businesses with positive reviews are likelier to appear in local search results.
Remember that Google reviews are ONLY one part. You can’t ignore other important SEO elements like on-page optimization, backlinks, and technical SEO.
If you’ve any questions on the potential of Google reviews for local SEO, let us know in the comments.