Do Google Reviews Help with SEO?

Emma Grant

Head of SEO

Results-driven Emma heads up our SEO team. A champion of best-practice SEO strategies for search engine success that lasts and delivers best value, Emma’s work focuses on boosting clients’ online visibility with the ultimate goal of increasing sales. Emma applies her extensive skill and experience to create strategies that pay off quickly for faster results. She knows precisely what to do to reduce clients’ paid ad spends for greater profits, and how to boost organic leads for better long term return on investment. After close of business, when she’s not organising exciting travel adventures, you may hear Emma strumming classical guitar tunes or working on her jazz riffs.

We all know the power of a good review. They have the ability to make prospects press the buy button and turn into customers. And they do a thing or two when it comes to boosting reputation too. But when it comes to search rankings, do Google Reviews help SEO?

do Google Reviews help SEO

How many times have you been asked to leave a review after you’ve bought something or used a service? It seems it’s part and parcel of pretty much every transaction these days. And it can do a lot for your reputation, promoting trust and customer loyalty.

In a lot of cases, customers will leave a review whether they’re prompted to or not. Although it’s generally if they’ve had an outstandingly good experience, or a downright bad one.

But even negative reviews can be turned on their head as a positive. Resolve them promptly with an offer to put things right, and it can go in your favour. As long as you don’t do nothing, it could well turn out just fine.

Reviews have a great deal of power when it comes to converting prospects into customers. How often have you been teetering on the brink of buying something, holding back with uncertainty, until you’ve seen a good batch of reviews that reassures you and pushes you to make that purchase?

So with that all said, now to the question: do Google Reviews help SEO?

Well the truth is yes, they can, especially when it comes to Google Map Pack and local organic search rankings. But they’re important for national search strategies too.

What are the SEO benefits of customer reviews?

Customer reviews are a trusted benchmark of product and service quality. But with Google reviews, there’s a double advantage. Because in addition to raising your business profile online by increasing the chances of someone visiting your website, they act as a local ranking factor.

Reviews help you stand out from the competition. And, it seems, the more reviews you have, the more Google (and other search engines) will reward you. For example, Google places businesses with higher levels of positive reviews at the top of the all-important Map Pack which appears at the top of local search results.

The Google Map Pack (also known as the Local Pack) showcases three Google Business Profiles. These are the profiles that are considered most worthy, and the listing shows their customer reviews, their star rating, and their business details.

Out of the three featured profiles in the Map Pack, the one in the top position tends, on average, to have the highest number of positive reviews.

With this in mind, in answer to the question, do Google Reviews help SEO, the answer has to be ‘yes’. The more positive reviews you achieve over time will positively affect your ability to rank, which means enhanced visibility, and better targeted local traffic.

Other factors influencing Map Pack position are star ratings, keywords in Google Reviews, and the quantity of Google reviews.

In terms of conversions from Google Business Profile listings, high star ratings and positively worded reviews are the top factors. But how recently the reviews were posted, and whether the profile owner is responding to the reviews, are also important.

Customer reviews are also important because they form valuable keyword-rich, user-generated content. And the value of user-generated content cannot be over-emphasised, because it’s doing all the right jobs for a business or brand, without the business or brand having to lift a finger.

Do Google reviews help SEO

Customer reviews are important because they form valuable keyword-rich, user-generated content.

What are the most valuable types of customer review?

For the majority of local businesses, Google reviews that are submitted through a Google Business Profile hold the most value.

ReviewTrackers says that Google reviews account for 57.5% of all online local reviews, whereas Facebook reviews only account for 19%.

There are a few niche industry customer review platforms, such as Tripadvisor for travel, and OpenTable for restaurants. But whilst these may work well from an industry-specific standpoint, they won’t hold as much weight in terms of organic search ranking perspective.

How to get Google reviews?

Most people will leave a review following a positive (or negative) experience. So if you want positive reviews, the easiest thing to do is provide an excellent service.

Of course, it’s not always as easy as that. Some people need a little encouragement. Others just need pointing in the right direction.

Never be afraid to ask for a review. The best time is following the successful delivery of a service or product.

Google makes it easy for you to ask for reviews by giving you a link to share with your customers. So you can include it in an email, share it at the end of a webchat, or add it to your digital invoices or receipts. And of course, put it on your website!

There are simple ways to request reviews offline too. A strategically placed QR code on a paper receipt, a restaurant table, next to a cash register or even printed or embroidered onto fashion garments and accessories can take users directly to your Google Business Profile where a review can be left.

Now for a top tip… The key question we asked when we started writing this article was, do Google Reviews help SEO? And we ascertained that yes, they do. But what you really want is reviews that include the keywords that you are looking to rank for. SO be sure to suggest to your reviewers that they reference the service or product that they experienced.

How to deal with a bad customer review?

Some businesses avoid asking for reviews through fear of receiving negative feedback.

Unfortunately, as great as you may be, it is inevitable that at some point, this is going to happen.

But you should look at negative feedback as an opportunity to make improvements, as well as to show that you are responsive and always willing to put things right.

Customers expect a response to their reviews, good or bad. But especially bad. Failing to respond will only fuel their frustration.

It’s important that you respond quickly. So make sure you have your alerts switched on to notify you as soon as you receive a new review.

Do Google reviews help SEO

Look at negative feedback as an opportunity to make improvements, as well as to show that you are responsive and always willing to put things right.

Google understands that businesses will receive negative reviews, and you won’t be penalised for conceding a few. However, if you leave them unanswered, then you are likely to feel the pinch in terms of brand reputation.

Multiple bad reviews will of course reflect badly and will affect ranking ability. If this is something that’s become a problem, it’s a good time to reflect on processes and perhaps take some advice to see how you can improve things.

From time to time, a business may receive a negative review that’s fake or inappropriate. Whilst it is not possible to directly delete these, you can go through Google’s formal review process to ask to have them removed. This can take time however, as Google needs to process the request and determine its authenticity. Google will only agree to remove reviews which violate its policies.

Looking to boost your local SEO?

Do Google Reviews help SEO? They can do, especially local SEO. If you have a local audience and are seeking to attract more customers, Figment can help.

Our professional SEO services has achieved award-winning results for many local businesses. Up to 1600+ plus growth in organic website traffic and hundreds of page one rankings have made a considerable difference to their online visibility and sales.

To discover how we can help your business, talk to Figment today.

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