In the proverbial “alphabet soup” of digital marketing strategies, SEO tends be the most widely discussed. Many focus upon topics such as keywords and HTML tags, but the fact of the matter is that user-generated reviews can have a massive impact upon SERP rankings and therefore, the success of the your business as a whole. Let us take a look at why these reviews are able to benefit a budding enterprise as well as how they can be enhanced through the power of social media.
Why do Online Reviews Matter?
In order to properly appreciate how to sell SEO strategies to benefit your business, it is first important to understand the organic role of reviews. According to a recent study, 88 per cent of potential customers believe reviews to be just as relevant as a recommendation from a friend or a family member. This actually makes perfect sense, as the digital community is increasingly defined by its social reach. In other words, the power of an objective opinion can go a long way towards selling a product or service that you happen to be marketing. However, this is only the beginning.
Major search engines such as Google are now placing a greater emphasis upon user-generated reviews. This is primarily due to the fact that they tend to validate the website in question. Thus, more reviews tend to equate to higher rankings within a search engine results page. This leads to more exposure and in turn, a greater potential for engaging a more diverse online audience. We can think of a digital presence much like a traditional billboard. Unless individuals see this billboard, it will serve little purpose. Customer reviews help to address this factor.
The Relationship Between Local Google Reviews and Online Success
We are already aware that online reviews can potentially shape the behavior of the customer. However, we have not yet factored local feedback into the equation. Local searches tend to be associated with a higher intent to purchase a good or service. This arises from the simple fact that the customer already knows what he or she is looking for. For instance, let us look at these two similar queries:
Cheap plumber in London
We can clearly see that the second search is much more discrete and it signals that the individual is focused upon a specific category. Should client-generated reviews contain one or more of these terms, the company will appear higher within SERP rankings. This once again stresses the very organic nature of modern SEO practices. Let’s also keep in mind that these very same keywords can be used in Google AdWords; an important benefit from a pay-per-click point of view. Although Google provides algorithmic results based upon the location of a mobile device or a computer, the fact of the matter is that customer reviews can boost local SEO and therefore, the online reputation of the business in question.
The Social Media Factor
Finally, we should briefly address the relationship between online reviews and social media portals such as Facebook and Twitter. When a company is linked to these websites, it will hold substantially more “clout” within Google search listings. Not only can this once again help rankings, but the real-time nature of social media provides further user-contributed validity to what is being marketed.
It should now be clear to appreciate why customer reviews are important within the digital age. The ability to leverage their power can make all of the difference in the world between a successful campaign and misplaced efforts.