When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), reviews and testimonials are critical to your website. To understand why, it’s important to reflect on the evolution of Google search results. Read more to learn about Enhancing SEO With Reviews and Testimonials: A Practical Guide
It’s no secret that Google algorithms are becoming more sophisticated. While this is a challenge for website owners who aren’t up to speed, it can be a boon to those who know how to navigate the evolving SEO world.
Google analytics don’t simply analyze what you have to say about your company, but what others are saying as well. That’s why reviews, testimonials and other forms of User Generated Content (UGC) have become so critical for optimizing SEO. Google analytics are increasingly looking at these forms of content to weigh your online reputation.
It therefore comes as no surprise that SEO loves UGC. Companies that have more positive UGC generally score better on search results and overall website rankings. Positive UGC not only gives your brand great mentions, it also provides backlinks to your site that enables organic growth.
To get a sense of how this works, consider a recent study conducted by Search Engine Land, a website that features daily search engine industry news and trends. The study found that 79% of online shoppers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That means enhancing SEO with reviews ie- a positive review or testimonial about your brand has a very high likelihood of translating into better sales, clicks and overall business growth.
Yotpo, a company that specializes in user generated content, recently analyzed 30,000 online businesses over a nine-month period to better understand the correlation between reviews and organic traffic. While these businesses represented various online niches, they all enabled users to add reviews and testimonials. The study found that the average number of monthly organic site visits surged to 8,100 from 5,400. This clearly demonstrates the strong correlation between user reviews and organic traffic growth.
Adinah Brown of Leverate provides a good synopsis of why this connection exists.
Reviews generate fresh content
A review is not just a summary of a user’s experience with a product or service – it actually provides fresh content, which is essential for SEO purposes. UGC is a low-cost, low-effort way to maximize content creation, making it easier for your site to stay relevant.
Reviews boost SEO attributes
Your site is designed to be crawled over by search engines that read keywords, titles, back-links and internal links. Reviews offer up huge opportunity for link building, which drives more traffic to your website.
Reviews improve keyword rank
Online content creators often struggle identifying which keywords to focus on. Customer testimonials make this process a lot easier, since they usually review your brand using words and phrases that others are likely to use when talking about your product or service. You can integrate those keywords in your broader SEO strategy.
Reviews increase social SEO
Social media is an essential component of effective search engine optimization. Enabling reviews on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or other social media channel raises the likelihood that your product or service will be shared by others. Broadening your social media presence also invites comments and the use of hashtags, allowing your brand to go viral.
Reviews are good for manual and automatic optimization
Rest assured, positive customer reviews will boost your reputation regardless of who or what is evaluating it. Automated search engines use customer reviews in their evaluation criteria, and so do human search quality raters. Regardless of who or what is crawling your website, positive reviews will leave a positive mark.
Search engine optimization is undergoing constant evolution and change, but one thing that will never run out of style is your ability to generate positive reviews about your brand. By enabling user generated content, you can increase your website reputation and SEO manifold in relatively short order. So, don’t forget to enable testimonials across your online and social media presence. Your SEO will thank you!
Get in contact with Charli Says to learn more about Enhancing SEO With Reviews.
Leaprate Staff (January 16, 2017). “How to use reviews and testimonials to enhance your website’s SEO.” LeapRate.