Online Reviews and SEO: Why Online Reviews Are Important for Ranking

Online Reviews and SEO: Why Online Reviews Are Important for Ranking

When you use brainer to manage all of your online reviews, you’re doing more than just improving the way that online users view your online reputation, we also improve the way that search engines, like Google, rank your business against your competitors. We’re talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Now that is more than just a digital marketing buzzword. SEO is the practice of consistently improving your online presence to increase your visibility online. You may not have known it, but online reviews go a long way in improving your online presence. Here’s how online reviews and SEO go hand in hand and why online reviews are important for ranking online.

Where Do Online Reviews Show in Search Engine Result Pages?

You don’t have to be a self-proclaimed SEO specialist to understand how search engines work. You really only need to learn to think backward for a minute. When you, as a consumer, hop on Google and looks for a place to order take-out from you probably type in “Thai restaurants near me.”

Sidenote: for the sake of time and space, I will pick on Google as my main example because they are the most used search engine, but this applies to Bing, Yahoo, and just about everyone else.

Google then does its best to show you the most relevant search results. You may see paid-ads for Thair restaurants, Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook listings, and then finally organic search results. Naturally, you will click on the local business listings from GMB, Yelp, and Facebook because they will prominently display how many stars each restaurant has (reviews), a ‘call’ button, and a link to the menu or website.

Because Paid Ads and Organic results are their own world, let’s focus on how getting more and better online reviews will help your business show up before your competitors.

Do Google Reviews Help SEO Ranking?

The answer to this is yes, but let’s dig a little deeper and understand what exactly Google is looking for when it comes to factors that influence how prominent your online presence is.

The 3 main factors to conspire are:
• Relevance
• Distance (from the online user searching)
• Quality of the Reviews

Let’s look at each one of these factors and how they relate to the quality of your online reviews.

Relevance

When it comes to online reviews, each time you receive one on Google My Business, Yelp, or Facebook, search engines get a ping that lets them know that your online presence is there and people are using your service. Search engines trust this signal that they receive because they are worried about providing users with the correct information. The more online reviews that you have that relate to a relevant search term (like Thai food near me), that information will be seen as more relevant in the eyes of Google.

Basically, do you sell Thai food? Do online reviews praise you for your delicious Thai food? Good. More reviews become more content for Google to crawl and you begin to grow your relevance with them this way.

Distance

Next is the distance. This applies to the “near me” part of the search term “Thai food near me.”

If you are connected to Google Maps and your location shows up when you search for it, then you should be good here. This has less to do with reviews but it’s an important piece of the puzzle.

Quality of the Reviews

While Google looks at the technical side of things, your customers (who are the people who really matter here) are not interested in why your business listing shows up. They are more concerned with the quality of your products and services are. This is where having high-quality online reviews comes into play.

Given the choice between two different businesses who are competing for my dollars, I’m more likely to go to the business with more outstanding 4 and 5-star reviews. Not the one with 1, 2, or 3 stars. I’m guessing that I’m not alone in that. In fact, it’s proven that if your business has more 4 and 5-star reviews, your business is more likely to show up on search engines and users are more likely to choose your business.

Let’s Recap

Posting reviews creates a signal that Google and other search engines trust.
More reviews mean more signals which mean more content for Google to crawl.
Great reviews (4-5 Stars) result in more clicks.

So how exactly do you go about getting the kind of online reviews that are good for SEO and great for business?

How Your Business Can Manage Online Reviews to Help Their Websites Rank Higher

You need more online traffic and you need better online reviews.

That’s why we created brainer. A better way to manage your online reviews. brainer works by sending your customers a text message or an email asking them to rate your experience as soon as they checkout. This positive review is then posted to Google, Facebook, or Yelp.

We’ve learned that customers are far more likely to leave you a positive review within the first 5 minutes of purchase while the excitement of their purchase is still there. With brainer, not only will you get more reviews, you’ll get more 5 star reviews.

Check it out for yourself. We’re the leading online review management tool that businesses of all sizes trust. Start your FREE trial today.