Reviews are regarded as one of the most powerful tools for establishing trust and authority. They provide customers’ perspectives in an open and honest manner and help potential customers come to a decision on whether to make a purchase or not.
We spoke with Graham Wilkinson, Senior Partner Manager at Trustpilot, and Robyn, our Senior SEO Account Executive, about how customer reviews can help improve your SEO and why they should be a key part of any digital marketing strategy.
Where Do Reviews Sit in the Digital Marketing Journey?
It’s rare to find an e-commerce journey in this day and age that doesn’t include some sort of social proof. Reviews, ratings and testimonials sit at the top of the tree when it comes to the most popular and powerful form of social proof. Not only do they add credibility and reinforce the notion of trust between brand and consumer, but they’re also a strong advocate for brand identity and can be an extremely powerful tool for building loyalty.
If harnessed correctly, they can be used as a window into your customer base and allow you to better understand their wants and needs and tailor your offering accordingly. They allow you to solve problems before they become problems.
Finally, the impact reviews can have on both organic and paid results has been proven to increase CTRs (click-through-rate) by as much as 35%. Whether showcasing keyword-rich content on key pages or making paid ads stand out with Google Seller Rating stars, review content is a prerequisite to a successful digital marketing campaign.
Reviews and SEO
Robyn, Passion Digital
Authority and trust in your site are crucial to being able to rank well. Online reviews are a significant opportunity to communicate trustworthiness to search engines, and should be an important focus when building your SEO strategy.
Firstly, having star ratings on your site helps build trust amongst customers using visual reviews. By displaying these reviews on your website, you have the opportunity to implement review snippets of structured data and improve how your site shows on the results page. Rich snippets are not a direct ranking factor but do have various SEO benefits, such as allowing you to stand out from your competitors and increasing your CTR.
Take advantage of user-generated content
Google favours fresh, relevant and unique content. Reviews add additional text to your page, which could be more valuable and gives Google more context to decipher what your page is about. Customer reviews are another way of ensuring the content on your pages is being updated with little effort from you, as the customer is doing the copywriting for you. This not only helps Google find your content to crawl and depict what it’s about, but also proves to potential customers that your offering is trustworthy and credible.
Do not forget the importance of responding to every review your customers leave you with — including the negative ones. Responding not only encourages user engagement and builds customer relationships by showing you value their feedback, but you are also refreshing your content and adding relevant keywords to your page.
Make use of long-tail keywords
Customer reviews will naturally include keywords relevant to that product or service, increasing the chances of future customers finding this offering when using similar search queries. Long-tail keywords have lower search demand but are more likely to have a higher conversion rate. Appearing for more relevant keywords will help increase your visibility in the search results, putting you in a better position to rank above your competitors.
Utilising off-page SEO
As important as on-page SEO is, we cannot forget about the significance of off-page SEO and the value of having a strong backlink profile. Search engines use off-page SEO to measure how relevant, authoritative and trustworthy your website is. Creating a profile on a third-party online review site has the potential to highlight your credibility to Google, as well as promoting referral traffic.
There we have it — reviews are truly powerful digital marketing tools. They don’t just act as social proof to incentivise users to purchase a product or service or increase CTRs on paid ads, they can assist in your SEO efforts to get that organic visibility you deserve. Get in touch with our SEO experts if you need help with your review and wider organic strategy. You may also like to take a look at our reviews to get that social proof that’s so important.