Merchants should pay attention to their customers’ reviews. While online reviews may appear to be a minor component of your overall online presence, more shoppers are using review websites to decide what products to buy. Furthermore, 93% of customers say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions in today’s digital age.
Online reviews are important for a variety of reasons, and their ability to influence has huge impacts:
- Local search engine ranking of your website
- Which search results are viewed
- Consumer purchasing decisions
As a result, online reviews are as critical to your local SEO strategy as citation building and on-site optimization. In previous posts, I discussed the nuts and bolts of citation building and a primer for local SEO to help you get started with your local SEO strategy.
Are you unsure where to go from here? First, we’ll look at how online reviews influence shoppers’ purchasing decisions, and then we’ll look at how SEO reviews fit into your local SEO campaign. Following that, I’ll walk you through some strategies for acquiring online reviews while proactively managing your online reputation.
What’s the connection between customer reviews and SEO?
Online reviews provide an unbiased assessment of a company. Reviews are crowdsourced information that does not (ideally) come from the business owner or someone paid to promote it. As a result, it’s no surprise that Google now incorporates user reviews into its SEO rankings.
Google’s preference for reviews is similar to how the search engine rewards businesses that receive backlinks from other websites – the more people who talk about your company, the higher Google ranks your site.
Review websites provide users with the most up-to-date information to assist them in forecasting and making decisions about future purchases. The faster they can accomplish this; the more customers will return to them.
Furthermore, according to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews are thought to account for 10% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results. Here’s a pie chart that they provide to visually break down the various variables:
How important is customer feedback, and does it have an impact on SEO?
According to statistics, 90 percent of consumers will check reviews before visiting a business; 84 percent trust reviews as much as they trust word of mouth, i.e., personal recommendations; and 93 percent give reviews a starring role in their decision to finally click that golden ‘Buy Now’ button.
The numbers have spoken. And they all speak with one voice: reviews are essential. But why is that? More specifically, why are they important for SEO and search rankings?
Because Google has access to everything.
As we’ve seen repeatedly, Google prioritises the customer when it comes to SEO. Your client, their user. Google wants, believes, and trusts what the user wants, believes, and trusts. So, if Google has seen your customer showing the public, and Google, whether your business is good, bad, or ugly, Google will use that as a signal to rank you with the good-page 1, the bad- anything after, and the ugly. Well, we don’t even want to go there.
Positive and negative reviews both impact your Shopify SEO strategy; after all, “no publicity is bad publicity.” At the very least, they both serve to inform Google that your company is reputable. Google values authenticity. A new metric or set of metrics in Google’s algorithm looks for authenticity in a site and passion in the content created on a page, including customer reviews. They can benefit or harm your Shopify SEO strategy in a variety of ways.
Here are the steps to Boost Your SEO by Obtaining More Reviews
There were several ways to solicit feedback; however, you may be intimidated by the prospect of manually sending messages to thousands of customers. Fortunately, you can automate this process with a review collection app. You can also tailor your review request templates to match your company’s branding or review collection strategy. Here are some points to keep in mind when collecting reviews with the help of an app:
1. Set up a Review app on your Shopify store.
Customers will be more likely to leave feedback if you make it easy for them to do so. For example, if your customers make purchases or schedule appointments online, providing a simple way for them to leave a review improves your chances.
You can do the same with an app collecting reviews, allowing your customers to provide feedback without leaving their chat window. This lessens the likelihood of them forgetting to write the review later.
2. Request reviews from your customers by sending review request messages
Because the relationship between reviews and SEO remains unchanged, you’ll want as much customer feedback as possible.
When asked, many customers will volunteer to lead a review of your product or service.
The methods listed below are just a few of the many options for gathering feedback:
- First, use WhatsApp/email to send a simple request to your previous customer list.
- Set up messages at the point of sale to solicit feedback from loyal customers.
- After fulfillment/delivery/purchase, send a review request based on your specifications.
Thank your customers for their loyalty and emphasize the importance of positive reviews to your business. This genuine engagement increases brand loyalty and has the potential to produce extraordinary results.
3. Make incentives available for customer reviews
If you ask for reviews and your customers do not respond, consider incentivizing them. For example, a small discount on a future order can go a long way toward persuading someone to write a review of your company, products, or services.
Customers appreciate being recognized and valued. What better way to show this than by providing a discount? Discounts can also have a cascading effect. The buyer purchases your product, leaves a review, receives a discount, uses their coupon to purchase another product, and provides additional feedback.
Wrapping it up
Remember to include online reviews in your SEO strategy because they can help you rank higher on Google and generate more internet traffic. Furthermore, because customers can be hesitant to provide product feedback, you should encourage them to do so by sending emails and reminders.
Best of luck!