Google puts a large emphasis on online reviews, which makes leveraging reviews essential for your business. Customer reviews have become unavoidable with the rising prominence of review sites over the past decade. This means high star ratings are now synonymous with trust, and virtually any consumer search query displays a snapshot of reviews from one site or another.
Consumers want to see reviews to know which brands to trust, so Google and other search engines do not deny them that. For your business, online reviews are critical to climbing the search engine ladder, engaging customers, and increasing sales. However, quantity isn’t all Google and its many competitors care about; quality is just as significant a factor for online reviews.
Reviews Help Build Trust
The sheer wealth of information on the internet can make it hard to know what’s credible and what isn’t, but for consumers, customer reviews are as trustworthy as online information gets.
Search engines look for reviews for the same reason consumers do: trust. Customers look to other customers with first-hand experience for buying guidance, so Google and other search engines provide this resource. Ultimately, customer reviews offer trustworthy information for consumers shopping for products or services.
While Google and other search engines constantly change how they index content and rank websites, one thing has stayed the same. It is likely not to change: they trust reviews as informative, relevant content potential business consumers want to see.
Reviews Can Help Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is online content that helps your business rank higher on search engine results pages, despite being third-party to your website. This includes social media content and customer reviews on third-party review platforms. Examples of third-party review sites include Yelp and Facebook reviews; both frequently rank on page one for business-related searches.
Google trusts third-party reviews as much as those on its platform. While Google is the most prominent review site online, collecting reviews on other review platforms will help boost your search engine visibility. So if your business is active on these sites (by receiving reviews and regularly updating business information), your Yelp and Facebook pages can appear in Google search results that are relevant to your business.
Search Engines Look For Relevance And Authority
Gone are the days when businesses could rank highly on Google by keyword-stuffing their websites. Keywords still play a vital role in SEO, but what Google makes an effort to look for now are relevance and authority.
Google determines relevance by how informative a website’s content is. In contrast, authority is determined by trustworthiness, either through high-quality link-building or other relevant sources of credibility – such as review websites.
At the heart of these SEO ranking factors is value. Like any business, Google wants to give value to its users, so providing high-quality, honest, and informative content in search results is paramount.
Reviews also qualify as valuable content that can benefit your website’s relevance and authority. If your business has impressive online reviews, Google notices this and considers your website worthwhile.
Do Google Reviews Help SEO?
Online reviews can boost your business’s search engine optimization (SEO) and improve its ranking in search results. Discover ways reviews help your business website’s SEO below.
Google Reviews Will Help You Rank Higher
Google recognizes Google Business Profiles with credible customer reviews and high star ratings, ranking these businesses higher in the SERPs whenever reviewers mention relevant search terms.
Google also improves local SEO rankings for businesses that proactively respond to their customers’ Google reviews. For businesses, effectively managing Google reviews is vital for climbing the search engine results pages.
However, this doesn’t mean you should prioritize reviews on Google; collecting reviews and responding to reviews on other platforms is just as important to Google, as well as consumers looking for businesses with good all-around online reputations.
Replying to Google Reviews Helps Local SEO
Responding to reviews on Google helps search engine optimization. In fact, Google confirms this and even encourages businesses to interact with customer reviews on its Google Business Profile Help page, which reads:
“Respond to reviews that users leave about your business. When you reply to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and their feedback. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.”
Since Google is also a service, it wants to ensure that it provides users with the best information, including the best businesses that offer the best products or services its users are searching for.
By replying to Google reviews that your business receives, you increase the chance of ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Ranking higher in the SERPs will improve your business visibility and authority, resulting in more traffic to your business.
How Many Reviews Do You Need On Google?
You might be a new business owner with a fresh Google Business Profile or run a business that has received numerous reviews already, so the number of reviews you need might be on your mind.
It’s a good question with a few different answers. Learn more about how many reviews your Google Business Profiles needs below.
How Many Reviews Do You Need For A Star Rating?
Google star ratings are the average review rating a business has received from its reviews. When posting reviews, customers rate the establishment from 1 to 5, contributing to the business’ overall rating. Star ratings are just as important as reviews, as it is a collective rating of your service and a badge of certification displayed alongside your business on the SERPs.
As a result, star ratings can determine how attractive and clickable a business is for customers, especially when competitors are listed together. Additionally, you might be glad to know that gone are the days when Google Business Profiles required a minimum of five reviews to have a star rating. Google has changed this policy, meaning businesses with as few as one review will have a star rating on their profile.
What Is A Good Star Rating On Google?
You might be surprised to learn that the best rating a business can have isn’t five stars. Despite being the highest rating, five stars can come across as too good to be true for browsing customers. It arouses suspicion, especially since fake reviews and paid reviews are not uncommon.
No well-established business has a perfect 5-star rating, and this is to be expected. Studies show that companies ranking on the first page of local search results have an average rating of 4.4. As it turns out, this rating is just right. The likelihood of purchase peaks between 4 and 4.7 stars, decreasing as the rating gets closer to 5.
Do Facebook Reviews Help SEO?
No, Facebook reviews do not improve SEO. Regardless of how many reviews you have received on your Facebook for business profile, it will not impact how your business ranks in local searches made on Google. This applies to both positive and negative Facebook reviews.
While that is the case, it doesn’t mean you should disregard Facebook reviews, as they have several advantages that your business can benefit from, such as building trust among potential customers.
How To Get More Reviews Using ReputationStacker
ReputationStacker is a powerful tool that can help local businesses automate the process of generating positive reviews on popular review sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and TripAdvisor.
With ReputationStacker, customers respond to a single-question survey via email or SMS. The survey automatically directs them to the online review sites that are most important to your business so they can post a review.
One of the primary advantages of ReputationStacker is the ability to automate the process of generating positive reviews. This can help you improve your online reputation and SEO quickly and effectively without spending time manually reaching out to customers for feedback. If you’re interested in automating the review process, check out our pricing page or contact us to learn more to start automating your company’s online reputation management.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.