In an ideal world, customers would navigate directly to your website any time they wanted to buy a product similar to what you sell. However, the reality is today’s customers have limitless options when it comes to researching and purchasing products. Moreover, in most of the cases, your customers do not start their search directly with your brand or website. In fact, a recent study revealed that more than 35 percent of customers choose to start their purchase journey online, compared to 21 percent who start directly on a retailer store.
This data sends a clear message to businesses: If you want customers to find your products and services, it is essential to develop a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. While a lot of factors determine your website’s rank in search engine results, one of the best ways to improve your SEO is to leverage the content that your customers are creating. We are talking about online ratings and customer reviews that can help you improve search engine ranking, drive traffic to your website and provide better conversion rates.
Here are the top six reasons why customer reviews can help you stay on top of the search engine game:
- Reviews provide unique user-generated content: The first thing search engines look out for when ranking websites is unique and authentic content. Customer reviews provide exactly this, especially if you encourage your customers to post online reviews on a regular basis. Customer-generated content powers your website and social media platforms with unique and relevant content. This content shows your website is active and valuable to your customers. Moreover, reviews encourage conversations among customers to demonstrate they are talking about you and your brand.
- Reviews improve mobile visibility: The number of customers turning to their mobile phones to search for local businesses has increased tremendously over the past few years. Moreover, businesses with positive customer reviews appear higher up in mobile search engine rankings than those without them. Therefore, the more positive reviews you receive, the better your business will rank in the mobile search.
- Reviews reduce bounce rate: According to a recent study, millennials trust user-generated content 50 percent more than other media. When you have customer reviews on your website, not only does it attract potential customers to your website, but they also spend time reading these reviews. With positive reviews, you will be able to build trust and encourage visitors to navigate your website. All this browsing around on your website will lower the bounce rate and increase time on site.
- Reviews shape SEO attributes: Websites are optimized for search engines through a system of basic attributes, including keywords, back-links, titles and internal links. When it comes to online reviews, your customers work like an army, building links and writing keywords, so your SEO task is complete without you having to lift a finger.
- Reviews get displayed in search results: Using microdata and schema markups, search engines show rich snippets in their results pages. You can make your website highlight on the search page with rich snippets and positive reviews.
- Search engines love online reviews: This is because customers trust online reviews. Online reviews help customers predict whether they can trust a business or not. Online reviews are a quick way understand and trust business, and therefore people turn to them before making a purchase. This customer behavior makes search engines use online reviews as a factor when deciding how to rank a business.
If you are looking to increase visibility, drive more traffic to your website and grow your business, you must make getting customer reviews a priority. Customer reviews will help your website stand out and provide the fresh content that search engines are looking for.