Online reviews are great for a lot of things. They can help influence customer purchase decisions, grow your reputation in the marketplace, and increase repeat customer visits. Additionally, they’re quickly becoming one of the most important retail marketing channels out there. Did you know, however, that online reviews are also great for attracting new customers? When it comes to SEO and Google Rankings, online reviews can increase your engagement rates and bring new customers to your business.
Understanding reviews and SEO rankings
Once a customer review is written and posted online, it becomes part of the greater pool of web-based content. This, of course, means that it is now a factor in your search ranking. While some brands worry about not being able to control the message and tone of online reviews, as long as you’re delivering amazing customer service and an excellent customer experience, reviews are the perfect way to showcase your expertise and leadership in your industry.
According to the MOZ Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews account for around 10% of how Google and other search engines rank search results. Additionally, online reviews can also influence which results actually show up (and which ones are clicked on) as well as what products or services most customers are driven towards. In order to ensure optimal SEO and search rankings, businesses must be aware of what a good review looks like to a customer.
What are customers looking for in reviews?
First things first – online reviews generate a ton of traffic for businesses. In fact, online reviews now get around 500% more views than company websites. This means, of course, that customers are discerning and know exactly what to look for in a review. As you start incorporating reviews into your SEO and Google ranking strategy, it’s important to ensure your reviews are hitting the right notes. After all, if you’re ranking high with bad reviews, it could have the opposite effect you were hoping for.
According to BrightLocal, the top things customers are looking for in online reviews are:
- Quality: aka the star ratings. According to Harvard, just a 1-star increase in your online rating can increase your revenue by up to 9% and, of course, 5-star reviews are preferred.
- Recency: otherwise known as how recent a review was left. Around 70% of consumers disregard reviews older than 90 days, and most don’t even read old reviews at all.
- Quantity: this means having more than just a few reviews on your page. Quantity drives conversions, and the more reviews you have the better.
- Response: customers like to know businesses read reviews and take the feedback to heart. Over 30% of consumers look to owner responses when making a purchase decision.
Increasing reviews to increase new business
So now, with the understanding of why reviews are important and what customers are looking for, comes how to actually implement and optimize a review strategy. The secret ingredient for many small and medium-sized businesses is through texting. While emails and phone calls are good for a lot of things, garnering customer reviews aren’t up there for either channel. Instead, leverage an innovative text messaging campaign to influence responses and increase reviews.
Text messaging can help increase online reviews by:
- Connecting with consumers on-the-go instead of hoping to catch them at a down point.
- Driving real-time responses and reviews without waiting around.
- Establishing a personal connection with a consumer to build a lasting relationship.
You can learn more about driving customer reviews, increasing SEO rankings, and leveraging 2-way business texting by talking to a Kenect consultant today. Schedule your call now!