4 Ways To Use Reviews To Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

December 8, 2021

Reviews aren’t just for building trust and credibility—they can also dramatically improve your search engine rankings.

93% of online experiences start with a search engine.  They head to Google, type in a search term, and scan the results for their best option—but they don’t scan far. In fact, the lion’s share of clicks go to the first three results, with barely any consumers making it to the second page. 

This means it’s crucial to get your site to the top of search results for relevant keywords if you want to boost visibility and increase the chance of click-throughs (and sales).

But how do you do that? Google has a number of “signals” that indicate where a page should be shown in the search results, and review signals account for 9.8% of ranking factors in the SEO algorithm.

Here’s how to improve your SEO efforts with reviews:

Why Are Reviews Are So Important for SEO?

Reviews bring a number of benefits to merchants. Not only do they build brand loyalty and add social proof, but they are also key in driving organic traffic to your site. 

  • Provide fresh content: Google rates sites that regularly produce fresh content, and a consistent stream of customer reviews does exactly this.
  • Unique and helpful content: Google’s algorithm seeks out sites that have unique and helpful content—what can be more useful than existing customer opinions?
  • Increase organic traffic: The more organic keywords that are in your reviews, the more Google will view your site as relevant.
  • Increase click-throughs: Searchers are more likely to trust and click through onto a site that has a high rating. Google considers sites with high click-through rates as highly relevant and will bump them up the SERPs so you can grow your customer base.
  • Lower bounce rate: People tend to spend longer on sites that have reviews, which decreases bounce rates and indicates to Google that your site is useful.

How To Use Reviews In Your SEO Strategy

1. Add Reviews to Google Shopping Ads

Shopping ads give merchants a boost in visibility. They match the intent of searchers who are in buy mode and direct them straight to your product pages. Adding star ratings to your Google Shopping Ads makes them stand out in the search results and lends a layer of credibility to your brand. Since reviews are an important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, Shopping Ads also take them into account. 

Muir Way’s ads stand out against the others thanks to their solid five-star ratings. The addition of the review count also instills trust and social proof. 

2. Create a Dedicated Reviews Page

Collating all your customer reviews in one dedicated place gives Google another page to crawl and rank. And, because it’s constantly updated with your latest reviews, it’ll pass as fresh content in the eyes of the search engine. 

On top of this, a reviews page can improve the customer experience by providing a one-stop-shop for social proof. If customers search for “your brand + reviews,” it’ll show up at the top of the results and encourage more click-throughs. 

 

Freshly Picked has an entire page dedicated to customer reviews. 

3. Include Rich Snippets

Rich snippets enhance your Google listings by including reviews and other important information. The more you add to your listing, the more information customers have to tackle any objections before they click through.

Reviews not only make your listing stand out (much like the Google Shopping Ads), they also instill credibility for searchers who might not have heard about your brand. 

 

The second listing down for the search term “metal straw” stands out because of its reviews. 

4. Respond to Reviews

Responding to reviews is, first and foremost, a nice thing to do. It cements a connection with your customers and shows you value their opinions. But it also has an impact on your SEO efforts, too.

Replying to reviews with relevant words and phrases increases the number of organic keywords on your site. This tells Google that your site is really relevant and improves its chances of being shown higher up the search results. 

 

 

This response uses organic keywords like “wrist wraps” to enhance SEO efforts. 

Improve Your Search Rankings With Reviews

Google trusts reviews it places a heavy emphasis on them to determine ranking. Leveraging reviews in the right way can help you improve your rankings and increase click-throughs and organic traffic while instilling trust and confidence in buyers. 

Okendo makes it easy to collect product reviews and display them on your site--whether that’s on a dedicated reviews page or elsewhere throughout the customer journey. 

------------

Author: Lindsay Kolinsky, Partner Marketing Manager, Okendo

 

About Okendo:

Okendo is THE customer review platform for fast growing Shopify brands. An Official Google Reviews partner and trusted by 3,500+ high-growth consumer brands such Netflix, SKIMS and Bite, Okendo has all the tools brands need to capture and showcase high-impact social proof through the online buying journey. Learn more about our unique review capture process, blazing fast display widgets and extensive Klaviyo integration at www.okendo.io.