By |Published On: October 31, 2016|

Search engines aren’t just listening to what you have to say – they’re also interested in what other people say about you and your local business.

In a study of 30,000 brands, one simple thing caused a brand’s average monthly traffic to rise by over 2,000 organic page visits. And this change happened within just nine months of implementation.

What caused this massive change? The brand started promoting their user reviews.

If you’re not using reviews, you’re missing out. Customer opinions, input, and brand sentiment deeply impact your SEO performance.

But why are reviews so important to your organic SEO ranking? Let’s find out.

1. Reviews Provide Search Engines with Fresh, Relevant Content

Content has always been a key ingredient in improving a website’s search engine ranking. But reviews work better than any content you can create for your local business.

Reviews are generated by a wide range of people, and can be posted at any time. If you have thousands of customers reviewing your products or brand monthly, that’s far more content than you could ever create in the same period.

Reviews are fresh, authentic content which shows search engines that people are actually interacting with your site. This will automatically translate into better SEO performance.

2. Reviews Naturally Shape Key SEO Attributes

With SEO, there are two basic attributes that are considered very important – keywords and link-building.

Reviews build both.

When users review your brand and products, they will naturally use your keywords in their content. When they post reviews on independent review websites, like Yelp or Angie’s List, they will point back to your website. If there are hundreds or thousands of reviewers doing this, your SEO performance will quickly improve.

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3. Reviews Are Great for Long-Tail Keywords

“I needed a good used car in Everytown, and a friend recommended John Smith Motors to me. Their used car selection was great, and the car I bought has been very dependable.”

This customer may not have known it, but they gave this local business a review that’s swimming in long-tail keywords.

A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that contains two or more words, and is used to target niche demographics. For instance, a used car dealer would use “used cars” rather than just “cars” as a preferred keyword. “Used cars” has less competition, and focuses on the dealer’s niche specialty.

When your customers are describing their experiences, they are going to describe what they were looking for and what they got. In the review above, this reviewer gave two long-tail keywords (“good used car” and “used car selection”), and even gave a location specific keyword as well.

4. Reviews Boost SMO

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a special type of optimization that deals with social media. SMO has been growing rapidly in recent times as social media gains more relevance.

With an increasing number of sales being initiated on social networks, a majority of brands see SMO as an important tool in their customer acquisition arsenal.

Reviews can help you boost your SMO because of their high shareability. There is usually a lot of people liking, commenting on, tweeting, and retweeting reviews.

5. Reviews Boost Both Automatic and Manual Optimization

There are two ways search engines categorize websites.

First, they use algorithms to automatically look for customer content, product reviews, and testimonials which are then used to rate a website. They also use human teams known as quality raters to evaluate a site’s reputation, looking for qualities such as authority, expertise, and truth.

Reviews, being authentic and truthful, can help with both types of optimization. They show quantifiable interest with a human touch.

Simply put, reviews are an amazing asset for your business. The sooner you build them into your business model, the sooner you can improve your SEO and get more organic traffic.

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