Online reviews are a critical element of your overall SEO strategy as they are one of the criteria used by Google when determining which search results to display. It is therefore vital that you use reviews as a powerful SEO tool. In this article, we’ll discuss the impact of reviews on your SEO, and some tips to collect more reviews.
How do customer reviews affect your SEO?
Long-tail keywords in reviews are good for product discovery
Long-tail keywords usually comprise three to four words that are specific to your products or services. You can find many of these search terms hidden in customer reviews. For instance, if you sell classic furniture, it can be challenging to land at the top of the organic searches for the word “furniture” because there is too much competition (especially if you are a small company). However, if you specialize in contemporary art deco furniture, keywords like “contemporary art deco-influenced semi-circle lounge” will grab the attention of those who are searching for that product.
More social shares mean higher ranking
Some research shows that social sharing does boost your SEO ranking. Your task is to persuade satisfied customers to share their positive testimonials on social media. Fortunately, a recent study by Sitel Group found that nearly half (49%) of consumers who have had a positive customer experience would share their reviews on social media or somewhere online. The more social shares you get, the higher your products rank, and the more customers you can get.
Increased trust brings higher-quality traffic
Quality of content, including the trustworthiness of a given topic, is among the criteria Google uses to rank your content. Since reviews contain real experiences of customers with your products, these content are trustworthy and can help you rank higher in the search results and boost your online sales.
Review snippets help you stand out
Rich snippets give searchers additional and helpful information about the site and appear in various forms, such as:
- business location
- event information
- instructions or recipes
- products specs and prices
One popular form of rich snippets is the review snippets, including a numerical (usually average) rating and a brief excerpt from a relevant review. With a review snippet, you’ll certainly grab more attention and attract more visitors to your online stores.
How to collect reviews
So, how can you encourage customers to give you reviews? A 2020 Brightlocal report suggests that around 70% of customers are happy to provide a review if asked politely.
Although there are several ways to ask for feedback, email is the preferred option as it is cost-effective and requires little effort. You may be daunted by the prospect of having to manually send emails to thousands of customers. Fortunately, online review platforms like Judge.me will automate this process for you. You can also customize your email templates to fit with your branding or review collection strategy. Here are some tips that you can consider when collecting reviews via a review app:
Consider the timing
First, you should give your customers some time to try the products before asking for their feedback. With a review app like Judge.me, you can automate this task by adjusting the Request Timing settings.
Simplify your review forms
Besides star ratings and reviews, you can ask more questions in your review forms to obtain detailed feedback. However, you should avoid complex or tedious questions that run the risk of turning off potential reviewers.
- Keep the form straightforward
- Ask for pros and cons about your products
- Ask questions that will encourage in-depth responses
Don’t give up easily
It’s acceptable to send a reminder a few days after your initial review request email so your customers don’t miss it. Just don’t do it too much. You can send your first email perhaps 1-2 weeks after order fulfillment (or delivery) and then a reminder after a few days. If you are using Judge.me, you can easily set up automatic reminders.
The more reviews you receive, the higher you rank on the search engines. Therefore, don’t just wait for your customers to write a review; you need to encourage them (without antagonizing them) and perhaps offer an incentive.
Use reviews as insights for improvements
You can use reviews to enhance your customer experience. Ideally, you want your customers to give you positive feedback. If they don’t, you still need to remain objective and regard whatever they say as constructive criticism. You should take stock of existing and new reviews every month. Check for any patterns that may reveal more serious issues. For instance, if you have received a significant number of reviews that mention the same point, this is a clear indication that you need to address the problem quickly. By improving customer experience based on reviews, you can increase customer satisfaction and eventually more traffic and sales.
When formulating your SEO strategy, don’t forget to consider online reviews since they can help you obtain a higher Google ranking and generate more online traffic. Because people can be hesitant to provide product feedback, you need to encourage them by sending emails and reminders. Although this task can be tedious, especially if you have thousands of customers, a review app like Judge.me can help you automate your review request procedures.