Ever wonder what the acronym “SERP” stands for? Well, it stands for Search Engine Ranking Position. Essentially, it’s where your Google listing appears on a results page after a search is conducted.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important determinant in achieving high search engine rankings. Google reviews are one way businesses can improve their SEO and ranking on SERP.
In this article, we explore the connection between SEO and SERP and how Google reviews can improve SERP position.
Customers use online reviews to validate their purchase decision. Search engines take a similar stance as they aim to deliver the right information, service, or product to the users. They go through hundreds of reviews to display only the best of the best to the users.
If you search Google for “Italian restaurant,” there are three factors that will affect the results displayed on the first page:
The first two factors are quite self-explanatory. Google will present all Italian restaurant options relevant to you and your location and that are within your immediate vicinity. The prominence factor is highly affected by reviews. An Italian restaurant with dozens of five-star reviews will outrank even a closer local competitor if they have fewer and less positive reviews.
A 2017 study by Moz found that online reviews are the fifth most significant factor that determines the rank of a business. Year over year, the influence of Google reviews on SEO has increased by more than 20%.
When you think about SEO, the first things to mind are usually keywords, content, and link building. People often don’t even think of customer reviews. However, reviews should be taken into consideration, especially for local businesses.
There are a few simple explanations for why Google reviews help with rankings.
Positive reviews serve as social proof of the quality of a business, so it’s easy to understand why Google would consider them when determining your ranking on SERP. Compare this to link building.
When your site gains a link from another relevant site, Google sees that as a vote of assurance and rewards you with increased visibility. Similarly, when a consumer leaves a positive or negative review for your business, it informs Google that not only is your business a legitimate operation, but that other people have interacted with it.
Google “reads” all websites in order to understand them better. And, the more content Google has to read, the more it will know about your business. A business with plenty of reviews gives Google plenty of new content to read and keywords to add to its understanding of your business.
When they leave a review, customers unintentionally describe our products and services to Google. Reviews will boost your SEO without your customers even realizing it. They can also fill in any content gaps on your website, increasing your rankings and overall visibility in the process.
It is a well-known fact that SEO rankings are influenced by click-through rates (CTR). Good reviews will undoubtedly improve your website’s CTR, especially if your business receives positive reviews regularly.
You’ll undoubtedly see an increase in ranking as a result of an increased number of clicks due to good ratings.
Your customers are the ones who can bring you positive reviews. So, if you’re doing a good job, there’s no need to worry about the feedback.
Here are a few ways to entice your customers to leave you good reviews.
You can add a call-to-action line at the bottom of your website asking customers to review your business on Google. A good example is, “If you’ve enjoyed our service, please take a minute to give us a five-star rating on Google!”
People are more likely to leave a positive review if you reward them somehow. For example, you can give your most loyal customers discount coupons as a special thank-you for their loyalty and continuous support.
Last but not least, always be proactive about gathering reviews. You should start asking for reviews from your customers the very first day you come into contact. Not only can you do this through a call-to-action line, but you can also add a link in your email signature asking customers to leave a review. Remember to thank the customers who leave reviews.
To further improve your SEO and SERP, make sure to incorporate positive reviews across your website.
And, what about the negative reviews? It is a good idea to respond to negative reviews to clarify the situation and apologize to the customer if necessary. By doing so, you will leave a positive impression on customers who read the reviews.