Online Reviews

Do Google Reviews Help Your SEO? – SEO Guide Series

The SEO Guide Series is a series of articles that will help you navigate the ever-changing world of Search Engine Optimization and start to leverage it to positively impact your businesses bottom line.  In this post, we’ll dig into the value of Google Reviews for your SEO efforts.

So the question we’ve posed ‘Will Google ratings & reviews help your SEO?”.  The answer is a resounding YES, Google Reviews are very powerful!

Reviews have always been helpful from an SEO standpoint, especially those on the search engines themselves.  However, they are also extremely valuable from a social proof standpoint.  When a consumer is looking for a product or service it’s been shown that listings with good reviews will outrank those without. Let’s dig deeper into the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ reviews help your SEO.

Google’s Focus on Reviews

5 Star reviews

Over the years Google has continuously put a greater emphasis on the value of online reviews. In 2017 Google doubled down on the value of ratings and reviews by showing them in paid ads, map listings, and organic results.  And statistics have shown that if a listing has positive reviews showing they are clicked-on significantly more than those without reviews.

For local businesses, the changes to the Google algorithm that directly incorporated ratings and reviews has been significant.  In fact, the top 13 factors introduced are all related to ratings and reviews.

Here’s a list of some of the more significant changes you should be aware of:

  • Emphasizing Ratings & Reviews in Google Search Results:
    • Organic Results show them
    • Paid ads show them
    • Map listings show them
  • The Google Algorithm now employs ratings and reviews in ranking website content:
    • Total ranking of reviews
    • Number of reviews
    • Recency of reviews (when were you last reviewed?)
    • Responding to reviews
  • Google pulls reviews in from other networks such as Facebook
  • Reviews help Google present better search results, so they want good business to get more good reviews
  • Google launches ‘Small Thanks’ campaigns for local businesses

Why Reviews are Important

The reason that Google is putting so much emphasis on ratings and reviews is that the statistics show that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal referral from a friend or family member.  Google is in the business of providing the best search results (and ads) that resonate with your search queries, as such they see the direct connection between quality of businesses, their websites, and their online reputation.

Google Reviews ‘Small Thanks’ Program

Google Small ThanksOne of the biggest signals of Google’s internal view of the value and importance of reviews is the brand new program they’ve just launched for local businesses called ‘Small Thanks’.  This FREE program enables local businesses to signup for complementary Google Branded real-world marketing materials that promote your great online reviews.  You can receive free signage, videos, social sharing graphics and more materials to help you promote how much customers love you.  At present, the program is only available to US-based businesses but it may expand.  You can learn more about the program here: https://smallthanks.withgoogle.com/

What Can You Do To Get Better Google Reviews?

So if you’re not proactively turning satisfied customer experiences into great online ratings and reviews you need to.  We have the perfect solution for you in The Review Funnel System.  This is our systematic approach to proactively generating great reviews from your satisfied customers.  Find out more here.

About the Author Ian Cantle | President, Chief Marketing Strategist | Outsourced Marketing Inc.

Ian Cantle is the President and Marketing Strategist at Outsourced Marketing. His 20+ years in marketing and communications in a variety of industries has provided him with a unique perspective on what works and what doesn't in Marketing. Ian founded Outsourced Marketing to fill a gap in the marketplace between businesses and sound marketing strategies and marketing systems. His goal is to take the mystery out of marketing and show business owners how a systematic approach to their marketing can provide exceptional results while easing the burden on them. Want to discover the Outsourced Marketing difference, book a free discovery call or call us at 905-251-8178.

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