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How Important Are Reviews For Your SEO?

Chances are  you already understand the importance of customer reviews for your business.  Online reviews help customers make buying decisions.  You may not realize, however, the importance of customer reviews in your SEO strategy.

Customer reviews are a powerful tool for increasing the ranking and visibility of your page.  Every review affects your SEO positively.  Let’s look at the benefits of encouraging customer reviews and incorporating them into every page of your website if possible.

Customer Reviews Differentiate Your Page

When a customer searches for a product like yours, the results are often very similar if not identical.  Why?  Because many businesses use the standard wording supplied by manufacturers to describe the products offered.   Since very site looks essentially the same, there’s little to make your site stand out from the others.  Unless, of course, your site includes customer reviews.

Customer reviews offer something unique that differentiates your site from all the rest.  This differentiation increases your click through rates and makes it much more likely your site will receive the traffic you want.

Search engines display sites with customer reviews prominently on their results pages.  Not only is the content different, sites with customer reviews are displayed with eye catching gold stars.  How can your customers resist spending time on your page?

Search Engines Love User Generated Content

Reviews are the voice of the customer on your site providing fresh content and demonstrating user engagement.  User engagement is a factor in SEO ranking, the more comments and reviews your site attracts the higher your ranking and visibility.

User generated content is the voice of the customer on your site.  Customer reviews use long tail keywords, attracting a different kind of customer than standardized content about a product or service.  Those long tail keywords mean your site will attract customers searching for reviews about specific aspects of your product.  These customers are further along in the buying cycle than those looking for general information meaning they are more likely to purchase than casual visitors.

Effective Keywords without Research

How do your customers search for your product or service?  You can find out without conducting research by reading customer reviews.  More importantly, reviews put those keywords to immediate use by increasing keyword density in general and incorporating unique words you might overlook.

Customer reviews are written in the common language of your customer.  They naturally include the words and phrases, including misspellings, used in searches for your product.  Reviews include companion products or references to events or activities where your product played a role.  These “organically generated” keywords are often very effective, giving your site increased visibility.

Of course, these keywords don’t benefit you if the search engine spider can’t find and read them.  Make sure customer reviews are incorporated on as many pages of your site as possible and are a part of the HTML of the page and displayed as text.

Increased Local Ranking

Search engines like Google customize search results by location, giving customers results that are local to them.  Customer reviews play a role in keeping your site at the top of local search results, an important factor if your business primarily caters to a local clientele.

You want reviews, and lots of them, from genuine local customers.  While you would like all reviews to be positive, even the occasional negative review counts for purposes of localization as long as your overall score is positive.

Encourage your customers to rate your products and services online.  Let them know about sites like Yelp or Google Places that allow customer reviews.  Include references to review sites and links to your pages on them in your emails or customer literature.  Above all, offer top quality products and services to make sure your customers are enthusiastic enough about your business to recommend you on Facebook.

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