Online reviews are one of the cornerstones of modern commerce. Today, it has practically become common sense to look up a company online before buying anything from them. It's no surprise that websites like Yelp and Foursquare thrive, given how consumers are now more quality conscious than ever.
As a small business owner, you probably know how important the company's online reputation is. A single bad review in a prominent place can drive away dozens or even hundreds of potential customers. But did you know that reviews also have an impact on your SEO?
Moz.com held a survey in 2015, revealing that "review signals" have an estimated 10% weight on local search results. Google puts the consumers interests first, after all, so it makes sense that they would put a high emphasis on actual feedback. These factors are what they look at:
1. Quantity – Generally speaking, having more reviews is better. A single customer's opinion doesn't mean much, but ten or more generates trust.
2. Velocity – Acquiring an unnaturally high number of reviews in a short amount of time can get you penalized, as the search engine suspects manipulation.
3. Diversity – Don't just count on the website for your reviews. Having good diversity will help you reach more people, while aiding SEO at the same time.
4. Keywords – Having keywords mentioned in reviews helps, but this must, of course, be natural. Any attempts at keyword stuffing in reviews will more often than not backfire.
This is why Minnesota search engine optimization companies all stress the importance of managing online reputation. It's not just good for business, it's good for rankings too.
What You Can Do Now
Generating positive reviews isn't too complicated; as long as the company provides excellent service and encourages customers to leave their thoughts online, you're bound to build up a sizable number of good reviews eventually. A good review acquisition strategy should be simple and easy to implement.
Dealing with negative reviews, on the other hand, is considerably more difficult. When in doubt, it's best to consult a digital marketing company – many offer online reputation management services.