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5 Ways to Boost Your SEO with Third-Party Reviews

5 Ways to Boost Your SEO with Third-Party Reviews

Third-party reviews provide invaluable insight from an impartial perspective on your business. They also instill confidence in potential customers, which can help guide their decision to buy your product or service.

In fact, nearly half (42%) of Internet users in the United States cite reviews from other customers as a feature that would most increase their likelihood of purchasing a product.

Compared to first-party reviews, third-party reviews may also appear more credible to a searcher. After all, it is unlikely that a company will publish negative reviews on its website.

Whether you want to convert searches into sales or improve your search rankings, focusing on improving your reviews’ search engine optimization (SEO) efforts can accomplish both. Reviews are a highly weighted local search ranking factor, accounting for 16% of the local package ranking.

How can your company better show the mood of your reviews to searchers looking for your product or service?

And what are some proven strategies for popping up on this valuable content through SEO?

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You will learn both in this post as we discuss five safe methods to increase your SEO with third party reviews and stand out among your competitors.

1. Improve your review

The GMB Help Guide states that local search results “are primarily based on relevance, distance, and prominent place.”

Prominence refers to how well-known a company is, which directly correlates with the number of reviews a company has, as well as what customers think about the company.

The help guide also notes:

“Counting Google Reviews and Rating Factor in Local Search Ranking. More reviews and positive reviews can improve your business’s local ranking. ”

There are several approaches to improving your overall review score for your business sites.

First, ask customers who have had a positive experience with your business to write a review. Not only are they already motivated after having a positive experience with your business, but they will also likely leave positive feedback to help you increase your rating.

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We also recommend responding to all your reviews, positive and negative.

When a reviewer sees that you have taken into account and time to respond to their praise or complaint, they are more likely to have a positive view of your business. This can lead the reviewer to recommend your business to family or friends.

It also allows you to control the narrative and target your requested keywords in your response.

Not only will your overall star rating help improve your SEO, but also your sales. According to a recent survey, 52% of consumers would not consider using a business with less than four stars and mention star rating as the most important review factor.

2. Factor in notification speed

Notification rate refers to how often your business receives new reviews.

According to Moz, the number of reviews, review speed and review diversity account for 15% of the local package’s ranking. A frequent stream of new reviews also gives your business new content.

Along with its SEO value, consumers prefer to read new reviews to learn more about your business.

Forty percent of consumers say they only look at reviews of local businesses written in the last two weeks. In addition, 85% say reviews that are more than three months old are no longer relevant.

Encourage happy customers to leave reviews often and make it a part of your buying process to keep a steady stream of updated reviews.

All of these tactics may require new reviews and fall within Google’s review guidelines:

Send your customers an email Print a QR code on each sales receipt. Send a follow-up text after an appointment. Just ask for a review during the transaction process.

Focus on the volume of your reviews

Consider this: You are out of town and visiting a new town where you will find a restaurant nearby for dinner. Would you prefer to go to a restaurant with 10 reviews or one with 100, both with a similar overall star rating?

More than likely you would choose to eat at the restaurant with more reviews as this restaurant seems to be more credible. A solid audit fundraising strategy can help bridge the gap of having too few reviews to encourage new business.

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It can also help legitimize your search engine business.

On GMB’s help page it says:

“High quality positive reviews from your customers will improve your company’s visibility and increase the likelihood of a potential customer visiting your location.”

The best way to get customers to write a review is to ask them to do so. If your customers have signed up for your email or text marketing campaigns, it’s ideal to ask them to write a review as soon as possible while your business is in mind.

For service-based companies that use online booking systems for their services after the customer has completed their agreement, they should receive an automatic message (text, email, etc.) asking them to leave their honest feedback regarding their experience with a direct link to leave a Google review.

Brick stores can also benefit from having a QR code on receipts that cause customers to leave a Google review.

While all review platforms encourage companies to ask customers for reviews, it is important not to violate any policies. For example, Google says that companies can not “selectively request positive reviews from customers.”

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In addition, Google also prohibits:

Reviews left by employees. Request for large quantities. Payment of customers in exchange for reviews. Deterrence or prohibition of negative reviews. Lookup fake reviews for your business.

You can read more about Google’s official guidelines here. Remember that each platform will have different rules and regulations, and it is important to check what each one allows.

4. Respond to positive and negative reviews

Responding to positive and negative reviews not only shows consumers that you care about their feedback, but has also been confirmed by Google to play a role in SEO.

Google shared,

“Responding to reviews that users write about your business … Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback they give about your business.”

Responding to every review can seem like a daunting task for a company that has many rankings. However, a good solution to eliminate work is to create templates that are approved by companies.

These templates can be based on your fire guidelines and must comply with your fire voice.

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Your business should also have a process of escalating reviews that require a more in-depth response, as well as a point person who can respond quickly to those reviews.

If your business has just begun your efforts to respond to reviews, first focus on responding to negative reviews, especially those left within the last few months.

Recent reviews will be more prominent for searchers. Once you have reviewed all your negative reviews, you can then proceed to respond to your positive reviews.

5. Consider the content of your reviews

Google is constantly evolving to meet the needs of searchers. Their goal is to deliver accurate, timely results to end users to create an optimal user experience.

But to deliver top-level results, they rely on business information.

Some of this information may come from your review content, e.g. A customer who mentions the city your store is in or the street name where your business is located.

These words send powerful signals to Google that help your business improve its relevancy.

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In addition, a positive language review from a local customer to Google signals that your business is trustworthy. This applies not only to reviews left directly on your GMB listing, but also to other third-party platforms.

Reviews left on third-party reviews increase your exposure, drive traffic to your site, and add legitimacy to your business.

Your business may not dictate what a consumer writes about their business, but you can ask consumers to name the place where they did business within their review.

These reviews can continue to help your brand gain the authority that Google is looking for in its search algorithm.

Conclusion: Why implement an SEO strategy for third-party reviews?

Consumer expectations continue to evolve with business operations in an ever-changing and unpredictable climate.

These expectations appear more frequently in reviews. If your business keeps up with current trends and maintains a solid reputation management strategy, your path to SEO success will become clearer.

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Following the above tactics will help you improve your third party reviews SEO efforts and in turn provide a unique experience for your clients.

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