Customer reviews are the SEO tip hiding in plain sight. Learn how incorporating customer reviews to your site can help your content rise to the top of google’s search results page.
Opinions carry weight. People are 68% more likely to purchase something from your website if you show customer reviews. Three-quarters of all reviews posted online are positive, so it’s no wonder they’re valuable for generating new leads. People value reading others’ experiences to determine if they want to follow in their footsteps, and convert. If more people come to your site and convert, your page rankings will increase. Reviews also show you’re transparent about customer experience; ratings by former customers help establish your service or site as trustworthy, especially if you include good and bad reviews. Read below to learn how to take advantage of customer reviews and increase your conversion rate and pagerank.
Make your content new, and make it relevant. This is perhaps the biggest SEO hack out there, unique and fresh content gets higher rankings, and more reviews. Google considers content that concerns recent events or trending topics “fresh,” as well as content that gets linked to often. When a website updates itself, and adds pages with new content, Google considers that fresh as well. If you get a lot of links on pages that Google also considers fresh, your content gets a boost. Fresh content appears higher in search engine results and increases the amount of people who leave reviews. No one will review something that they can’t see, so fresh content can make a big difference toward putting your content out there, cultivating reviews, and generating leads.
There are two ways to display reviews for your service through Google: Google adwords and organic stars. Google adwords display reviews underneath search and shopping ads. Adwords require that you receive at least 150 verified reviews during a 12 month period before they are displayed to potential users. Organic stars get around this hassle, as they only require one unique review before they display. Organic stars work via code you must put in your website called Review Rich Snippets. About every week or so Google will crawl through your site. If they find Review Rich Snippets then any reviews you have will be generated and displayed. Organic stars are a great way to cultivate reviews if you are just starting out.
Review Rich Snippets are snippets of code that contain information relevant to customer reviews like customer name, star rating, and customer comment. Really, these snippets are displays of page search results that help summarize the content of the page in a way that helps the user better understand what the content is. The places on your website where Review Rich Snippets are located have a special tag read by Google. These snippets tell Google, or markup, what content is on your page, which Google in turn generates and displays. One of the possible things Google displays are reviews, if available. In order to implement Review Rich Snippets on your webpage you must follow a few guidelines.
You want to avoid adding the widget to too many pages on your website, as Google will penalize your website if you do so. In general, place the snippets on 6 to 7 of the most important pages on your website. Make sure that, if you do have reviews, you write the code that displays them after you place the Review Rich Snippets code. What this means is you cannot simply collect reviews if you don’t display them, and Google will penalize you if you do. Google doesn’t show organic stars for landing pages, so don’t waste one of your 6 pages on your homepage.
Humans like to hear testimonials from others before we act on something; we are big fans of social proof. Reviews play into this tendency, in a big way. This analysis of a British website’s performance found that items with reviews led to conversion about 12.5% more of the time than those without. They found that items with twenty or more reviews had about a conversion rate 83% better than those with less. The most reviewed items tended to be the best sellers. Your site’s conversion can be improved with the help of social proof, so don’t sleep on this important tactic for improving website performance.
So get out there and maximize your chances for conversion by displaying user reviews. If you have any tips for implementing reviews please comment them below!