Do Online Reviews Affect Your Search Rankings?

It can be tempting to disable the reviews for your website, particularly if you run a new business and are worried that even one less-than-stellar review will blemish your reputation. But when it comes to SEO and performing well on major search engines, transparency is essential. Google and other search engines know that customer reviews are invaluable to user experience and user trust.

Online reviews have incredible influence over your local Toronto SEO performance. They can impact everything from where your page appears in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) to whether users choose to click on your result and whether they buy your product or service. Here are a few ways to incorporate reviews for optimal performance and a few reasons why you should.

Google Reviews

There is no better platform to attract and present great reviews than on Google.  Google loves Google, and they have been building in greater exposure of ratings & reviews within a variety of their listing formats.  The statistics of recent studies of just how impactful the 5 stars on your Google results are staggering, so take the time to setup and attract reviews on Google.  Go on, go do it now, you can finish this article later.

Facebook Reviews

You already know that social media is a key part of digital marketing in general. But Facebook reviews are not just confined to the bounds of that platform. They can now appear on your Google my Business listing as well. Popular amongst customers, Facebook reviews offer an easy and simple way to rate experiences with a business on a platform that a large percentage of web users are already on.

Yelp Reviews

Yelp Reviews are also being valued by Google, in addition to their own platform’s reviews. Yelp is synonymous with business testimonials. This is why Google decided to take into account the presence of organizations on Yelp, as well as the number of reviews, and the ratio of positive to negative ones.  Just be aware that Yelp aggressively sells paid upgrades.

Use Rich Snippets

Adding rich snippets are a fantastic way to showcase your reviews in the search engine results pages. Review and rating schema markup on your website allows your star ratings to show in the SERPs.

They Impact Conversion Rates

Brand trust has a significant impact on conversion rates, and reviews in turn have an impact on perceived trustworthiness. So, while Google has not confirmed that reviews affect rankings, there is definitely an association between the amount of positive reviews your site has and where it ranks. If none of your users convert and they bounce quickly due to an abundance of negative reviews, your site could be seen by search engines as less valuable.

Reviews Encourage Engagement

Reviews encourage users to engage with your site and take an action rather than visit it and just leave. Offering the ability to leave reviews either through a widget or through an internal system will also prompt them to stay on the site longer rather than bouncing quickly. This is crucial to how search engines see your site and how high they choose to display it for various queries.

Reviews Count as Fresh Content

Search engines value what they call “fresh content” – in other words, new quality content that is added to the site on a regular basis. This allows your site to be indexed more frequently.

They Can Help Your Social Media Presence

Social media should be a central part of any full-fledged content marketing strategy, something that is inextricably tied to SEO. The ability to leave reviews can draw more social media users to your social business pages and encourage them to explore the other content you have to offer on those platforms.

In conclusion, reviews can undoubtedly have a profound impact on how your website performs in search engines, both directly and indirectly. Transparency is also tied to user trust, so enabling reviews is always beneficial. If you’re looking for some of the top review sites to consider, Facebook, Amazon, Yelp, and especially Google’s own review platform are all great choices.

You can also host testimonials on your own website, but these will likely be viewed with less confidence than prominent third-party platforms. At the end of the day, including reviews from any of the above platforms will help you establish trust from users and credibility from search engines.

Get a Free SEO Review Report Now! Contact Toronto SEO for Growth to receive an expert-level report and analysis of your current SEO strategy. As well, if you’re looking for professional expertise in the realm of web design, SEO, or social media, our team can deliver a full-service strategy to take your law firm to the next level.





What Are You Waiting For?

Call Us Today