SEO: Why Online Reviews Matter Part 1

One of the most important aspect of any business is word of mouth. These days that has evolved to word of online reviews. If you don’t have people saying good things about you online, you are not moving in the right direction.

The idea of people being able to say whatever they want about you to the world is scary, but the power they hold to say good things about you is literally gold.

The importance of online reviews

Many business owners wonder how important these reviews really are. Are people really basing their decision on what a stranger said in an online review? The answer is a firm YES.

According to BrightLocal 88 percent of people surveyed said that they did in fact read online reviews “occasionally” and “regularly.”

The question then becomes, how influential are these reviews? Are people actually basing their purchases on what they have read? Again, a firm YES.

Not all businesses are affected by online reviews as much as others. For example, people are definitely going to research a restaurant or a beauty salon but they are less likely to pay attention to reviews for businesses related to accounting, taxi services and things like housekeeping and gardening.

Regardless of what your business is, you need to make sure you are getting good reviews. If, however, you have a restaurant or a club, working on getting good reviews is essential and you should do what you can to work it into your digital marketing strategy.

The importance of online reviews for local SEO

The importance of online reviews doesn’t end at influencing people, they will also affect your local SEO. If you want to land at the top of search engines you need to have good reviews backing up your business.

According to Moz, when they did a study last year it showed that review signals ranked a fifth among the most vital search engine ranking factors.


What exactly is a review signal?

Review signals are different aspects of your company’s online review profile such as:

Quantity of reviews

Like with most things, the more the merrier. BrightLocal’s research shows that you need between seven and ten reviews before people are going to be willing to trust you.

Review velocity

This one is tricky because you want people to post their reviews right away, but if they do it too fast it can hurt you in terms of SEO.

Overall review velocity

This refers to the speed at which you are collecting reviews on Google and third party sites.

Diversity of reviews

The more sites that have reviews for your business the better. Spread the love.

Number of third-party reviews

This refers to the number of reviews you have on websites not owned by Google.

Authority third party review sites

These are sites that Google gives more weight, or authority, to.

Volume of testimonials in review

These are the reviews used in microdata. They are sometimes referred to as “rich snippets.” They look like this:

Number of native Google Maps reviews including text

Google reviews got their start on Google Maps and it is still important to your local SEO.

Number of product/service keywords imbedded in reviews

Keywords are important to the SEO in your reviews but you don’t want to stuff them in unnaturally.

Quantity of authority reviewers

Just like Google will give more authority to certain review websites, they also do that for certain reviewers. The more reviews the person has posted the more weight their reviews will hold in the search engines.

It is important that you understand the importance of online business reviews and how to get them. We will be covering all the important facts in this article series and you don’t want to miss out!