Well, the short answer is yes, Google really does care if your business has online reviews, but why?
How Important are Online Reviews in General?
Online reviews directly contribute to improving your business’ organic search rankings. Whilst there is, no doubt, an awful lot of factors involved in improving your organic search rankings, online reviews are an incredibly strong signal to Google that your business is trustworthy and a leader in your sector.
Not only that, but as we’ve said before, gathering and managing your online reviews is a powerful way to differentiate your business from your competition whilst raising your visibility in organic search results.
Are Reviews More Important for Local Businesses?
If your business is a local one, then online reviews are even more important – here’s why!
In a 2017 Local SEO Ranking Factors study Google My Business reviews that included searched for keywords were the second most influential factor when examining a local business’ performance in the ‘Local Pack’. The ‘Local Pack’ are the search results that appear in the Google Maps results that appear either at the very top of relevant searches in Google, or underneath Google Ads.
In another study from 2020, Google My Business and reviews were shown to account for 49% of your local ranking, and this is up from 30% in 2013.
In your Google Maps listing, Google also includes snippets of reviews at the bottom! Now, how would you like your business to be featured – for free – at the top of page one?
If you’re not a local business, but an Ecommerce business, do online reviews still matter? Once again, the short answer is yes! Recently, Yotpo studied the impact of adding customer reviews onto a sample of Ecommerce websites. Over the course of the nine-month study, Google organic page views increased from around 5,500 a month to an incredible 8,000 a month. Not bad at all, and all from simply gathering and managing your online reviews!
So, what are the three key takeaways from this blog?
- Online reviews are trusted by Google because they are a signal that a website is worth a good ranking or not. Google sees online reviews as a sign of endorsement and trust from your customers and rewards you with better visibility.
- Google likes to read, so the more content it has available to read, the more it’ll know about your business. When you leverage online reviews effectively, Google has fresh, new content and keywords, through which it can understand your business.
- Great reviews equal more stars which equal more clicks! The fact of the matter is that people (including your potential customers) trust reviews, and the more reviews awarded to a business, the more likely they are to click on your details and find out more. If Google sees that you’re getting great reviews, it’s going to assume that you’re doing something right and will reward your site with a much better organic ranking.
So, what have you got to lose? Absolutely nothing, but you do have an awful lot to gain! Don’t forget that here at Trustist we can help you to effectively use your online reviews to boost your organic ranking!