Whether you’re a newcomer to the digital space or a long-time internet native, navigating SEO is likely a critical element of your brand’s marketing strategy—but do Google reviews help SEO?
Google reviews are an important component of SEO. Although numerous factors affect your website’s rankings, reviews can “tell” Google’s algorithm that your brand carries authority in the digital space.
If you’re investing in SEO efforts, you should equally invest in gathering quality customer reviews. And, if you’re looking for more information about the relationship between SEO and Google reviews, read on.
Table of Contents
- Google Reviews and SEO: A Brief Breakdown
- Do Reviews Help Google Rankings?
- Managing Google Reviews For Your Business
Google Reviews and SEO: A Brief Breakdown
Do reviews help Google ranking efforts? Absolutely. Let’s break down some key elements of SEO and explore how Google reviews fit into the SEO puzzle.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) describes efforts to make your brand rank as highly as possible in search results. When consumers Google something, you want your site or content to appear at the top of the pile (and not necessarily in the form of a paid ad).
Google chooses which content to display first (and last) using a proprietary algorithm that assesses a variety of factors, including:
- The relevance of the content on your site
- The quality of your meta descriptions and title tags
- The readability of your URL
- The number of other sites that “backlink” your site (and the authority of those backlinking sites)
The above list isn’t exhaustive, and each element deserves its own TED Talk. But, let’s focus specifically on the last point and narrow in on page authority.
Page authority describes the relevance of a certain page to a search engine query—high-authority links rank higher in search results. And authority is rewarded on Google via the Map Pack. The Map Pack is a list of three businesses at the top of the page, each of which meet the search criteria.
A place in the Map Pack is a coveted spot that increases your visibility in search results and can potentially increase your clickthrough rate (CRT).
Do Reviews Help Google Rankings?
Reviews should be a top focus if you’re trying to reach the Map Pack. Businesses that appear in this section have:
- High star ratings
- Reviews featuring keywords
- Numerous Google reviews—more than a handful
Why are all of the above so critical to appearing in the Map Pack (and ranking highly in more general searches)?
- High star ratings indicate to both Google’s algorithm and consumers that your brand is trustworthy. That requires delivering the product consumers are looking for and the information they seek when they use a search engine.
- Keywords are the bread and butter of SEO. And (without resorting to spamming), you want your brand name associated with as many relevant keywords as possible. Since they’re evaluating specific products or services, reviews are highly likely to use organic keywords—the phrases that increase your authority in search results.
- While your reviews should be high-quality, quantity is also an important consideration. Brands with lots of reviews look more trustworthy—if your brand has served numerous customers and has a positive reputation with those customers, other consumers are more likely to join your client list.
Managing Google Reviews For Your Business
The results are clear—Google reviews help SEO and increase the likelihood that tire-kickers will become customers. Now what?
How Can You Get More Google Reviews for Your Business?
Our team wrote a full-length article about getting more Google reviews for your business, but here are some quick tips for acquiring reviews:
- Make sure to claim (and optimize) your Google Business Profile
- Ask customers to write reviews by:
- Putting QR codes to your Google Business Profile on receipts or business cards
- Sending a request via text message
- Verbally asking customers to write a review during checkout
- Manage the reviews you do have by:
- Responding to reviews (good and bad ones)
- Deleting old or spam reviews
You Have Google Reviews: What’s Next?
Perhaps you've done the work, gathered lots of quality reviews and responded to them. Whether or not these efforts have earned you a spot on the Map Pack, what’s next?
- Embed Google reviews on your website – Clients who navigate directly to your site and skip the search engine simply may miss the Google results you’ve painstakingly curated. You can fix this problem by embedding Google reviews directly into your website.
- Maintain your review strategy – If your plan to gather and curate more reviews worked, keep it up. Consistency is key, and a good SEO plan is a long-term one.
- Focus on SEO as a whole – Are your reviews up to par with your competition? Turn to other SEO elements to keep turning heads (and ranking):
- Keep adding relevant, optimized content to your site
- Invest in a backlink plan
- Keep your customers up to date as new content hits your site
Gather Google Reviews and More with Textedly
Google reviews are a critical consideration in the SEO algorithm—businesses with high-quality reviews (and lots of them) are rewarded with a high ranking.
If you’re looking for an easy way to collect customer reviews and interact with your clients, SMS marketing is the right tool for the job. And, with Textedly, you can easily send SMS messages to your contact list using our simple, powerful platform.
You have something to say to your clients—why not send them a text?
Search Engine Journal. How Google Reviews Impact map Pack & Organic Search Rankings. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-reviews-impact-rankings/429783/
Interaction Design Foundation. Search Engine Optimization. https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/search-engine-optimization
Search Engine Journal. The Three Pillars of SEO: Authority, Relevance, and Experience. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-guide/search-authority/
Google. Business Profile. https://www.google.com/business/