How Online Reviews Boost Rankings in Search Results

In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of getting online reviews of your business to build trust with potential customers. While building trust is an excellent way to broaden your customer base, getting online reviews serves an additional purpose: It can help boost your rankings in search engines. Let’s look at exactly how:

People Love Reviews,
So Search Engines Love Reviews

People love to read reviews – our last blog post discussed how 92% of consumers read reviews online. The Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal also discussed that star rating is the “#1 factor used by consumers to judge a business.” Most search engines include star ratings in their local search results. If people judge a business based on a star review, it stands to reason that having a star review pop up in a search result (as long as it is a high star rating), would be preferable.

User Reviews Boost Search Engine Rankings

According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, reviews are an important part of ranking in Google and other search engine results. According to their survey and statistics, reviews make up 8.4% of how Google (and other search engines) decide how to rank websites in search results. There are many signals within the review signals, such as how many reviews there are, the diversity and quality of the reviews themselves, and other factors, such as:

Keywords in the Reviews

Authority of the Review Sites Themselves

Whether the Reviews are Positive or Not

Quantity of Native Reviews (Reviews on Google Places)

Obviously, all these factors cannot be controlled, and they shouldn’t be. But, they offer insight into the fact that search engines value online reviews, and the rankings reflect this.

Reviews Show Up in Search Results

Reviews show up in search results. When you perform the follow search: “best auto locksmith in orlando fl,”  the first organic results are local results in Google Places. They list a star rating right below their name.\

The next three results are from review sites – Yelp and Thumbtack. These aren’t individual business. Instead, these businesses got on the front page simply by having online reviews on popular review sites. Google knows that people love reviews, so they have focused their results on the businesses that provide them.

As you can see, it’s important to get reviews on multiple sites – not just one. Yelp and Thumbtack results often come up in search results, which make them a valuable source of online reviews.

Reviews Count as Citations

Citations are an important ranking factor. A citation is a mention of your company (without a link back to your site), across the internet. When you name, address, and phone number are listed (this is called NAP) on a reputable site, search engines look more favorably at your website, and the rankings will reflect this. Many review sites act as citation sources – the biggest one is Yelp – but it also includes sites such as Foursquare and Angie’s List.

Obtain and Curate Your
Online Reviews to Boost Rank

As you can see, not only will online reviews build trust for your business, it will also boost your rankings in search engine results. With such an effective outcome, we can recommend enough that you start getting reviews from satisfied customers. Remember, providing excellent customer service is the best thing you can do towards this goal. People who feel satisfied with service will readily leave a review, especially when asked. As a business owner, obtaining online reviews is one of the best things you can do to help boost your site and your business!