It is well known that customer ratings and reviews can be very beneficial. Social proof has a very powerful effect on consumers. The purchasing decisions of over two-thirds of online users are influenced by customer testimonials and reviews. Seeing a review might prompt a person to take action immediately, which can affect your on-page conversion rate. People can also be influenced indirectly by your review, by referring their family and friends to your business, or it can drive them to purchases from your company in the future.

Just that alone should be sufficient motivation for you to seek out more online reviews. However, there is another important factor to consider. Can your online reviews influence your ranking in Google search engine results?

Embedded Reviews vs. Dedicated Review Pages

There are two major ways to feature reviews on your website. You can have a dedicated review page or have embedded reviews on individual products and services pages. The method you decide to use will depend on what your business approach is. For instance, an e-commerce business that has many individual products might need specific product-based embedded reviews. On the other hand, the opposite can be true of a B2B service provider. If a consumer is searching for something like “[company brand] Reviews” then you will want to have a dedicated review page show up in the search results.

Opportunities To Leverage Your Keywords

Another way online reviews can be a benefit is that they provide original content with typically your top keywords on individual web pages of your website. This can give you a substantial boost in the Google search engine rankings. When it comes to your customer reviews, you don’t fully control them. However, if customers are writing reviews for individual products or services of yours, then chances are good they will contain some of the most important phrases and keywords that are related to your business.

Ongoing Content Submissions

When you accept and publish online reviews, it provides you with regularly updated content for free. Google loves the fresh content, but it won’t provide you with a significant rankings boost. However, it will demonstrate to your website visitors that you are committed to keeping your site current, which can help increase your conversion rates. This can result in a more pronounced effect for your dedicated review pages since it might take longer for individual product pages to cycle through the new reviews that you publish.

Micro Formatting

Up to this point, we have mainly been discussing how on-site reviews can provide your rankings with a boost. Using this approach can result in your search engine listings becoming more attractive and visible to prospective visitors to your site. Using micro formatting allows you to tell Google where your reviews start and end as well as if your products have a rating system connected to them. Having this information allows Google to display rich snippets of information to users within the search results immediately. If consumers can see your product has an average of 4.7 out of a 5-star rating, it is more likely that they will click through to your product page.

Off-Site Reviews And Local SEO

On-site reviews are not the only kind of reviews that can help boost your SEO efforts. It’s important to recognize that the more reviews you can get for your business from third party websites and directories, the more likely you will earn a spot within the local 3-pack.

Get More Reviews

That is the bottom line. Given the fact that you won’t be personally writing these reviews, it means that you won’t have as much control over them compared to reviews that you can optimize. However, even if you were able to do that, reviews play just a small role in your overall Google search engine rankings. This approach isn’t something that will make or break your overall SEO strategy. However, you do want to receive as many reviews as you possibly can (and ensure that the reviews are as positive as possible). Having more reviews will help increase your traffic, boost your conversion rates and build your reputation – so you really can’t go wrong.