How Online Customer Reviews Can Boost Sales and Help SEO

Online customer reviews are very important whether you are selling a product or offering a service. It is estimated that 61% of customers read reviews before deciding to purchase a product or service. User reviews give customers a clear idea about the product and helps in selection.

They improve your search engine optimization and increase sales. With the increasing use of the internet for shopping, what people say online matters a lot and has an impact on whether or not someone purchases from you. Any customer can share their opinion about your business on the World Wide Web and the entire world can see it.

User Reviews – Some Important Considerations

A positive review creates a good impression about your business while a negative review can bring down your business. Therefore it is important to carefully track user reviews and take measures to cut down negative reviews. Here are some considerations:

  • Online reviews are important for customers. It is important to know how influential customer reviews are, whether people actually read them and whether influencers are reading them. According to the Annual Local Consumer Review (link to local SEO) Survey by Bright Local, 88 percent of people surveyed said that they occasionally or regularly read reviews to find out about the business and its products. Many people read online reviews; they believe those reviews and are influenced by them.
  • The next important consideration is whether people depend on customer reviews for the kind of business you are engaged in. According to the survey mentioned above, approximately 70 percent of customers go online to search for reviews of restaurants and cafes.


    So, restaurant and cafe owners should focus on aggressive internet marketing and also make sure that they get positive reviews and effectively address any negative reviews.

  • Customer reviews not only influence people but also decide where your business is listed in search engine results. Local search marketing authority Moz found that review signals rank high in the fifth position among the most important search ranking factors, after My Business, NAP/Citation, On-page signals and Link signals.

    Review signals are different aspects of a company’s review profile and include the following:

    • How quickly reviews appear for your business or review velocity. If they appear too fast, it will have a negative impact.
    • Review diversity, i.e. whether your reviews appear across diverse websites.
    • Review quantity or the number of reviews. BrightLocal says that you need to have at least 7 -10 positive reviews if people are to trust you.
    • Quantity of third party traditional reviews. This signifies the reviews you receive on websites other than those of Google.
    • Authority of third party sites where reviews are present. There are customer review sites that enjoy greater authority with Google, and having reviews on such websites will work in your favor.
    • Overall velocity of reviews.
    • Number of authority reviewers.
    • Product or service keywords in reviews.
    • Diversity of third- party sites that have reviews.
    • Quantity of native Google maps review with text.
    • Volume of testimonials in review.
  • Another important concern is negative reviews. When you get a negative review, find out whether there is a basis for the complaint and respond to the same. Responding in anger or with a feeling of self-righteousness can prove to be more damaging than the original negative review. You can also try contacting the complainers offline, listen carefully to their concern, and try to rectify the problem. This will help you receive constructive feedback.
  • Businesses should have customer reviews on sites related to their industry. To find those related review sites:
    • Search for reviews that are related to your business type, and read the search engine result pages
    • Find other review websites

      Review Websites

Here you click the option “Similar” and will be taken to a new page of search listings. You can find some more related sites there. On the first page of the results, under the map view, towards the right of the main Google results, you can find even more sites.

Increasing Online Reviews

Some measures to increase online reviews are as follows:

  • Promote your presence on review sites both online and offline
  • Combine links to your emails
  • Improve social engagement
  • Add gaming applications or interactive techniques to encourage engagement
  • Use of review request tools
  • Create check-in or walk-in offers

User Reviews and SEO Benefits

  • Reviews add rich content that is fresh and updated, which appeals to search engine spiders. Since the content is user generated, it stands apart from the typical manufacturer descriptions.
  • Aptly formatted review content has been shown to increase click through rate from the search engine result pages.
  • User reviews also help in ranking well for searches using long tail keywords. The important thing is, users writing the review may be using the same language people may use when searching for particular products/services.

Given that customer reviews play a significant role in boosting your sales and improving SEO, it is important to spend some time managing the reviews. For online reputation management and search engine optimization, businesses can go for reliable search engine optimization services.This will ensure that an effective review program is in place. In addition, SEO experts would also ensure the following:

  • To enable search engines to reach user reviews, they make sure that the content appears in text form in the HTML. They would also avoid dependency on cookies, Flash, images, JavaScript and other technology to ensure maximum visibility of the user generated content to search engines.
  • The full review will have a single dedicated page and a single URL though review snippets may appear on more than one page.
  • To make the most of long tail traffic and to rank high for the content, user reviews would be featured on as many pages as possible on the website.