Customer Reviews Affect Search Engine Ranking
You probably already know that your prospects or buyers are deciding who to call or where to buy based on your online customer or product reviews. Did you know Google is using customer reviews as a factor in deciding how to rank your website in the search engine results pages.
Customer reviews displayed on Google search results pages affect your ranking because the reviews can influence the click-though rate to your website or local business listing. Google uses the click-though rate as a measure of your websites relevance to the search keyword. Low relevancy lose ranking while higher relevancy websites are rewarded with higher rankings.
Sorry, You Can’t Ignore Online Customer Reviews
Your business is impacted by online reviews whether you like it or not. You don’t need a website to receive customer reviews. There are manyportals that have become the preferred locations for customer reviews. Google Places, Facebook Places, Yelp, Amazon, ePinions and Trip Advisor are just a few.
Google pulls customer reviews from a variety of sources, and emphasises different sources for different industries. Google frequently changes these sources and even rotates the reviews it chooses to display.
Fake Reviews are for Losers
Don’t write fake reviews. Google is very clear in its official policy on online reviews, posting spam, fake, impersonator or advertising online reviews are against their policy. I won’t dwell on this topic, suffice it to say fake reviews can be costly, embarrassing and lose consumer trust.
Monitoring Your Customer Reviews
You need to stay alert and monitor your online reviews. Luckily, this is easy to do by using Google Alerts for your website, business name and key people on your staff. Go here to setup your Google Alerts.
How Do You Get Good Reviews?
This article explained the importance of reviews and some key factors about reviews including the fact they can impact your ranking in Google and other search engines.
Now you need to focus on getting good customer reviews that will improve your sales and keep your customers coming back.
Since this article was written in May 2011 alot has changed in the area of Customer Reviews. In July 2012 I updated my recommendations, read "Customer Reviews: Soliciting is Bad, Engagement is Good".