Chances are, you’re aware of the importance of having a top-notch reputation online. Nowadays, many consumers look up reviews on products and services before giving up their hard-earned money to make a purchase. A substantial number of consumers report that they trust the reviews they come across online just as much as they trust personal recommendations. Therefore, it should not come to your surprise that SEO reputation management is essential when it comes to the success of your business.
Even if your business doesn’t have online reviews right now, you can expect reviews to pop up online at some point. No matter how strong your business is, poor reviews can do away with all the progress you’ve made. Here is some information about SEO reputation management and the importance of having a 5-star reputation.
SEO Reputation Management: How Do Reviews Impact Local Search
Not only do online reviews have an impact on consumers, but they also have an impact on rankings in search engine results. Google’s algorithm heavily takes online reviews into account when it comes to local organic rankings. 5-star reviews will have a positive impact by adding to your company’s authority, relevance, and proximity.
Local businesses websites consist of content generated by the business owner, an employee, or a freelance writer hired by the business. On the other hand, users generate the content for reviews. Therefore, Google views the content in online reviews as unbiased details. Also, Google uses online reviews as an additional source of keywords to associate with the company. Google depends on online reviews for context to determine which companies should have the most visibility and which companies should have a low rank in the search results. Google also relies on the reviewers to confirm that details like the location of the business are correct.
While it is essential to focus on keyword optimization and back linking, you should make sure that you don’t forget to build a strong reputation for your business by attracting 5-star reviews from your customers. While there are some negatives associated with online reviews, ultimately, they are a great tool that can help your business rank highly in Google’s search results.
How to Attract Positive Reviews
Now that you know the importance of positive reviews, you’re probably wondering about what steps you can take to attract these reviews and make them visible. If you search your industry in Google, you will probably see mixed results. For some businesses, you will see their star ratings immediately. On the other hand, some businesses won’t have star ratings or online reviews.
If you want your online reviews to appear in your organic results, you need to take a look at the structured data markup. This HTML markup provides search engines with extra information. The rich snippets that you see in Google’s search results can consist of images, text, review stars, and more. This provides the user with more information that will help them choose the most relevant option.
You can make changes to your website’s HTML markup so that Google displays the review stars. You need to make it easy for Google to find valid ratings or reviews markup on your website. Some of the guidelines that you have to follow when it comes including reviews on your website are as follows:
- Ratings and reviews must come from the users.
- Human editors should not compile, create, or curate ratings information for the business.
- Ratings information cannot be collected from other websites. The ratings information needs to come straight from the users.
According to Google, websites cannot copy and paste review text from Yelp and other review sites. Rather, the reviews need to be entirely unique and should not be found on other websites.
How to Control and Deal with the Bad Reviews
Bad reviews are one reason many businesses don’t like dealing with online reviews. Undoubtedly, positive reviews are valuable when it comes to driving conversions. Conversely, bad reviews can inflict major damage on a business. The fact is that many customers will refuse to buy from a business with many negative reviews. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix when it comes to controlling bad reviews.
Some businesses make the mistake of using a pay-for-review website, but you should keep in mind that use of these websites are illegal. Also, Google will likely inflict a penalty on your website if it discovers that you’re using pay-for-review services. You also shouldn’t offer customers incentives for publishing positive reviews. Ultimately, the best thing that you can do to control the bad reviews is building a good reputation and making your products and services top-notch. Focus on offering the best customer service possible and actually pay attention to the feedback you receive from your customers.
There is a close relationship between SEO and the reputation of a business. For more information about SEO reputation management, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Poet Media.