What people say about your home care business matters, and that’s particularly true about what customers are saying online. Review websites exist to provide users with the most accurate information so they can better make decisions about their future purchases. The faster they can do that, the more consumers will depend on them time after time. When it comes to local search, reviews matter even more. According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews make up 10 percent of how Google and other search engines decide to rank their search results.
As a home care business, you should be heeding feedback. A big part of your online marketing and SEO strategy involves monitoring and responding to online reviews from your customers. There are several platforms used these days for posting reviews, from Yelp and Google to Facebook and Bing. Those are the general ones; there are others that are specific to a particular industry or geography, such as TripAdvisor or Healthgrades. Reviews are essentially part of an ongoing conversation your customers are having about your business online. You may worry about how far out of control you are of this discussion of your brand. However, you are in a strong position to influence and contribute to nurturing the lasting, positive reputation your business strives to earn, thanks to consumer reviews and owner responses, says Moz.
Online reviews are important for many reasons because they can affect your rankings in local search engines, as well as which search results are clicked on and how they affect consumer decisions. Thus, online reviews are the lifeblood of your local SEO strategy — just as important as building citations and on-site optimization. Let’s take a look at five reasons why online reviews matter more than ever for SEO.
We alluded to this above: reviews don’t just influence people, they can dictate where you show up in search results. According to the 2017 study above by Moz, review signals ranked #5 in importance, taking up 13 percent of the pie in terms of Local Pack and Finder Ranking Factors. Entrepreneur points out that a review signal makes up various aspects of a company’s review profile online, comprised of many factors, such as:
- Review quantity
- Review velocity
- Review diversity
- Quantity of third-party traditional reviews
- Authority of third-party sites where reviews are present
- Overall velocity of reviews (native and third party)
- Volume of testimonials in review (aka, rich snippets)
- Quantity of native Google Maps reviews with text
- Diversity of third-party sites that have reviews
- Product or service keywords in reviews
- Quantity of authority reviewers
It’s no secret that Google favors highly-rated sites, so if you can get ranked higher, this will provide the social proof and authority needed to boost your reviews. In turn, you can add more and more star ratings that appear in your Google search results, where prospective customers can instantly judge whether they can trust you enough to visit or call you. According to Search Engine Watch, star ratings can lead to an increased conversion rate of up to 17 percent.
Influence Over Consumer Decisions
Consumers change their habits constantly when it comes to reading positive reviews. Studies show that after reading a positive review, customers are less likely to hit up a business’ website right away but far more likely to contact you directly over the phone, with an email, or an in-person visit.
Creation of Fresh User-Generated Content
Website content is not enough to lure visitors in; reviews are an ideal form of user-generated content because they come directly from users and provide fresh content to influence future customers.
Increases Long-Tail Keyword Traffic
The language your reviewers use is similar to that of your target audience. That’s why a consistent flow of reviews helps you target more traffic through the right keywords. The best part is, you’re getting these keywords straight from the mouths — or fingertips — of your own customers.
Increases Social Conversation
A series of impressive reviews can help your service become more popular, thereby increasing your social reach and sales numbers. You are able to incorporate reviews within your social strategy as a way to prove the love of your services and products.
Bottom line: don’t be afraid of reviews — rather, embrace them and manage them to your advantage. Online reviews should be an integral part of your SEO strategy. We can help.
Contact A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing
Our team can help you clean up your SEO strategy and ensure it includes a strong response for online reviews management. A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing specializes in online marketing and SEO for the eldercare industry, so please call us at (760) 227-2720 to find out more.