Many marketers and brands still struggle to make the connection between customer reviews and website traffic. Below is the big question – “Do reviews impact site traffic?” is answered. Additionally, we explain how reviews affect website traffic.
Yes, reviews have a direct impact on website traffic
According to the Google My Business support page, customer-generated content, including reviews and service ratings, impacts the site’s ranking on the search engine.
A recent statement on the page states that “positive, high-quality reviews from your customers improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that interested customers will visit your location (online or offline)”. It is therefore imperative that you encourage your customers to leave a review to boost your ranking.
How Customer Reviews Impact Web Traffic
Reviews can help persuade leads and prospects to choose your business over the competition while improving your SEO performance.
Here’s what usually happens:
1. Customer reviews improve SEO rankings
Search engine rankings are primarily informed by keywords. Google regularly checks its database for content items that contain the most instances of the main search term. Then, keeping other ranking factors in mind, the results best match the search term.
Customer reviews contribute to this because Google treats reviews as content, similar to blogs, videos, etc. Therefore, just as more quality blogs guarantee better rankings, more positive, high-quality reviews automatically mean better SERP rankings. A higher ranking also equals more traffic because more potential customers find you first.
2. Positive reviews can elevate you to the “local pack”
The Google local pack is the goods and services that appear on Google search results pages when you perform a local search. Usually, you’ll see a map of business locations offering the product/service locally, along with listings of three businesses relevant to the search.
Now imagine that your store or your products appear on the list! It is a gold mine for local businesses because the consumer can easily note your address and go directly to your store. Or, they can click to place an order if they want the item delivered. Bright Local studies reveal that local reviews are the second most important factor in local pack rankings after Google Business Profile.
3. Positive Reviews Guarantee Referral Traffic
Imagine this: you have just discovered that you have a leak in your roof. You now need to quickly find an experienced roofer in your area. Luckily, you have some recommendations from friends. What will you do next? Google and social media the roofer to see if they have a good reputation, right?
This is what is currently happening in the digital world. A quick check on Google and social media lets you read reviews to confirm if you’re dealing with a legitimate company. It also gives you the opportunity to assess the great reputation of the company. And, if the reviews aren’t convincing, you’ll likely find alternative recommendations from your social circle, with links you can click to visit the new service provider’s website. Top brands get thousands of views via referral traffic every year in circumstances like this.
4. Positive reviews persuade visitors to take action
Finally, positive reviews can also make a difference on search engine results pages and on review sites and platforms. For example, suppose your blog is fourth on the Google search results page. However, a few reviews are highlighted in the meta description. Or maybe you’re up against several other brands on Yelp or TripAdvisor.
Positive reviews can make a difference in both cases. A good ranking (say 5 stars) and tons of positive user reviews are enough to convince new users to click on your website link. Meanwhile, multiple negative reviews could be a red flag that instantly puts potential visitors off. However, you can mitigate this by responding directly to negative reviews.
Reviews, directly and indirectly, impact website traffic. They can influence SEO rankings, referral traffic, and persuade users to take action. So, what users say about your brand and products can determine how many additional leads visit your business online.
Would you like a proactive plan to automate your clients and customers leaving reviews on your website, Google My Business listing, and all review sites? We can help you with a program to do just that! The more positive reviews you have, the better your business reputation.
Mike Gingerich is President of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design, web software and social media marketing company. He is also a business blogger on technology, marketing and growth. Learn more about www.MikeGingerich.com/blog/.