A complete guide to website reviews

WEBPRO
4 min readSep 5, 2023

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a whole industry dedicated to services to improve the visibility of websites on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). SEO techniques are used to improve the ranking of website pages on relevant SERPs which therefore increases the number of people who visit the business’s web pages. This then increases leads and hopefully sales. It’s known as an organic type of marketing which can yield long-term results and a stable stream of (repeat) clients. SEO can be broken down into four main areas, namely website technical performance, website content, website links, and you guessed it — reviews!

The importance of reviews on SEO

Online reviews are one of the four main areas of SEO. It’s important to target all four to improve SEO performance. Search engines like Google will use your online reviews to help index your business on search result pages. Your reviews may influence where your web pages are positioned on generic text searches but they could also influence how visible your business is on Google Maps as well. The more positive reviews you receive the better it is for your SEO and improves the chances of even more business.

Reviews aren’t just for SEO!

But reviews aren’t just to appease search engines and maximise SEO performance. Reviews on their own are essential for converting leads. It’s not estimated that over 90% of online consumers will check out a company’s online reviews before making an enquiry or purchase. People want social proof more than ever, either to legitimise a business and avoid scams or to see how other consumers experienced your products or services.

This brings us on to negative reviews. How your business responds to negative reviews can impact consumer decisions more than how many positive reviews you have. Sometimes negative reviews are posted about businesses because the reviewer has gotten the wrong business or on purpose to try and harm the business. These reviews are best dealt with by honestly stating that the reviewer’s name isn’t a recognised client but still offer to reach out and discuss the alleged experience anyway. Genuine negative reviews should be seen as an opportunity to remedy issues and display excellent customer service to onlookers.

How to generate online reviews

Your business might generate online reviews from third-party websites such as Trustpilot. But there are ways to generate reviews yourself by having a Business Profile. A Business Profile is exactly how it sounds and can appear on SERPs and Google Maps results to attract local business. It can include contact information, links to your website, images, quote requests and online reviews with up to a five-star rating. To claim a Profile for your business you will need to use a platform called Google My Business. This platform allows any business owner to manage all aspects of their Business Profile and respond to reviews. You may want to encourage reviews from clients on your new profile.

Do NOT buy online reviews!

Some businesses try to improve their SEO performance and social proof by buying fake online reviews. However, this is a really bad idea as most fake online reviews are easy to spot. And a new Bill is in the pipeline that will make buying or hosting fake reviews illegal!

Fake reviews often use the same sentence structures and turn of phrase that are easy to identify among consumers. Moreover, the timing of reviews can easily make people assume they’re fake. If you usually only receive a couple of reviews per month and suddenly get 10 positive reviews in one week, there is a good chance that consumers will recognise these as fake. But most importantly, Google can identify fake reviews quite easily as well and it will punish you by making your business less visible online.

Recap: Online reviews play a significant role in both SEO and consumer decision-making. They contribute to improving a business’s visibility on search engines and can influence purchasing decisions. Positive reviews provide social proof, building trust and credibility for your brand. However, negative reviews should not be ignored but rather seen as an opportunity to showcase exceptional customer service. It is crucial to generate authentic reviews through platforms like Google My Business, avoiding the temptation to buy fake reviews, as search engines and discerning consumers can easily detect them, leading to penalties and irreversible damage to your online reputation.

WEBPRO Knows

One of the best times to ask a client for a review is in response to praise they give your product or service.

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