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How Do Online Reviews Impact Local SEO?

As time trudges on, the importance of online review sites such as Facebook, Google, and Yelp has exponentially increased. Many studies show that almost fifty percent of consumers check online reviews prior to making a purchase. Even further, these studies show that consumers trust online reviews even more than recommendations from friends and family! Consequently, reviews have impacted search algorithms. For example, Google’s has stated that customer reviews are an essential component of its local search factors. This means that marketers and business owners have to be calculated concerning their approach towards online reviews and how such interactions impact their overall SEO. To help out with those considerations, here is a list of various ways online reviews impact SEO.

Factors That Determine Search Rankings
Online reviews play a major roll in local search rankings. In fact, reviews account for around seven percent of the overall factors that determine search rankings. This number includes review counts and scores, meaning that there is a direct relationship between positive review quantities, high diversity, velocity, and improved local ranking. More positive reviews enable companies to move higher up in search results. Those with stellar reviews will get more clicks and visits, while those with mixed reviews will still be able to attract customers.

New and Relevant Content
Fresh content means higher local search rankings. What better way to produce new content than by way of customer reviews? Think of it as killing two proverbial birds with a single stone. What’s more, user reviews can be harnessed to load your other social media accounts with substantive, engaging content and convey the message that your brand is active, engaging, and relevant. This content can also be of great benefit to your customers, as it encourages conversations and interaction that keeps both potential and current customers interested in your brand. As a result, it is one of the most effective means of SEO, so effective that it is practically unmatched by any other marketing strategies.

Basic Attributes
Like fresh content, basic attributes help sites achieve higher local search results. These include back-links, internal links, keywords, and titles. A healthy stream of reviews essentially constructs these links without any action on your part, allowing the entire system to self-automate.

SEO and SMO
Social media optimization pertains specifically to social media sites. User reviews assist SEO by way of SMO through likes, shares, comments, and hash tags, all of which can potentially redirect other users and search engine results back to your brand. This form of SEO thrives on customized content, meaning that the more users you have consistently sharing, liking, and commenting on your links, the higher it will rank in local search results. To this extent, sometimes it literally pays to have your content boosted on various platforms, as this tactic enables you to reach a larger, more diversified amount of people.

Negative Reviews
Many believe that negative reviews will have an adverse impact on their SEO. This could not be further from the truth. Your business will not incur penalties as a result pf negative reviews as long as the site features content demonstrative of its reputability.

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