Running a business is never an easy venture. Not only is the business itself a huge mountain to climb but understanding the ins and outs of building your presence online is a whole different beast. As SEO continues to evolve, so do the ways in which you can employ it. Online reviews are something every business should be interested in.
Now you can use the review feature within Google SERPs to optimize your business’ online efforts.
Over the past several years, Google has made multiple changes to the way we see search results. However, these changes are not always made so clear and could have a major effect on companies or individuals looking to optimize your SEO efforts.
Build Your SEO Foundation
Think of these changes as small cracks in the foundation of a building. While one may not have any noticeable effect, over time more and more small cracks will ultimately lead to damage to the building. That's how Google updates can affect your SEO. One change may not hurt your rankings but multiple updates without evolving with them can lead to a dreaded Google penalty.
When Google decides to update its algorithms, it's important to jump in front of your competition and make the necessary changes as soon as possible.
As recently as last month, Google implemented a major change to their algorithm with the Penguin 4.0 update. The Penguin 4.0 update from Google now shows the updates in your search rankings in real time.
Rich Snippets and Reviews
In 2009, during their Searchology conference, Google introduced one of their newest ideas – rich snippets. Rich snippets are additional details regarding specific pages in the search results. Ever wonder why people started seeing reviews for their products directly in the SERP? Well, this is the exact reason why!
A review is simply a person’s evaluation of something. For Google, this can apply to several things, including a business's specific domain or a certain product of theirs. Google displays two separate forms of reviews when it comes to rich snippets. The two different types of reviews in Google’s search results pages are critics’ reviews and review snippets.
Review snippets are generally an average of all of the combined rating scores from reviewers. This allows you to gauge how your product or business is viewed within a larger audience range. Not only will Google show you text to go along with the review, but it will also be represented on a numerical scale such as 1-5 or 1-10.
Review snippets are available for local businesses, movies, books, music and various other products. These review snippets will appear in Google search results either under the given search or in the Google Knowledge cards.
Critic reviews differ from review snippets in that they offer a more in-depth look at the thoughts of one specific reviewer. These types of reviews can help you get a better understanding of how certain individuals feel about your business or product rather than a more general insight that can be seen in review snippets.
With critic reviews being so prominently displayed in the search results, users will be able to get a quick summary of the review directly under your domain’s knowledge graph. Critic reviews are displayed in local businesses, movies and books.
There are many reasons why reviews on your website can increase your SEO optimization efforts within Google. One is that it allows your site to catch the eye of a user. Reviews are an instinctive, eye-catching part of a business or product. People want to know ahead of time what to expect in terms of quality.
Users who see that a business is receiving lots of reviews may be more inclined to click on the domain to learn more about the business.
Increasing Your Website’s CTR
Not only can reviews bring more eyes to your domain but this fact can lead to an increase in your sites click-through rate (CTR). If users are curious about the reviews of your business they are more likely to click on your domain to find further information about your business and products.
An increase in your website’s CTR can go as far as to increase the conversions you are experiencing. With a higher CTR and more conversions comes an increase in your sites ranking and SEO within Google.
Having reviews dedicated to your website can give users a better opportunity in finding your domain when they use Google search. With the chance of an increase in search opportunity results, your domain’s rankings could also see an increase.
Any increase in your website's rankings can do wonders for optimizing your SEO. While Google ranking may not be the only factor in improving your SEO, it still plays an important part and reviews can help you in your journey up the Google ranks.
Nearly 90% of customers say that they are highly influenced by online reviews within Google search (marketingland.com). With this knowledge, you can see how reviews can play a part in a website's SEO optimization. Product page visitors who read and interact with Google reviews convert at a 58 percent higher rate than those who did not have this same interaction.
Users who were shown to read and interact with product reviews reflected an increase of 62 percent in revenue per visit. Similarly, the average order value also increased when shoppers are engaged with reviews. The average order value increases by 3 percent when users are engaged. This shows just how much of an impact having reviews linked to your domain can help with the increase and improvement of your SEO optimization.
Review Snippets can ultimately end up factoring into where your domain is ranking in Google search. Among search results that include review snippets, 10% are ranking in the first position in Google, 7% are ranking in the second position and 6% are ranking in the third.
Some domains have as much as 50 percent of their ranked keywords coming from review snippet results. For example, medicalnewstoday.com receives 48.71% of all of its ranked organic keywords from users using review snippets.
Having such a large number of organic keywords coming from review shows just how important of a role it can have on SEO.
The percent of organic keywords coming from review snippets can vary depending on the category of the industry as a whole. As seen here, 70 percent of organic keywords for allrecipes.com are being generated through review snippets, while 66 percent of organic keywords for foodnetwork.com are also generated through review.
Different categories generally vary in the percentage of organic keywords being generated by review snippets. The food industry has two separate websites that have over 50 percent of the organic keywords being generated from the Google review snippet.
Monitor Your Review Snippets
SEMrush can help you monitor your review snippets and help determine which keywords are being tunneled through review snippets. SEMrush allows you to view your SERP review percentage under the organic research tool.
With the review snippet feature in SEMrush, you can view your domain’s keywords in one place that also have review snippet. Keeping track of this data will help you in analyzing the benefits of review snippets in relation to your SEO.
Reviews are continuing to play a bigger role in how they affect one’s SEO efforts. SEMrush allows you to monitor the keywords that are affected all in one place so you are ensuring that you never fall behind on your SEO efforts.