In 2015, more than $180 billion dollars were spent on advertising in the United States. These numbers have only continued to rise in the following years, but digital advertising spending is rising especially fast. This is because of the simple fact that customer experience and smooth website design is and always will be an essential contributor to the overall success of a business, regardless of industry.
One recent trend associated with the importance of building your brand online is understanding the technical yet specific role that customer reviews play in local SEO. Unfortunately, too many local and small businesses underestimate the true value of online customer reviews. Here is part one of our guide exploring some of the main reasons your company should prioritize customer reviews for the purposes of local search rankings.
First, customer reviews often help to serve as the bridge between existing and potential customers. Their realistic and transparent viewpoints often help create expectations that most accurately align with the product or service itself. Many times, a positive customer review is what gives potential customers the confidence to go ahead and make a purchase. In fact, the average buyer consults 11 consumer reviews on their path to purchasing a new service.
Opportunity For Engagement
It may not seem like it, but the role that social media plays in overall customer engagement is growing with each and every passing day. In fact, about 78% of companies now say they have dedicated social media teams in 2015, up from 67% in 2012. That means that your company can make the most of any review, even if it’s negative, in the social media arena. By initiating a dialogue and point of contact between customers and company across social media channels, you’re showing your audience that your company truly cares about the satisfaction of each and every customer and that you see them as individuals rather than just another nameless face that could profit your business.
Google My Business Pages
For home improvement companies, contractors, services, and retail outlets, Google is increasing including Google user reviews directly in local search results. What does that mean for your SEO strategy? It means that even if you land a coveted page one ranking or are featured in the local Map Pack, negative reviews could still dissuade searchers from clicking to your website. And it profits your business nothing to have a page one ranking and terrible click-through rates.
Ultimately, understanding how customer reviews help with SEO and brand building initiatives is the key to making the most of their potential. When used in tandem with high-quality website design and other digital marketing efforts, your company is bound to see an improvement in customer engagement and satisfaction. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll discuss some more reasons why customer reviews are so essential for SEO value.