Opinions matter, especially when they come from customers of your eCommerce business.
As an increasing number of online shoppers are swayed by previous customers’ experiences while assessing the available choices, it’s hard for an eCommerce brand to shrug off customer reviews.
Customer reviews – positive or negative – are a valuable metric for an online store. A Statista report found that as much as 70% of online shoppers read between one and six reviews before making a purchase decision.
Ecommerce websites displaying customer reviews encourage visitors to convert. Home appliances and electronics stores have even increased their conversion rates by 38% through online reviews.
Though the numbers may sound impossibly large, think about your own last online purchase. Chances are one of the first things you checked was other buyer’s referrals, right?
Reading customer reviews is an integral part of the online customer journey. That’s because it is seen as the digital equivalent of trying out or touching a product in a brick-and-mortar store.
Another vital information customers look for in other’s shopping journeys is the brand’s delivery and return experience. They feel more confident in buying from brands consolidated with reliable courier services. Hence, even a single piece of poor feedback about your shipping service is enough to discourage other customers from trusting your brand.
Therefore, instead of being afraid of customer reviews, eCommerce brands must embrace them to drive sales revenues and build a robust brand image.
How, you might ask? Well, when your customers post reviews, they are actually providing you with opportunities to climb up search results and boost your site’s SEO.
Keep reading to learn about the importance of customer reviews in eCommerce SEO. You’ll also discover some simple yet effective tips on making the most out of customer reviews to boost rankings.
3 Ways Customer Reviews Help Boost Your Ecommerce SEO
1. Long-Tail Keywords in Customer Reviews Improve Site Rankings
Long-tail keywords (generally three to five words long) are very specific search queries and can be easier to rank for.
With searches becoming more conversational, long-tail keyword phrases have the potential to eliminate the ambiguity in search queries and help you capture relevant traffic. That’s why, focusing on long-tail keywords in your content is a very effective strategy for building rankings in your product niche.
For example, your customers are more likely to search for “Matte foundation for dusky skin tone” rather than the vague “Matte foundation.” So, if your product page SEO accentuates such long-tail keywords, you are more likely to match the customer’s search intent and drive increased organic traffic.
But what do customer reviews have to do with this?
The thing is that, often, a lot of these long-tail search phrases including product and brand names, are hidden within your customers’ reviews. It happens organically as they describe their product experience while sharing feedback and boosts the online content associated with your brand and its products.
Customer reviews reinforce your eCommerce store’s SEO strategy as follows:
- Websites with positive reviews and high ratings are more likely to have high rankings.
- They boost site authority and directly improve rankings.
- Allowing your customers to leave reviews on Google boosts local SEO and helps you rank higher in local searches.
- Customer reviews increase social sharing and online visibility.
- Based on customer reviews, Google shows star ratings in SERP and offers social proof to your prospects.
2. Positive Reviews Boost Your Site’s E-A-T
E-A-T, that is: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, is one of many indicators Google uses to assess the value of the content is valuable to readers and its rankability.
According to Google’s latest update, E-A-T is getting one more E: Experience. It demonstrates that someone with first-hand experience with the product produced the content.
Product pages with high E-E-A-T are very trustworthy and are more likely to rank high in the search results.
Positive customer reviews on your eCommerce website and third-party sites significantly promote its E-E-A-T. Though technically not a ranking factor, it acts as a quality signal to search engines that, in turn, rank your website higher.
3. Informative Reviews Drive More Traffic to Your Ecommerce Site
Quite commonly, online shoppers resort to Google to find product reviews. It allows them to confirm whether they wish to visit your website.
As per Google’s April 2021 product reviews update, Google displays in-depth and informative reviews at the top of the SERP while thin content appears at the bottom.
For instance, product reviews emphasise product specifications, pros, and cons, outrank the ones that simply say if the product is good or bad.
While this update aims to give users trustworthy advice to make the right buying decision, that is also good news for eCommerce sites. It means if you focus on publishing more in-depth customer reviews about your products, your online business can rank higher and attract significant organic traffic.
Top 5 Ways Marketers Boost Ecommerce SEO by Leveraging Customer Reviews
Now that you understand the importance of customer reviews for eCommerce SEO, we can start brainstorming ideas to use them best for boosting SEO.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
You can increase the number of customers who leave reviews, especially those who had a positive experience.
Here’s what you can do:
- Prompt customers to leave reviews on the checkout page, as a popup, or through email.
- Make sure to keep it simple by creating the least possible fields and touchpoints.
- Offer them perks such as discounts or free shipping in exchange for reviews.
2. Engage with Customer Reviews
Responding to customers who have taken the time to share their experiences is worth the effort. It adds additional keywords to help you boost your SERP rankings. Plus, it presents an excellent opportunity to build credibility and appease users with less than a great experience with your website.
Here’s what you can do:
- Personalize the message.
- Answer the queries precisely without getting defensive.
- Request them to connect with the customer support team.
3. Display Reviews Here for the Maximum Impact
It is essential to give your customers access to valuable customer reviews throughout the sales cycle. Ecommerce business benefit from displaying reviews on:
- Product pages
- Testimonial pages
- Feed posts and stories on your social media
- Social media ads
- Dedicated review page
4. Earn Reviews on Third-Party Sites
Third-party reviews are less likely to be manipulated than those on businesses’ websites. Hence, they hold more credibility in the eyes of the customers. Some popular third-party sites you should focus on to feature positive reviews are – Google reviews, Yelp! Reviews and Facebook reviews.
5. Can Bad Reviews Be Good for SEO?
Yes. In some ways, negative customer reviews can be beneficial to your online business. After all, too many positive reviews can seem too good to be true to customers. While you can’t avoid trolls, managing negative reviews can help you build a good reputation and boost SEO.
If your eCommerce business is attracting a significant amount of informative and high-quality customer reviews, you are sitting on the goldmine. It would be best to leverage them as powerful SEO boosters to earn higher search engine rankings and drive more sales.
Oliver Thyra is the head SaaS copywriter and content strategist at Your Marketing Digest. His intense passion for marketing and his engineering background in software engineering has made him a guy who understands how to sell software subscriptions with words. In his free time, Oliver enjoys quality time with his pets (he has got 4 golden retrievers!).