Ep 3: Why Ratings and Reviews are Important for SEO, Plus How to get Star Ratings in SERPSJun 16, 2020
Today on Marketing In 10, we’re going to do a deep dive into ratings and reviews. And we’ll talk about why you need to be collecting ratings and reviews on your site, why they matter for SEO, and how to get them to show up on the Google SERPs.
First, let’s talk a little bit about what ratings and reviews actually are. So everybody’s seen ratings or reviews. Those are the numbers and the text that you see on just about any site now, but it really kind of made it popular with Amazon. Ratings are the numerical score that customers give your product or services. So it’s typically on a scale of like one to five. So a rating might be four out of five or five out of five. And when you’re looking on the Google organic search results pages, when you see ratings show up, you’ll see the stars. Usually it’s going to say something like 4.4 stars or 4.5 stars, sometimes even five stars. And what that is saying is 4.4 out of five is the average score, or 4.5 out of five, so that’s what ratings are. Reviews are generally the text based, kind of open ended responses that your customers leave.
So people love reading reviews. Like I said, that’s one of the things that kind of helped Amazon kind of take off a little bit, is having extensive customer reviews. People just like to see what people think about other products, especially if it’s something they’re considering purchasing. So if you’re not already collecting ratings and reviews on your site and you’re an eCommerce store, then you definitely need to get started as quickly as possible. So the best way to do that, if you’re on Shopify, I always recommend people use Yotpo, Y-O-T-P-O. It’s kind of the most popular ratings app for Shopify. It kind of handles a lot of the dirty work for you, so it’s really easy to integrate. They also work pretty well with WordPress, specifically for WooCommerce, for those WooCommerce stores out there. And the way it works is kind of simple.
So once you install it, what you’ll do is when a customer makes a purchase, they’ll get an email asking them to review their purchase and leave a rating. That’s it. If you have the software kind of set up and integrated properly into your site, those reviews will populate alongside your product page. So at the bottom of your product page, or however you have it configured, maybe it’s in a little tab or something like that, but you’ll have the individual reviews show up and then it will also create an aggregate rating for the product. And that’s usually all that Google needs to be able to see the ratings and reviews for your site. And once you have enough of those ratings, usually it’s around five to ten, google can start showing the reviews and rating stars on your search results, on the search results pages. So what you have to keep in mind though, is that these ratings and reviews are specifically at a product level. So what you’re seeing is ratings and reviews for a product, not necessarily your entire site, so that’s an important distinction.
Okay. So how do ratings and reviews help with your SEO? Well, it’s kind of indirect, the effects that it has on SEO, but there are a few ways that it makes a difference. So first of all, reviews are the classic example of user generated content. So Google isn’t necessarily going to take a look at the keywords that people put in their reviews and use that to help boost your rankings or anything like that. But they do give Google more context about your products, which might have some sort of a positive effect. Things that are a little bit more tangible is when you have your ratings show up on your search results pages, it’s been shown that that can increase your organic click through rate by 30, 35, even 40%.
So organic click through rate has definitely a ranking factor. So the more likely that a site is to get their search results clicked on, the more likely they are going to be ranked highly. So improving your organic click through rate by having those rating stars show up is definitely something that should help your rankings overall. So also, having reviews on your site can give your shoppers more information to read on a page. So the more text on the page, the more likely someone is to stay on that page. So that’s going to kind of increase your average time on site and should help reduce bounce rates, both of which are good for SEO.
That’s all for today’s episode. I’ll put some links in the show notes that can help you get ratings and reviews up and running, but I’ll link to Yotpo and lay out this process for you there. I’ll be back soon with another episode of Marketing In 10, where we’re going to be talking about PPC campaigns. And specifically, we’re going to talk about best practices for non-branded campaigns. Should be a lot of fun. Until then, take care, guys.
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