Can customer reviews damage your SEO?

Do customer reviews matter all that much to the health of your business? If you believe the recent research, it appears as if they have a huge affect on the state of your business. For more than 90% of potential customers, personal recommendations and customer reviews are the leading factors with regard to making a buying decision. The numbers are quite similar when people are asked if they trust customer reviews. So, how can those reviews have a positive and negative affect on your overall SEO and marketing?

  • The only reason people head out to read reviews is if they have already decided to purchase a particular product or service. They can be used to great affect to help your marketing and especially your SEO and rankings. Positive reviews are user generated content and carry serious weight with the search engines. In addition, it creates an opportunity to interact and build relationships as well as seriously boost your keyword traffic. When comments are made, it is your immediate opportunity to build a relationship which they may spread across their own social networks. Your keywords get a boost because it is highly likely that a ton of them will be used in the review. The best thing about those great reviews is that search engine algorithms, especially those used by Google, are well noticed and looked upon. This means your rankings will begin to fly higher with those positive reviews.
  • And, needless to say, the negative reviews you may garner will have the opposite affect. It will hurt your overall SEO and begin to destroy the high rankings you have been working so hard to achieve. In the long view, reviews are important to your business. Getting those positive ones and keeping them coming, however, is the trick. One thing you can do to help it all along is to leave links to all of the review sites and make it easy for customers to leave good reviews. And, of course, ask them to do so. The best reviews will come from long time customers and clients so ask them to make those reviews and offer them some manner of reward for doing so.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer