Does Responding to Customer Reviews Actually Help SEO?
December 10, 2023
Everyday businesses are hit left and right with customer feedback in the form of reviews online. Common platforms where businesses see these customers reviews are Yelp, Google, Facebook, Quora, and others. These reviews can be about specific products or they can be about experiences at specific locations (we see this often with restaurants and brick and mortar storefronts). Given that resources are fine it, it's natural for a CEO or CMO to wonder whether responding to these reviews are worth it.
Is Responding to Customer Reviews Worth it?
As a marketing agency who researches and interacts with consumer behavior daily, we would say a resounding Yes to this question. This is because of the following reasons:
Enhances Customer Relationships
Responding to reviews, whether positive or negative, shows customers that their feedback is valued. It demonstrates that you as a business care about your customers' opinions and that you are committed to providing excellent service.
Improves Brand Reputation
Addressing negative reviews in a professional and courteous manner allows businesses to mitigate potential damage to their reputation. It showcases the business's willingness to rectify mistakes and resolve issues, positively impacting how the brand is perceived.
Boosts Customer Trust
Active engagement with reviews builds trust among potential customers. Seeing that a business takes the time to respond and resolve concerns can instill confidence in new customers considering your products or services.
According to BrightLocal, consumer survey data shows that 49% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members.
Opportunity for Improvement
Reviews, especially negative ones, offer valuable insights into areas where the business can improve. Addressing feedback constructively allows for internal growth and the refinement of products or services.
Differentiation from Competitors
A business that actively engages with its customers through reviews stands out from competitors who may not be as responsive. This can be a significant factor in attracting customers who value attentive and customer-centric businesses.
Positive Impact on SEO
Engaging with reviews can indirectly impact SEO by signaling to search engines that the business is active, relevant, and customer-oriented. Regularly updated content and interactions on review platforms can contribute to improved search rankings.
Can Responding to Reviews Help SEO?
With our vast experience in providing SEO services, we would say that responding to reviews can help SEO but it's a little less proven. We think of it in the following sense:
1. Encourages Engagement
Businesses responding to reviews create a dialogue, encouraging customers to actively engage and share their positive experiences. This engagement generates additional user-generated content, which search engines value for SEO purposes.
2. Demonstrates Appreciation
Acknowledging reviews shows appreciation for customer feedback, prompting customers to reciprocate with more positive reviews. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews can organically boost a business's online presence and visibility.
3. Builds Trust
Responsiveness to reviews builds trust, making customers more inclined to contribute positive feedback due to the perceived value placed on their opinions. This trust and positive sentiment can influence search algorithms, potentially impacting rankings.
It's possible this trust factor can help websites in attaining E-E-A-T: experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
4. Fosters Community
Active review responses create a sense of community, encouraging customers to participate and contribute positively to the business's reputation. A vibrant and engaged community generates increased activity around the business, which search engines may interpret as higher relevance and importance.
5. Positive Reinforcement
Acknowledging positive reviews reinforces the behavior, encouraging customers to share their positive experiences again in the future. Continuously encouraging positive reviews can help in building a strong foundation of positive sentiment online.
6. Sets a Positive Example
When businesses show appreciation and engagement, it sets a positive example for other customers, inspiring them to leave positive reviews. This ripple effect of positive reviews can contribute to a broader positive online presence, impacting SEO indirectly.
7. Cultivates Loyalty
Customers who receive acknowledgment for their positive reviews might feel more loyal to the business, leading them to share additional positive experiences. Loyal customers are more likely to provide consistent positive feedback, which can contribute positively to SEO efforts.
8. Creates a Supportive Atmosphere
The positive and appreciative tone set by businesses responding to reviews can create an atmosphere where customers feel supported and inclined to reciprocate positively. This supportive environment can lead to more frequent and positive reviews, influencing SEO.
9. Increases Satisfaction
Knowing that their feedback is valued and heard can enhance customer satisfaction, prompting them to share more positive experiences. Higher satisfaction often leads to increased customer advocacy, which can reflect positively in online reviews, benefiting SEO.
10. Boosts Confidence
Seeing a business actively addressing reviews can instill confidence in customers, motivating them to contribute to the positive narrative. Confident customers are more likely to endorse the business positively, contributing to a healthier online reputation and potentially impacting SEO positively.