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Off-Page SEO Guide for Reviews: 4 Ways Reviews Affect Rankings

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Off-Page SEO refers to activities outside of your site that affect rankings. Learn how reviews play a part in your local SEO rankings.

Off-Page Reviews and SEO

Off page reviews increase the number of customer reviews on your brand’s Google My BusinessGoogle My Business
Google My Business is a product by the Google search engine.
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(GMB) building pages which:

  • Positively impact local pack rankings
  • Increase organic CTR to building pages

Why online reviews impact local SEO

Local SEO is influenced by general SEO factors like backlinksBacklinks
Backlinks are links from outside domains that point to pages on your domain; essentially linking back from their domain to yours.
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and content quality, but it can also be impacted by an additional factor — customer reviews.

Reviews help to:

  1. Strengthen local SEO signals
  2. Build customer trust
  3. Positively influence CTR and purchase
  4. Improve SERP appearance for local search queries

Review Factors

When it comes to local pack rankingsRankings
Rankings in SEO refers to a website’s position in the search engine results page.
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, certain review qualities will give your business a competitive edge. The most influential review factors include:

  • Quantity of native Google reviews (w/text): The number of customer reviews on your GMB page.
  • Product/service keywords in the review: How often customers use keywordKeyword
    A keyword is what users write into a search engine when they want to find something specific.
    Learn more
    targets in their reviews.
  • Positive sentiment in review: Whether customers leave positive ratings for your business positively.
  • Overall velocity of reviews (Native + Third Party): It’s better to amass reviews steadily over time, rather than all at once. This applies to both your GMB page and 3rd party review websites.

1. Reviews Strengthen Local Signals

According to Google’s local quality guidelines , customer reviews influence local SEO rankings and help boost organic traffic. This is evident in 2017 local pack SEO studies , which show that review signals account for 13% of local pack ranking factors.

Local Pack Finder Ranking Factors
Source: Moz

2. Reviews Build Customer Trust

Increasingly, consumers depend on reviews when making judgments about a business’s products or services. In fact, according to local consumer reviews studies :

  • 91% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews to determine whether a local business is good or bad
  • 90% of consumers read 10 reviews or less before they feel that they can trust a business
  • 68% of consumers form an opinion by reading 1-6 reviews
  • 20% of consumers look at only one review site before making a decision
  • 59% of consumers look at 2-3 review sites before they make a decision about a business

3. Reviews Positively Influence CTR and Purchase

Customer reviews on GMB also have an impact on user actions, influencing organic CTR from the local pack.

Key findings from the local pack CTR study show:

  • GMB listings with 5 stars earned 69% of clicks from the local pack

How Star Rating Impacts Click Through Rate
Source: BrightLocal

4. Reviews Improve SERP appearance for local search queries

Review ratings appear directly on Google’s organic SERPs, both in the Knowledge Panel, and in the local pack results.

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