Off-Page SEO Guide for Reviews: 4 Ways Reviews Affect Rankings
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 Business (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 backlinks and content quality, but it can also be impacted by an additional factor — customer reviews.
Reviews help to:
- Strengthen local SEO signals
- Build customer trust
- Positively influence CTR and purchase
- Improve SERP appearance for local search queries
When it comes to local pack rankings, 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 keyword 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 (opens in a new tab), customer reviews influence local SEO rankings and help boost organic traffic. This is evident in 2017 local pack SEO studies (opens in a new tab), which show that review signals account for 13% of local pack ranking factors.
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 (opens in a new tab):
- 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 (opens in a new tab) show:
- GMB listings with 5 stars earned 69% of clicks from the local pack
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.