Websites are the front door to businesses online. When potential customers search for local services, they often check out sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google first. These sites use reviews and ratings to help customers find the best businesses in their area. The result? Local business owners can no longer afford to ignore customer feedback on websites.

Sites like these impact search engine optimization (SEO) results too. If you want to see more leads from your website or a third-party site, you must understand how online reviews and SEO work together for your business’s benefit.

Read on for details about online reviews and SEO and what you can do to improve both of these factors for your business.

Introduction To Online Reviews And SEO

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SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s the process of getting your website to rank higher in Google and other search engines so that if people are looking for a product or service like yours, they’ll choose you. 

There are many other factors that go into ranking well, but having a great website is an essential first step. Online reviews happen when someone has used a product or service and then writes about it online. They’re essentially the online version of word-of-mouth marketing (WOM). 

When you leave an online review, you are helping others decide whether or not they should use that product or service. Like a WOM campaign, this is powerful marketing that businesses can’t afford to ignore. Online reviews and SEO work together to help customers make the best purchasing decisions possible. It’s important to know how each can impact your business and how you can use them to your advantage.

How Does SEO Work?

SEO can help your site show up higher in search engine results — like Google — that customers use to find businesses online. SEO encompasses many different factors, including keywords, content, backlinks, and technical SEO.

SEO is not a set-and-forget strategy. You must remain diligent and consistently work to improve your SEO. Whenever you get new customers or when you want to increase leads from your website, you must optimize your site. That’s why SEO is a long-term strategy that requires dedication and consistent effort.

Types of SEO

As we said, SEO encompasses many different strategies and practices. But there are three main types of SEO that are essential to any effective strategy:

On-page SEO

This refers to the content on your website. On-page SEO includes optimizing your website title, URL, and meta description.

Off-page SEO

This refers to links from other sites to yours. With off-page SEO, you create backlinks to your site.

Content SEO

This refers to the quality of the content on your site. With content SEO, you create compelling content that ranks well in search engines.

Types Of Online Reviews

There are two types of online reviews to consider: those on your own website and those on third-party review sites like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor. The former can also be called “native” reviews since they’re posted on your own website. The latter are “offline” reviews or “third-party” reviews.

Native Reviews

Native reviews are on your own website and can be either positive or negative. You can put these anywhere on your website, but most businesses place them on the “About” or “Services” pages when they’re talking about their company. When you leave a positive review on your website, it will help customers to trust you more. 

They’ll be more likely to make a purchase or reach out to you for more information. When you leave a negative review on your website, you’re helping customers to avoid making the same mistake you made. They’ll be less likely to purchase services or products and more likely to avoid your business. 

Third-Party Reviews

Third-party reviews are those found on sites like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor. They’re written by customers who have used your service, and they’re worded very differently than native reviews. 

If you’re able to get positive reviews on third-party sites, it will have a huge impact on your SEO.

Why Online Reviews Are Important For SEO?

online reviews for businesses

Online reviews and SEO go hand in hand, but why exactly does having more reviews help your SEO? The number of reviews is one of the biggest factors that determines how high your website ranks on Google. 

If you have one review, it will likely look like you’re just starting out. But once you get that number up, your website will look more established and trustworthy. That’s why it’s important to build up your review number as quickly as you can. The more recent the reviews are, the better. 

This shows Google that customers are finding your site and leaving reviews right now. Reviews also help you to get your business found on other sites, like third-party review sites. Reviews on these sites impact your SEO. The more positive reviews you have on these sites, the better your SEO will be.

Effect Of Online Reviews

Good Reviews

Getting good reviews on your website is essential to improving your SEO and getting more leads. Here’s what happens when you get a good number of reviews:

  • More people will click on your website when they’re searching for products and services. This leads to more leads for your business.
  • Google will see that people are clicking on your site, reading your reviews, and then clicking “add to cart.” This means that your website is trustworthy and people find what you offer useful.
  • Your website will rank higher on Google because the number of reviews will be higher on your website.
  • More people will visit your website when they see that you have more reviews. This leads to more leads for your business.
  • More people will be able to find your website when they’re searching online. This leads to more leads for your business.

Bad Reviews

  • Getting bad reviews on your website is every bit as bad for your SEO as it is for your customer relationships. Here’s what happens if you get bad reviews on your website:
  • Google will see that people are clicking on your site but then leaving again. This leads to fewer leads for your business.
  • Your website will rank lower on Google because the number of negative reviews will be higher on your website.
  • Fewer people will visit your website when they see that you have more negative reviews. This leads to fewer leads for your business.
  • Fewer people will be able to find your website when they’re searching online. This leads to fewer leads for your business.


Online reviews play a huge role in online search engine optimization. Without them, Google would find it a lot more difficult to determine the quality of a website. In fact, a recent article in the Search Engine Journal said that Google trusts online reviews as much as it does other forms of customer feedback. 

If you get bad reviews, responding appropriately can boost your SEO and help your business overall. Customers who see that you respond to bad reviews are more likely to trust you and buy from your brand.

Understanding how they work can help you make the most of them. As you know, when someone leaves a review on a website, it becomes part of their profile. Google will see the review and use it to improve the ranking of that site for certain keywords in their search results pages. 

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