How Online Reviews Can Boost Your Organic SEO Growth
Today’s world of SEO – especially in the home services industry – is incredibly competitive. Everyone is fighting for that top spot, and every little edge you can get is super valuable.

So why are so few talking about customer reviews when it comes to SEO?

Do Customer Reviews Actually Matter For SEO?

SEO, at its core, is really about trust. The search engine wants to trust that your website and content is trustworthy and valuable enough to present as an answer or solution to the user, and the user wants to trust that the website and content they are being shown is a viable answer or solution.

The more the search engine (a la Google) trusts you, the more likely they are to show your business as an option to people seeking your services

And how do they do that? Well, one of the ways is by analyzing customer reviews – for Google, it’s looking at the reviews on your Google Business Profile (GBP). It’s a raw, pure form of direct feedback about your business direct from the customer to you.

Even if the reviews themselves aren’t directly impacting your rankings, your GBP has (or should have) a link to your website – and any clicks can be an indirect signal to Google that can boost your rankings. This trust built by customer reviews can absolutely translate to better SEO results.

Why Should I Care So Much About Customer Reviews?

It would be hard to find a business owner that disagrees with brand trust being important. After all, who wants to use a business they don’t trust? Still, reviews continue to be a scary thing for many businesses. The looming threat of negative reviews from that one bad customer…could it lose you business? Is it even worth the hassle?

The truth is, it’s not just worth the hassle of a few bad reviews – it’s actually essential to establishing trust in your brand for both potential customers and search engines. Let’s look at some statistics:

1 — Your Potential Customers Are Looking At Reviews Online

There’s really no way around it. More than 99.9% of consumers say they read reviews when shopping online at least sometimes, and 98% of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions, according to a survey by PowerReports in 2021.

2 — Consumers Trust Reviews As Much As Their Friends and Family

According to BrightLocal’s 2024 Local Consumer Review Survey, 50% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from their friends or family. That number has increased slightly from 49% in 2022, but the trend is still there – people clearly trust online reviews and use them to make purchasing decisions.

3 — Millennials Don’t Trust Traditional Advertising

We know, we know…but hear us out. It’s time to focus on one of the most overlooked segments of your potential customers as a home services business.

Forbes cited a study that found that 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising.

Millennials are 25% of the total population in the U.S. – and as of 2022, more than 50% of them own homes. That means that more than 1 in ten homeowners in this country need your services AND they probably trust online reviews more than your latest marketing campaign.

Search engines are trending in the same direction, with Google reaching a deal with Reddit

– further signaling the importance of real feedback about products and services from real people.

The 5 Elements of a Review that Impact Your SEO

In a To The Point Podcast episode, Liftify founder and CEO Zach Garrett talked about how reviews can impact your SEO. He broke down the 5 key elements of a review that have a direct impact on how much SEO value they can bring.

The five elements of a review that impact SEO:
  • The number of reviews
  • Recency (or frequency of reviews)
  • Comments
  • Including keywords
  • A feature of leaving a Google review
While responding to all of your reviews may or may not directly impact your SEO, it definitely impacts how users will view your brand – which absolutely can impact your SEO.

In fact, in the same aforementioned BrightLocal survey, 88% of consumers would use a business that replies to all of its reviews and only 47% would use a business that doesn’t reply at all.

If you’re worried about not having a 5-star rating, don’t be. A perfect 5-star rating can appear fishy, and bad reviews can actually be good for your SEO, too! And if fake online reviews are a concern, there are ways to get rid of them, too.

How Do I Get More Online Reviews?

The simple answer? Just ask! In most cases, if you’ve just made a customer happy, they’ll gladly give you a great review. A lot of this comes down to proper training and encouraging (and/or incentivizing) your team out in the field to be asking for those reviews after a job well done.

Of course, there are some more tactical things you can do to improve your chances at getting a review like offering incentives for reviews. In the home services industry, Liftify is a great solution for increasing reviews and building your online reputation.
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It’s All About Trust

At the end of the day, generating and responding to online reviews – good or bad – helps to establish trust in your brand. We know for a fact that more and more people depend on reviews to help them make a decision as to whether or not to choose your company, so even without the potential SEO boost it’s a no–brainer.

And with an incredibly competitive home services landscape, taking every advantage you can is the difference between crushing the competition and falling behind.

Want more SEO help? Looking for a digital marketing agency that specializes in the home services and improvement industry? Contact us today!