How your reviews affect your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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Those days are gone. The days when all a business had to do was throw their [keyword] all over their website to score high in local search results. There are tons of factors that affect search engine ranking (SERP factors) and many of them include reviews.

Some of those are:

  • Diversity of third-party sites on which reviews are present
  • Authority of third-party sites on which reviews are present
  • Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Google Local Guides, etc)
  • Positive Sentiment in Reviews
  • Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party)
  • Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews
  • Product/Service Keywords in Reviews

Aside from SEO on Google and other search engines, Yelpers can filter their search options to include “highest rated” and “most reviewed.” 

If local businesses lack reviews, they won’t show up as a local fave here. Consumers are declaring their purchase intent — 71% of searches on Yelp came from mobile devices, meaning that while customers are on the move and ready to buy, they’re checking reviews. 


Related to SEO is what we call Clickability. It’s like an attractiveness meter for local businesses. 

Think about it: are you more likely to approach someone who is talking, laughing and conversing with others, or someone who is sitting in a corner with their back to everyone else? All things being equal, you’d probably approach the more lively person. Unless you have a soft spot for individuals in corners. 

“Related to SEO is what we call Clickability. It’s like an attractiveness meter for local businesses.”

It’s the same with consumers. They’re much more likely to click on search results that have a volume of reviews. 

These businesses have generated a dialogue – there must be something in there worth checking out, right? Or at least that’s what they think. 

When my parents visit me in Orlando, Florida and they’re in the mood for sushi, one of us will do a quick Google search: “sushi.” The star ratings pop up immediately on the top level search. Who has more clickability? The business with the better rating and review volume, obviously. 

Local sushi restaurant reviews

So if you want a way to ‘hack’ your SEO without much effort, focus on the low hanging fruit: reviews.

We also wrote an article about how to get more reviews, so you can check that out here.

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