How to use reviews to drive traffic to your website

One of the most-discussed ways to generate traffic on your website is optimizing it for search engines. We’ve shared several SEO tips with you before to help you in that quest, but SEO isn’t the only way to increase your website’s traffic. Good reviews can also help. Here’s now.

How do reviews generate traffic for your website?

At first, reviews might seem like an unlikely source of traffic for your site. However, consider the following:

  • Reviews are a major factor in consumer choices. According to a local consumer review survey, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. Among people aged 18-34, 95% read reviews. The same study also notes that 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars out of 5.
  • Reviews impact SEO. According to an analysis of local search ranking factors, reviews are the #3-ranked ranking factor for search engines when it comes to local businesses.
  • Review sites include a URL to your website. SEO aside, review sites can still help drive traffic to your website because they include a link to your website. Ideally, someone searching a review site will see good rankings for your business and visit your website directly from the review site.

What websites’ reviews are most important?

Depending on the nature of your website, consider paying attention to reviews on several websites.

Yelp

For brick-and-mortar stores, good Yelp reviews are essential. Yelp is especially popular for restaurants, coffee shops, and service industries (dry cleaners, tailors, etc.). Yelp adds businesses automatically, but you can claim your business on Yelp by creating a Yelp business account or calling (877) 767-9357.

Facebook

Any business or organization with a Facebook page can accept reviews, whether a brick-and-mortar store or a virtual one. More than half of all Americans under the age of 65 have a Facebook account, so it can be crucial to the success of a business.

But there’s one problem. In 2018, Facebook removed reviews from their site and replaced them with a simple yes-or-no question: “Do you recommend ___?”  Any reviews previously left on a Facebook page remain, but the Reviews tab has been removed from pages. Essentially, Facebook is only providing 1-star and 5-star choices at this point. Facebook no longer provides a clear, simple way to send people a direct link to a place they can review your business. However, on the positive side, the new Recommendations algorithm incorporates comments left in recommendation-based posts elsewhere on Facebook — i.e. someone asking their friends, “What’s the best pizza place in town?” — so that will hopefully help businesses achieve higher rankings.

Google

Google aggregates reviews from a variety of websites on its search results, but good reviews on Google remain important for good SEO results. Google also provides an easy method for creating a direct URL to reviews with their PlaceID lookup tool. Use the PlaceID lookup to find the PlaceID for your business or organization, and add it to the end of the URL provided on the page. For example, we’ve created a direct link to our Google review page using our PlaceID. Feel free to leave us a review!

Industry-specific review sites

Depending on your industry, other review sites are important as well. For example, TripAdvisor is very important for hotels and tourist attractions. Cars.com is a well-known review site for the automobile industry. Angie’s List is popular for home services such as plumbing, landscaping, house cleaning, and so forth. In addition to providing easy-to-access medical information like illness symptoms, WebMD has a popular physician directory. UpCity is an important review site for marketing companies (feel free to leave us a review on UpCity too!). Finding the leading review site for your industry could be even more crucial than listings on the largest review sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google.

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