We’ve mentioned that even Google admitted that 3rd party reviews are read 2.5 times more than reviews posted on Google.* While that is important information that should make you consider a reviews solution, there are four other critical benefits to be mentioned.
- Reputation – Third party reviews are hosted by independent companies that provide credibility to the reviews. Reviews on 3rd party sites are verified as being from actual customers of the business. As such, reviews on 3rd party sites help you build a solid reputation as a business that provides good service and that cares about what their customers have to say.
- Confirmation – Reviews generated on a regular basis confirm that your business is open and thriving. People like to support businesses that are doing well. Recent reviews have more of an impact in converting prospects than do old reviews. Old reviews make prospects question the status of the business now. The same is true of search engines. Regular reviews confirm for engines that your business is current.
- Improved Local Search – Third party reviews are a key rank driver on local search whereby a prospect searches on the type of business and a specific geographic location (e.g. Plumbers San Diego). Be sure to claim your Google Places and Yahoo Local pages with a consistent business name and location. Populating them with content such as images and reviews will help prospects find your business online.
- Improved Organic Search – Though local search is different than organic search, third party reviews help your business’ overall search ranking in a myriad of ways. One way is that the reviews provide more links pointing back to your site. Links pointing to your site also help build credibility for your website as it is essentially an indication that other sites feel your content is valuable.
* About 2 months ago, Google removed third-party reviews and now only provide a link to them. This is what prompted Customer Lobby to launch Smart Invites where reviewers have the option of submitting their review on Google if they have a Gmail email address.