Search engines are smart. Really smart.
But you already knew this.
What you may not know is that they’re not just monitoring what you have to say about your company (the content you create), but also what others have to say about your business.
It’s not a big surprise that social media has become an increasingly significant factor in search rankings. It all comes down to credibility — your business’s credibility. What people are posting about your company, what content they “like” and their comments about it are all ingredients in the larger ‘salad’ that goes into ranking your business online. And we all know that the easier you are to find online, the better business will be.
Then there is the social media review — the ultimate signal for others that will help determine whether you’re a business worthy of a prospect’s pocketbook. Social media reviews are also becoming an increasingly larger ingredient in a search engine’s quest to connect users with reputable companies.
Are You an Influencer, or an Also-Ran?
Positive social media reviews can impact your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts by increasing the likelihood that prospects or customers will “like” or “follow” your social media page(s). This, in turn, will boost your audience and their interaction with your social media content, including shares and likes. Again, Google is looking for companies and pages that are viewed as influencers — the more they like, the more they share, the more it impacts your rankings.
Additionally, social media reviews are increasingly being viewed as indexable content by search engines, much like blog posts, though the latter still carries far more weight when it comes to rankings. Again, it’s all about a search engine’s ability to discern perceived value to the online user. A strong pipeline of new, regularly posted positive social media reviews can aid in boosting this perception.
Backlinks and the Fake Review
Would you believe that Google can assess the strength of a social review based on the actions and history of the person who posted it? Backlinks used to be the gold standard in helping Google identify influential companies or pages. These were simply links shared in blog posts, social posts or websites that link back to a particular company or page. The more backlinks that were shared across various platforms, the more people were taken back to a desired starting point, such as your website. The more visits to your site from said backlinks, the farther up the influencer chain you went.
Today, a social media reviewer that has a Google profile and that is active on social media can have a similar impact on what the search engine perceives as ‘valuable’. Real people leaving real reviews about real companies increases the value of that social media page or profile. Conversely, fake reviews, those uploaded by a third party or without any sort of comments or those which cannot be traced back to a legitimate user, can actually harm your standing.
There is an industry-wide belief that reviews will usurp backlinks as the biggest force behind keyword rankings in the not too distant future. Additionally, this means fake reviews will impact search ranking as negatively as spammy backlinks (those links that take a user to pages with no discernibly meaningful content.)
Want More Reviews?
So, how do you get more of these positive, authentic nuggets of online gold? Do you simply ask everyone you think had a good experience to write a review? How do you get reviews across multiple platforms, such as Facebook, Google and Yelp? Do you, ask the customer to leave a review on all three?
Here are two steps you can take to help boost positive social media reviews:
Create A Plan – Like your sales or marketing strategy, have a concrete plan focused on garnering positive online reviews. Make it a priority, one as important as any other aspect of your internal processes.
Make it Easy – Find a technology that delivers the review opportunity to the property owner smoothly and easily. Making it easy for the property owner to review your company will vastly increase the likelihood they follow through.
A Final Word
Let’s be clear, social media reviews are not the most important factor in SEO rankings, but they certainly are a factor, and they’re only gaining in stature. Positive online reviews do more than just provide an opinion to the online user. To a significant degree they impact how searchable your business is online by positioning your social media pages as influential. Formulate a plan and start building a social media pipeline of positivity!
GAF Master Elite® and Certified Contractors and Authorized Home Builders can receive 10% off retail pricing on pulseM, a mobile, real-time survey platform designed to help drive positive reviews from your homeowners. Find out more at DiversityTechnology.com/GAF-pulseM.
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