Manufacturers Are Missing Out on the SEO Benefits Online Reviews Deliver
Are B2B Buyers Checking Reviews?
Of course they are. From your Google reviews on Google Maps to listing sites like Clutch, online reviews are everywhere. Most manufacturers are blowing off many reviews because “our customers will never see them.”
According to TrustRadius’ 2022 Buying Disconnect report, B2B buying decisions have increasingly been impacted by User Reviews by 45% in 2021 and 55% in 2022.
Further, buyers are being influenced less by your website, with influence falling from 51% in 2021 to 43% in 2022.
Bottom line? The influence of individual reviews (Google or otherwise) is no longer exclusive to B2C activities.
Google is noticing, too. Over the last several years, business reviews have been impacting your website’s search performance. While dipping slightly in 2023, your Google Business Profile (GBP) in concert with your reviews have been influencing where you rank. Arguably more than technical SEO influences like on-page behavior.
3 Steps to Making an SEO Impact with Reviews
Step 1: Make sure you have a Google Business Page!
Only 44% of businesses have claimed their Google Business Profile! Once claimed, it is also automatically linked to Google Maps. That alone will help with local or geographic-based searches. The claim process is relatively simple and may sometimes involve having a confirmation postcard mailed to your address.
Once claimed, it is essential to complete your profile with details ranging from operating hours to pictures of your facility. Having photos of your facility and or products significantly improves your reputability. You can also use the Q&A section to share FAQs and their answers.
Bonus: All of this gets indexed by Google.
Step 2: Start Getting Reviews
Believe it or not, many customers—even B2B customers—are willing to leave a review when asked. The real trick is encouraging customers to leave reviews with some detail.
We recommend asking for a review that addresses three points in a couple sentences:
- What challenge led you to call us?
- How did we help resolve your challenge?
- What was the final outcome?
Google has made it super-simple to ask for reviews. By clicking the “Ask for Reviews” button on the administrative interface you are provided with an exclusive link you can send to customers. We recommend personalizing each invitation to get a review and even coach them a bit with the three questions above.
Once you start getting a couple reviews, the next step is to reply.
Step 3: Reply to ALL of Your Reviews
One of the biggest mistakes in business is only replying to the bad reviews. While it is unlikely you’ll have any of those, be sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews within a week. Don’t worry, Google sends you a notification when a review is left.
Your reply to a review is a golden opportunity to score SEO and customer service points. We recommend a reply:
- Thank the reviewer by name (keeps it personal)
- Repeat the service provided with attention to keywords
- Recommend another service or product (if appropriate)
- Invite them back
This will change based on the review, of course. We have a more detailed playbook on writing the perfect online review reply that really delivers results.
Easiest SEO Fix You Can Imagine
B2B providers have overlooked reviews for a long time. Reviews are impacting search performance, which is an excellent reason to make them a central part of your organic SEO strategy. The best part—it’s free. Inviting customers to leave a review, dedicating the time to reply, and regularly updating your Google Business will begin making a notable difference.