December 8th 2015
How to Use Customer Reviews for SEO

If you’re an online retailer, you’re hopefully ending the holiday season with many happy new customers eager to spread the word about your products. With a bit of strategic thinking, their effusive testimonials could become the gift that keeps on giving.

It’s no secret that product reviews are desired for their ability to convert on-the-fence visitors perusing e-commerce sites. According to iPerceptions, 61 percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews.

What’s lesser known, however, is the value of product reviews from an e-commerce SEO perspective. In this post, we’ve broken down how customer reviews impact SEO and how you can implement best practices to unlock the SEO benefits of product reviews for your website.

A Stream of Unique, User-Generated Content

Search engines do not hide their disdain for stale content. Product reviews can provide unique content that can help differentiate your product pages and reduce the chances of getting flagged for duplicate content. As a result, this helps produce a reliable indication of your website’s value to spiders looking for signals of relevance.

Customer reviews, often rich with long tail keywords, can also be a source of inspiration when searching for ways to improve your site’s overall SEO and marketing copywriting. Customers who shop online rely heavily on product research and often search “[Product Name] review” when making purchasing decisions.

Another bonus of customer reviews is an uptick in click-thru rate. Those gold stars you see in Google search engines - they’re not only eye-catching, but can drive an increase in click-through rates between 10-20 percent.

To create the gold stars in the organic listings, structured data markup code ( is needed. Google supports reviews and ratings for a wide range of types. When Google finds valid reviews or ratings markup, they may show a rich snippet that includes stars and other summary info from reviews or ratings.

Tips For Product Review SEO Success

Get five-star worthy SEO by leveraging customer reviews with these tips:

HTML is your friend.

Sidestep the trap of other technologies (e.g. Javascript), which prohibit search engines from reading reviews on your product pages.

Duplication is not your friend.

Okay, so the irony of repeating this deserves a chuckle, but it’s worth reiterating that duplicate content hurts SEO and duplicate reviews are no exception. Keep full product reviews to a single page with a single URL.

Add keyword rich review quotes.

Not all reviews are created equal when it comes to keywords. Modifying product pages with short quote snippets helps SEO-favorable reviews stand out from the pack.

Avoid fake reviews.

Aside from an obvious breach in customer trust, search engines can sniff out disingenuous reviews. This same logic applies to removing all bad reviews. It’s simply not worth the risk to your SEO or brand.

Keep those reviews coming.

Generating customer reviews can take some creativity, but the benefits are worth the effort.

To discover how your SEO and other website features could be improved, including conversion optimization, request a free digital marketing strategy audit from Acceleration Partners.

Author: Merove Heifetz