Last year we learned that trusted, peer review content is a top source for buyers researching and evaluating software. Data also showed that product review sites like TrustRadius ranked consistently among the top three information sources for buyers. This year we’re learning, based on stats from the 2022 B2B Disconnect survey, that virtually 100% of buyers prefer to self-serve all or part of their buying journey—despite the generational gap. So, why are review sites so influential and how can you harness their power to support your brand’s SEO?
Why are review sites so influential?
- SEO: Review sites rank particularly well in search engines, often ranking above a vendor’s own site. This means review content is not only easier to find but more readily available for buyers on their research journey. Google and other search engines use signals from product review sites to measure the relevancy, authority, and trustworthiness of your brand. By having a healthy amount of reviews on third-party review sites, you’re actually boosting your SEO.
- Self-service: Buyers are tired of being bombarded with online advertisements, emails from sales, and other invasive forms of marketing. They want to self-serve, and review sites are built for quick and efficient research. User reviews are consulted during the evaluation process by more than 55% of buyers, that’s a 10% increase from just last year! [Learn more from the 2022 B2B Buying Disconnect: The Rise of the Self-Serve Buyer]
- Peer-to-peer influence: From the 2022 B2B Disconnect survey, we know that millennials are making the majority (60%) of tech purchasing decisions at software companies. This generation (ages 25-40) remembers the earliest stages of the internet, the advent and explosive rise of social media, and a time when Snake was the only game on a cell phone. Millennials quickly see through antiquated marketing tactics like gated content and hidden pricing—they’re adept at doing online research to make an informed decision—and they’re the first to read reviews on Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. Why should software purchases be treated any differently?
Evaluating a review site provider
Think about this from a buyer’s perspective. If they’re considering a hefty software investment, they are likely looking at your product across a variety of product review sites. TrustRadius, G2, PeerSpot, and Capterra are just a few of the big names buyers frequent on their journey. It’s important to have a comprehensive product listing that highlights your brand’s value and differentiation on all review sites a buyer may browse.
“According to research from Moz.com, off-site SEO-related factors like third-party reviews carry more than 50% of the ranking weight. Factors like relevance, trustworthiness, and authority will likely always play a role in a page’s ability to rank, and building up your online presence with reviews can help you crush all three of those criteria.”
However, when it comes to evaluating a partnership, especially if you’re considering partnering with a product review site to elevate your SEO, there are a few important things to consider.
Yes, content is still king when it comes to SEO, and not all content on product review sites is created equal. At TrustRadius, reviews are longer-form, averaging around 450 words in length. Other review sites, like G2, offer review content that caps out at a few sentences, or the equivalent of a tweet. When considering utilizing user reviews across your site, longer-form reviews offer more opportunity for relevancy and keyword placement due to their richness. What’s more, you want content that is from a trustworthy source. All review content at TrustRadius is vetted for authenticity and quality prior to posting. This leads to spammy, lackluster content that as you may already imagine, does very little to positively impact your SEO (or your prospect’s sentiments surrounding your brand).
You can have all of the content in the world, but if it’s not relevant to your target persona considering a purchase, it will have very little positive impact on your SEO. TrustRadius offers custom questions to partners looking to achieve a specific narrative in their review content. This ensures that their product positioning is aligned with their go-to-market strategy, along with ensuring that the actual content in the reviews helps buyers better understand the product’s value. Custom questions along with the long-form reviews help with on-page relevancy, after reviews are syndicated on your site. To take it a step further, TrustRadus gives our partners the opportunity to filter quotes in their reviews within our content syndication, TrustQuotes for Web widget, to ensure review content is tailored to on-page content.
Not all product review sites provide the SEO tools you need for success. As mentioned above, the TrustQuotes for Web syndication widget is dynamic, brandable, and it also can be tailored to match the content on whichever page you wish to place it. In conjunction with the widget placement, you have the option to toggle on Google Review Snippet Rich Results. TrustRadius is the only product review site that offers this feature, which pulls in a company’s total ratings and reviews on the platform. This eye-catching feature shows up in search engine results pages (SERPs) increasing overall click-through rates. Read more on how TrustRadius SEO tools impact click-through rates, conversion rates, and on-page engagement here.
Take note of the SEO health of the review site you’re choosing to partner with, especially if you will be utilizing one of their review syndication widgets. At TrustRadius, we have a dedicated SEO team focused on maintaining and constantly improving our overall site health. A big part of our health is maintaining the trust of our site for in-market buyers. This means more qualified traffic to TrustRadius, less overall spam, and as such, more trustworthy signals to Google.
Find a good partner
If you’re looking to increase your SEO footprint, attract more buyers, and better your brand overall, make sure to partner with a product review site that supports your SEO goals. TrustRadius SEO benefits go beyond quality content and on-page relevancy. The TrustRadius team provides in-depth SEO analysis and consultation to all subscribed customers about a buyer’s behavior on the platform. This means better insights into what buyers are searching for to help your SEO team develop more effective marketing content. If you’re interested in understanding the traffic and intent data differences between review site vendors, keep reading here.
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