How syndicated reviews impact SEO for eCommerce companies

Product ratings and reviews are a critical feature for any eCommerce or brand website. Not only do reviews help foster trust in consumers, ratings and reviews can have a powerful impact on SEO. Because of this, increasing the quality and length of reviews should be critical goals for eCommerce brands and retailers alike.

Here's when syndicated reviews come to the picture. Review syndication allows brands to feed their own products' reviews onto retailers' websites to generate more sales. Syndication for retailers enables retailers to source and publish these organic reviews from individual brand websites. This process produces a mutually beneficial relationship that can reap great rewards for SEO performance and eCommerce success. However, understanding the technical requirements to properly syndicate reviews and ensure SEO best practices are adhered to is critical.

Popular search terms in syndicated reviews drive traffic

"Long-tail keywords" are specific, and typically longer keyword phrases that consumers use when they're near the end of their online shopping journey and closer to purchase. This could mean something like "waterproof lightweight two-tone windbreaker" as opposed to "outerwear" for an apparel brand. Leveraging the product-specific keywords your customers use in their reviews will make your site more accessible to consumers searching those unique phrases.

Emplifi is a Google-certified review aggregator, meaning brands and retailers can also syndicate their product reviews to Google for use in product listing ads and Google shopping. This massive improvement to review accessibility means the keywords consumers are searching for will show up right at the top of their Google search engine results page. Especially for smaller brands that may not gather many native reviews, if at all, syndicated reviews can be especially valuable when competing with larger brands or retailers in your industry. This is because they provide you with those brand and product-specific keywords that shoppers are already searching for, resulting in a higher search result ranking.

Because reviews are a form of user-generated content, they can boost domain authority and SEO by increasing engagement and page traffic, as well as reducing the bounce rate.

yeti / sun and ski sports customer reviews example

Sun & Ski Sports sells products from hundreds of brands, using Emplifi Ratings & Reviews to make sure as many products as possible, like this cooler from YETI, feature reviews originally posted on the brand's site.

Syndicated reviews help increase conversion

Syndicated reviews increase conversion rate, generating more revenue for your eCommerce company. Reviews act as compelling social proof that a product is worth buying, removing the uncertainty that often holds buyers back from completing a purchase. According to our proprietary data, the first five reviews a product receives have the potential to lift sales by an average of 9.5%.

While the first 30 reviews on a product page can increase conversion by 25%, showing 100 reviews increases conversion by 37% or more, compared to having no reviews. Emplifi's data shows it's valuable to collect more reviews as quickly as possible to generate eCommerce success. This comes as no surprise to those of us familiar with online shopping; if you're choosing between a 5-star product with 2 reviews and a 4.5-star product with 300 reviews, you're more likely to choose the latter. If 300 people have been content with their purchase, there's much less risk involved when buying it. This is due to the concept of social proof; when we see other people sharing their experience purchasing and using a product, we're more likely to match that behavior.

Staples customer review syndication example

Staples sources reviews from brand websites like Hewlett-Packard's.

Consumers who read reviews as well as FAQ sections with customer questions and answers like Emplifi's Community Q&A are 105% more likely to make a purchase on an eCommerce site. Globally renowned eCommerce websites have more customers, so it's easier for them to source reviews and reap this conversion benefit. Smaller sites don't always have this luxury without syndicating reviews.

Inconsistent reviews across sites dissuade buyers

Inconsistent, inaccurate, and outdated reviews have the potential to damage your brand's reputation for shoppers viewing your product across different retailer's websites. Similarly, online shoppers are less likely to trust retailers whose product feedback doesn't align with the sentiment they may see on the brand's own website. Contentserv explains that shoppers are much more diligent today in their search to find answers and information about the products they're interested in because of the resources available to them — most prominently, ratings and reviews.

This means that the chance of a shopper seeing inconsistent reviews across websites is elevated, as they're probably searching for authentic product information to increase their purchase confidence. Your eCommerce website is less likely to rank highly when it's lacking some or all of the product reviews posted on other websites that can positively influence SEO when listed correctly.

Correctly syndicated reviews aren't duplicate content

Additionally, inconsistent product page content across brands and retailers is more likely to bring your ranking down in Google; the search engine powerhouse explains that correctly syndicated content with appropriate backlinks improves how your site ranks without appearing as duplicate content.

Emplifi follows industry best practices to ensure that you continue to get the primary SEO credit for reviews you collect and publish. These include displaying source labels alongside the content, delaying delivery to syndication recipients, and managing the review display order on recipient sites. This means syndicated reviews are not considered duplicate content by Google because they have an explicit tag labeling a review "originally posted at x website."​​

Emplifi's star ratings on organic and syndicated reviews are also fully indexable by search engines. That lets an average star rating for a product on your website show up right on the search engine results page, which can increase CTR by 35%.

Improving SEO and increasing review volume are goals many eCommerce marketers strive for when attempting to syndicate reviews manually, or not syndicating and focusing solely on platform-specific reviews. For brands and retailers of all sizes selling the same product online, automating the review syndication process is a step towards both a higher conversion rate and a higher Google ranking.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

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