In the days of pandemic-induced online purchasing, there are many options for products and services floating around the web. And shoppers want to know that they are buying the best.
We like to be informed. We like to feel validated. And we like to justify our decisions – customer reviews satisfy all of those needs. In fact, according to Mention, in 2016 90% of shoppers had read at least one review online before they visited a business. And that number has likely increased since.
Consumers don’t need to trust a business who has skin the game – they need opinions from unbiased sources to drive the purchase or engagements. Herein lies the power of the customer review.
Why reviews are important
They help you build credibility with your customers.
Reviews show that people have experienced your products and services and have a strong enough opinion about them to take the time to share them with the world — for better or worse. And these opinions have a big impact on a consumer’s decision whether or not to purchase.
They help your search rankings.
Google views businesses that have more reviews, and higher reviews at that, more favorably than businesses that are lacking in customer feedback. Therefore, they are more likely to place these businesses on the first page of search results or in a local pack.
Good relationships are established with good reviews.
Each review is an opportunity to thank someone for leaving a kind message — or to reassure a dissatisfied customer that you are going to make it right, and then do so. These are interactions that customers will remember the next time they go to make a purchase.
How to use customer reviews for your benefit
With just a little effort, you can make reviews do double (or triple) duty by adding them to multiple platforms and marketing materials. Here are some ideas:
Add them to your website.
Add a testimonials slider to your homepage to really grab a user’s attention as soon as they visit your website. Or, if reviews go into specifics, you can pair them with relevant product or services pages.
Create a landing page.
Dedicating an entire landing page to customer reviews, or creating multiple landing pages that sort reviews into categories by product/service, can help boost SEO rankings and be used to support digital marketing campaigns.
Include them in emails.
Find a couple of your most positive recent reviews to sprinkle into email communications, especially if you are looking for conversions. A stellar review could give readers that final push to click that button.
Feature them on social.
Incorporate reviews into your organic social strategy by posting them within branded graphics, using post copy to provide context. Or, utilize your average star review or a quoted customer testimonial in a paid social ad to help put reviews front and center on social timelines. You can go even further by linking these ads to web pages that feature reviews.
How to increase your reviews
- Add links to leave a review on your website’s homepage or products/services pages.
- Expand your review platforms — try Google, social media platforms, Yelp, Foursquare, BBB, Angie’s List or other sites specific to your industry.
- Respond to all reviews, both good and bad.
- Ask for reviews at the right time, such as after a customer has had an excellent experience. Or, set up automated emails containing links to leave a review that get sent to customers after claims are resolved or products are delivered.
- Offer incentives for leaving reviews.
It only makes sense to encourage reviews and then utilize them for your benefit — it’s minimal work and cost, but it can go a long way toward building your business’s credibility, consumer trust and brand awareness, all while driving conversions. For help with building and managing your reputation, get in touch with our experts who can help you find success gathering and sharing positive reviews.