88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. That is a huge amount. People are willing to trust the review of a stranger just as much as somebody they know.
So, obviously, positive reviews are important. The more people like your product, the better it will sell. But reviews have an even bigger impact than you might think. Here are ways they impact your site and different tactics to getting more.
SEO Benefits of Good Reviews
Not only do reviews affect consumers, it also has an impact on search engines. In local search results, sites and businesses with more positive reviews will appear higher up. That means more attention, more clicks, and if you have enough, a fancy star rating next to your name. Even if somebody wasn’t looking for reviews on a site, they’ll see your ranking and hopefully become a better-qualified lead.
Having reviews on third party review sites like Yelp can also help your SEO. Google, thanks to the Pigeon update back in 2014, takes information from third party review sites and gives them extra weight in local ratings.
More Trust In Your Business
People look at reviews before buying stuff online. It’s a way to see if the company is trustworthy. Nearly everybody has been bamboozled with online shopping, so it’s natural for them to be skeptical. Online reviews are a way for them to say “Ok, 300 other people bought this item, and most of them are happy with it. It’s probably safe to buy.”
A lack of reviews raises two separate red flags in the mind of a consumer. The first is that the company is untested. Nobody else has bought anything and reviewed it, so there is no idea if it’s any good or not. In this situation, a consumer will be much more scrutinizing of the rest of the marketing available and hesitant to make a purchase. The other red flag is that maybe the product is bad or simply mediocre and nobody has bothered to review it.
Either way, if you want to build a strong reputation, you need reviews. The more you can get, the better. Even if not every single one of them is 5 out of 5, more reviews mean you do a lot of business and if most of them are good, you are a quality business.
If you want to build a trustful reputation, you need to be trustworthy. Being ethical in all parts of your business can ensure you avoid any type of lawsuit, bad PR, and many poor reviews. This is especially true with being transparent in your marketing. Misleading customers not only makes you seem scummy but leads to unhappy customers.
The first step to getting more reviews is by simply asking your customers for one. Many times, consumers don’t even think about leaving a review after making a purchase, but if you send them a reminder, they just might do one. This is especially effective if you have their email address. Just make sure they have a few days to use your product before asking for a review.
Now, ideally, your product and customer service was so superior that customers want to give you a great review. That’s wonderful but sometimes unrealistic. These types of reviews are the best as they’ll feel the most natural to readers and be the most beneficial to you.
Sometimes you’ll need to give customers an extra reason to give a review. Now, it is illegal to pay for a review unless you disclose it to the public. But it is legal to do things like enter people into a contest if they leave a review. These types of incentives can give customers
Make The Review Process Easy
Do whatever you can to make it easy for your customers to leave a review. If you want the review for your own site, have them email you back. Don’t leave it completely open-ended, give them a prompt to help them out. If you want the review for a site like Facebook, Google, or Amazon, send them a link that takes them directly to the review page.
Also, focus on where you want reviews to go up on, and only request for reviews there. Asking for too many sites can overwhelm customers, making them feel that if they do one site, that they need to do them all.
Having Killer Customer Service
Good customer service is what can often push somebody to leave a positive review. In today’s world of overseas call centers, unhappy employees, and overall bad experiences by all, people have poor opinions of customer service. Unexpected, an easy, enjoyable and fun customer service experience could net you more 5 star reviews.
The key to this is having a happy customer service team. Your company culture plays a large part in this, so make sure your employees are happy and have the tools/knowledge need to succeed at their job. Give them the ability to actually help customers solve their problems and feel useful.
Controlling Your Social Reputation
Not all reviews happen on review platforms like Yelp or Google. Many happen on social platforms where people share their experiences with a product or service to their followers, for better or worse. Being involved when people talk about your company online can help control your reputation.
What’s beautiful about social media is that you can connect and respond to the review, but it needs to be done quickly. Even responding to a review a day later is often too late to matter. If it’s a positive a review, you can thank them and ask to share their experience on another review site. If it’s a negative one, reach out and try to fix what went wrong.
Responding When Reviews Come In
People want to be heard, whether they are praising or criticizing a company with a review. Responding to them can show you care about their opinion and are paying attention to your customers.
If there is a negative review, a quick and thorough response needs to happen, and in a public manner. Do whatever you can to fix what happened, and then ask them to consider revising their review to reflect what happened. Even if they don’t respond back, it shows you took responsibility and did your part.
If it’s a positive review, simply thanking them can further impress a happy customer and show people you care for your customers. It’s easy to do and can make somebody’s day, just as their nice review made yours.