21st Jul 2016

How online reviews can benefit your business!

If you’ve ever bought an item online, you’ve probably encountered online reviews, be it a star rating system for a product or a personal written review of a service, either way online reviews are a powerful tool which you should be utilising.

User reviews are everything for online businesses, with consumers now looking to others and their experiences first before deciding to buy a product or service online.

Why do I need customer reviews?

There are a number of valuable reasons for incorporating user reviews into your website, the most obvious being that reviews are proven to drive sales as they get rid of any doubts your potential customers might have before they choose a product or service. However you shouldn’t ignore the other benefits, let’s take a look at what else customer reviews can do for your business.

Improves rankings 

Customer reviews are increasingly important for getting found on search engines. With more people looking to read online reviews before they buy a product, this means there are more consumers searching for the name of the product or service plus “review” therefore if you have reviews on your website you’ll have a much better chance of picking up this traffic.

Improves search result CTR 

If the review is done through specific platforms such as Google Shopping, then it’s possible that these small insights can increase clickthrough rates from search engine results pages. Showing reviews with a star rating system is a simple, yet effective way in which your business can stand out from others who are not offering reviews.

Fresh content 

If there’s anything Google loves it’s fresh content and online reviews are a great way to generate fresh, unique content. Without your reviews your website may only have a blog to keep generate new content, whereas user generated content can help differentiate a product page, leading to Googles robots to help your pages rank for unique results.

What about bad reviews?

I thought that fills many business owners with dread, what about bad reviews? There’s no need to worry however, all reviews are valuable, good and bad. Whilst too many bad reviews can be a cause for concern, which can drive customers away, a mix of positive and negative reviews can help customers deem the company as more authentic and actually increase sales.

Negative reviews also allow you and your business to know where to improve, giving you valuable information that can ultimately help your business grow.

How to attract reviews

Finding reviews can be challenging and whilst you can rely on your business, service or product alone to encourage reviews there are still a number of effective ways in which you can attract reviews. 

Email customers

Sending your customers a follow up email once they have purchased an item, asking for a review is a great way to encourage customers to provide a review, however there are a couple of things to consider. It’s important to leave time for your customer to have received and used your product before they write a review. Amazon do a great job of this, sending an email a few days after the product has arrived, meaning it is still fresh in the customers mind, but they’ve had time to form an opinion on the item. 

Offer incentives

If a customer has previously made a purchase another way to encourage them to take the time to write a review is by offering some form of incentive. Through entering customers into a draw or giving them a discount code after completing a review, this means customers might be more willing to fill out a review. Customers want to know they’re getting something in return and offering a reward is the ideal way to do so.

Customer reviews are a relatively easy and inexpensive way to build trust, establish your brand and ultimately increase sales. Why not incorporate reviews into your website today? 

Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 21st July, 2016
Categories: Marketing

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