There’s no doubt that consumers use product and service reviews to determine which purchases they are going to make. According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, getting search traffic from Google reviews is incredibly vital to your business.
In case there was any question about how important reviews have become to the success of your business on the web, check out their key findings:
• 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online everyday
• 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
• Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
• 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
• Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% naming this as key when judging local businesses
• 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked – with 74% having been asked for their feedback
• 79% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year, but a worrying 84% can’t always spot them
• Yelp & Facebook are local consumers’ most trusted review sites, followed by Google & BBB.org
• People are becoming less likely to visit businesses’ websites after reading positive reviews – a 17% drop from 2016
• 32% of consumers read local reviews on mobile apps this year (a growth of 14% from 2016)
• Consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business – up from 6 last year
The survey also showed that 85% of people trust online feedback as much as a personal recommendation. This is why consumers are trusting the internet to answer their shopping needs, related to what to get and where to buy it from.
Interestingly, 90% of online customers read less than ten testimonials before making a personal opinion about a business! It’s well known that nobody has time to read through hundreds of pages of feedback, which is why the majority of consumers only read a handful.
However, almost three-quarters of consumers think that testimonials that are older than three months aren’t relevant to their opinion about the business. This is single-handedly why getting new online reviews is so important.
This makes getting reviews a priority, which is also increasingly important to your search engine optimization (SEO).
In the following article, we’ll walk through why you want to start working on getting some reviews and how they impact your business online.
1. Search Engines Favors Well-Reviewed Businesses
If your business is thriving, and you have a bunch of reviews, then you know that your business ranks in the top tier. This is because search engines love businesses that are well-reviewed, and will display them better in their search results because of it.
However, in order to become a well-reviewed business, you have to be proactive with your customers and make sure you are being reviewed continuously, even if not everyone is giving you a full five star rating. The sooner you start getting feedback from your customers, the better off your business will be.
2. Displaying Star Ratings Can Boost Your Click-Through Rate
Showing your star rating next to your business listing in search results can help boost your click-through rate because makes your result stand out and illustrates your success with previous customers.
With Google, it’s pretty much up to them when they decide to show your star ratings in your search results. This has to do with what are called rich snippets. Ensuring that your website is setup correctly, so that your information will display properly in the search results, is critical.
According to a recent article by Manta, “A local business that sits in the number five to 10 position on the first page of Google can potentially pull in more clicks than the higher listings if they have review stars showing, with a high average rating and a significant number (of reviews).”
Consumers will intuitively pay more attention to a search result when it has reviews. This is first-hand proof that your product or service has left customers satisfied in the past and will most likely do so again.
Whether you send your customers an email or a survey, that they’re able to review your business on, they can help your company perform better in online searches. However, make sure you don’t try to force customers to review your business, or you could end up facing some negative feedback.
3. Boost in Product Page Rankings
If you run an e-commerce website, promoting product reviews can help your business rank higher on the SERP (search engine results page). According to Ariel Chiu, principal planner at Wonderstruck Weddings, “When your product pages start to receive reviews, this will help to improve your click-through rate, which can contribute to stronger rankings.” Customers who view reviews are more likely to purchase your product or service.
This can lower your bounce rate and boost average time (on your website) per visit, two metrics that are critically important to your online business. Search engines typically reward these two factors with higher rankings.
You should review the add-ons or plugins for your site to enable products to be reviewed by your customers. Additionally, make sure to allow every product on your website to be reviewed. This will provide more opportunities for your consumers to offer their positive feedback.
4. Allows for Increased Organic Search Traffic
When your customers write a review, they’re implementing natural long-tail keywords that may benefit your SEO. Granted, there are probably dozens of enhancing keywords you are using to improve your search engine optimization, but feedback from customers allows for more organic search traffic since your consumers are using their own language.
Once a search engine starts associating your business with the long-tail phrases and terms, you’ll begin to see an improvement in search traffic to your site. Although it won’t happen immediately, the initial effort of getting reviews will pay off in the long-term.
5. Content Created By Users
Google loves unbiased content. Unfortunately, any time you publish a blog post on your company website, it will be viewed as being somewhat biased, as your goal is to present your company and products in a positive light.
On the other hand customer testimonials are unbiased in nature, as they are created by third parties with experience using your product or service.
Don’t expect all of your feedback to be completely positive though. It is unreasonable to assume that you will get a five-star rating every time someone leaves a review of your business. That’s what makes these testimonials unbiased; the testimonials won’t always be positive and in your favor.
This is a good thing though, really. Customer testimonials paint your business in a raw and honest light, which future customers love. Before they purchase your products or services, they want to know what the experience will be like, the good, the bad and hopefully, not the ugly. Smart customers know that it is impossible for a business to make every customer deilghted. They expect to see some negative and imperfect feedback.
Remember that your customer service plays a huge role in the feedback that you receive. If your customer service goes beyond the expectations for your customer, it will be reflected in your testimonials. Your customers don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to do your best for them and what they are paying you.
How To Get Reviews For Your Business
Now that you know why these reviews are so important, you may be wondering how you can encourage your customers to write them for you. You’ll be happy to know that getting more business reviews is as easy as asking for them.
To get reviews for your business; Ask for them! After a new customer purchases a product or service, send them an email asking them to share a review if they enjoyed their experience.
Customers respond especially well to personalized requests. Consider writing and sending a personalized note to clients directly from the owner of the business. This little bit of extra effort can go a long way.
Next, make the process easy for your reviewers. Write them an email with a link that goes directly to the review page. You could also write a blog post on how to leave a review and refer your customers to it.
Here’s the email that I sent to some of our clients recently requesting a Google review:
<Contact First name>,
Thank you in advance for taking the time to fill out a Google Review on Cazbah <(link)>.
It was great to hear how things are going for you and just how happy you are with the Cazbah Total Internet Marketing Solution.
I am always encouraged to hear how our production department and <IMC Name>, your dedicated Internet Marketing Consultant (IMC) are helping you to achieve your success on the Internet.
As you know, it’s so important that we capture our customer experiences in the form of honest and accurate reviews.
Your review is so much more than just a Star rating. Please add comments, highlighting your experience thus far, and the things that truly impress you about the Cazbah solution and team.
Your Excellent review will be visible to people who search for us and may be interested in doing business with us.
Thanks again for helping us out here <Contact First name>.
We are looking forward to many more great things with <Contact Company name>!
I preceded these emails with a personal phone call to each of the clients that I was requesting a review from. So far, I’ve gotten better than a 50% response rate for my efforts which, in marketing terms, is an excellent return on investment (ROI)!
In case you were wondering, here’s the result of my efforts!
I also chose to represent our Google Reviews on our website is a couple of unique ways. We’re using a WordPress plug-in specifically designed for this purpose called, Rich PlugIns. So far, it’s working out well for us. If you’re getting great reviews, don’t be afraid to show them off!
Reviews are incredibly important to the success of your business online. They can improve your rank on search engines, boost your page views, increase sales, and help to convert prospects faster too!