As a business owner, one negative review about your products or services can seem like the end of the world — leading you to think that your company’s reputation is in tatters and that no one will ever purchase from your site again.
Despite fears of receiving negative feedback, being featured on sites like Trustpilot and Yelp can prove hugely beneficial to both SEO campaigns and conversions.
In this article, we talk you through some of the key reasons for giving your customers the option to leave reviews (and don’t worry, we’re sure the vast majority will speak glowingly of your products!).
Reviews and SEO
When you think of SEO, keywords, backlinks and on-site content are probably the most obvious things that spring to mind — but, customer reviews also play a vital part in boosting your rankings. Here are just some of the ways in which reviews can contribute to your SEO:
They provide fresh and unique content
Search engines love new content, but product pages can be difficult to refresh once you’ve written a killer description and listed all the features.
This is where customer reviews save the day. User-generated material is seen as fresh and unique content, which will be picked up when your site is ‘crawled’ by search engines.
They improve rankings for ‘product’ review searches
61% of customers read online reviews prior to making a purchase decision, meaning more and more searches are being conducted specifically for reviews of a product. If your business sells Samsung washing machines and your product pages for these washing machines are populated with reviews, you’ll be more likely to pick up this traffic.
They boost your local SEO rankings
Having lots of positive reviews can really help your local SEO efforts — this is because they reaffirm your company’s reputation, and Google favours trusted businesses who can provide a great customer experience. Not only will your rankings improve due to your fantastic reviews, your click-through rate will too; it’s a win-win situation.
Reviews and conversions
Aside from SEO, the most important purpose of reviews is to convert visitors into paying customers. Given the fact that 63% of customers are more likely to purchase from a site that features reviews, you could be missing out on business if there’s no way of knowing what people make of your products and services.
Psychology plays a huge role in purchase behaviour, and here are a couple of ways in which reviews can persuade people to hit the checkout button.
They act as social proof
If a friend tells you about a cool new bar that’s just opened in town, chances are you’d go and check it out yourself, right? After all your friend is just like you, so if she thinks it’s great, you can be confident you’ll love it too.
Reviews influence customers in the same way – people are reading these opinions knowing that the person who wrote it wanted a great product or service and a hassle-free experience; which is exactly what they are looking for themselves.
If customers can see that plenty of people have had a positive experience purchasing from your site, they’re far more likely to buy from you than a competitor. In fact, a whopping 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, making feedback a key factor when it comes to swaying purchase decisions.
They build reputation and trust
Your business’ reputation is everything, so it’s important to be seen as a respectable and trustworthy company within your industry. 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a business, making reviews a great way to build your reputation.
Although negative reviews can put customers off, if you respond to the feedback in a professional manner, this too can also instil trust as it shows you’re putting your customers first. Not everyone will be happy with your products or services 100% of the time, but showing that you’re pro-active in resolving any problems raised can go a long way to maintaining your reputation.
There really is nothing to lose when it comes to reviews. If they’re positive, then that’s great; you can look forward more conversions and improved SEO. And even if there’s the odd bit of negative feedback, you’ll have the chance to showcase your excellent customer service and demonstrate you’re taking steps to ensure the next review will be a great one.