People trust their peers, especially when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Reviews can form a significant part of your marketing strategy for one simple reason: they drive buying decisions. They are easy and cost-effective ways to build trust and help your business stand out online.
Let’s look at why reviews matter for SEO, how to get more positive feedback, and best practices for replying to reviews – good or bad.
When a friend or family member buys a quality product or receives excellent service, they’re likely to tell you about it. These days, there’s a better chance they’ll tell you about it online. As a business owner in today’s competitive business landscape, this type of free advertising is priceless:
When it comes to using review platforms, there are plenty to choose from. Google My Business, Facebook and Hellopeter are popular for reading reviews, sharing experiences, and finding other great businesses. Customers can also use industry-specific review sites to find or post reviews, such as TripAdvisor, Booking.com or Yelp.
When it comes to where your business ranks online, did you know that reviews are the second most important ranking factor? Search engines, like Google, use customer reviews to rank your website. The more recent and positive reviews you have, the more Google sees your site as authoritative and trustworthy, and the higher it ranks. Customers are also likely to spend 31% more with a business that has positive reviews.
Here’s another reason why reviews are so important for SEO. Imagine you’re thinking about purchasing a new office chair. You pull out your smartphone and type a few words into the search engine. Within seconds, you’re scanning a list of high-rated businesses offering exactly what you’re looking for. Amazing!
This instant expectation is known as a micro-moment – an intent-rich moment where buying decisions happen every day.
Let’s get into specifics. Authentic website content is attractive to search engines, but so are fresh customer reviews. And since Google trusts customers more than your website, it’s important to create a system that regularly pulls them in.
These reviews could display on your homepage, sales page, or contact page. You could also include them underneath blog posts or in your website sidebar.
So how do you pull in reviews? There are plenty of creative ways to ask customers for a review. How you go about doing it depends on your brand. Here are a few ideas:
Seven ways to ask for customer reviews
Good to know: 73% of customers only focus on reviews written in the last 30 days.
If you’re looking for a branded review landing page, you could try using a review management system, like MyReviewDashboard.
Why is responding to reviews so important? Replying to reviews - good or bad - builds trust and shows customers you care, which encourages them to engage with your business.
It’s not necessary to reply to every positive review, but a “thank you” here and there goes a long way to growing awareness and creating engagement. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when responding:
How to respond to bad reviews
Negative reviews are often overlooked opportunities to turn a bad experience into a positive one. This can help you retain customers and even attract new ones. Here are a few tips for responding correctly:
Create a review response guide
A go-to guide on how and when to reply to reviews is important for simplicity and consistency. This way, your team will know how to spot issues, what to communicate, who will address complaints, and how quickly they’re prioritised.
Keep in mind: 70% of consumers are put off by templated responses, so keep replies as unique and genuine as possible.
By creating a system that regularly pulls in and manages customer reviews, you’ll give your business an edge over the competition, boost your SEO, and build trust. If ever there was a time to start growing your reviews, it’s now!