Before you purchase a product on Amazon, you most likely look at its reviews, as well as those left on similar products. You want to make sure that the product you’re getting has worked for other people. Sometimes, reviews can be a make-or-break for adding something to your cart. So why wouldn’t you care about the reviews that your company is getting online?
Reviews are a critical part of brand image and SEO. Although they shouldn’t be your business’s only priority, you can’t neglect Google and Yelp reviews. Managing them takes very little time, and can make a huge impact on your organic search traffic.
Today, we’re going to talk about why reviews are important, how to get them, and what to do once you have them. This information is extremely important for anyone trying to improve their company’s online presence.
The Social Proof Phenomenon
In 1984, Robert Cialdini, a prominent psychologist, coined the term “social proof” to refer to situations in which people rely on the actions of others to determine the appropriate behavior. We assume that other people know more about the situation we’re in, so we tend to conform to what those people are doing. This is also known as herd behavior.
You can the social proof phenomenon to your advantage if you wield reviews effectively. It’s easier to trust brands and buy things if we know other people already have. According to Invoca, 81% of retail shoppers do online research before buying a product. A lot of this research is going to be reading reviews.
The Other Pros Of Reviews
In addition to convincing people that your product is worth it, reviews can educate consumers about your product and brand. Reviewers often talk about their specific experiences. Reading such reviews allows potential customers to learn more about what you offer. It answers their questions before they even ask them!
Google reviews are massive for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google indexes reviews connected to your brand, and uses them to filter results. This is especially true for local traffic. When people google “Best ____ near me,” the results are determined by reviews and star ratings. Customers will often use your keywords in reviews unintentionally. This just gives your company another boost!
How Do You Get Reviews?
Getting reviews is more an art than a science. You can’t force people to leave reviews, and there’s no button you can push to get more. However, there are a few steps you can take that will greatly increase the positive reviews under your business.
The most obvious action is to provide a positive review-worthy experience for your customers. Make sure you provide consistently remarkable service to clients, and reviews will follow. Remember, you should be giving excellent service anyway! Reviews are a byproduct.
Some might be surprised to hear this, but one of the best ways to get reviews is just to ask for them. If you helped a customer, it’s likely they’ll want to help you back. A follow-up survey email after they buy from you is an easy way to accomplish this. Ask them specific and easy questions about things like service response times, shipping times, product quality, and other relevant topics.
Make it easy to review you. Nobody has time to take a ten-minute survey requiring long written answers. If someone is going out of their way to review you, show that you appreciate it by being respectful of their time. Make sure the user interface and questions are as straightforward as possible.
How NOT To Get Reviews
One big thing to avoid is incentivizing your reviews. Although this sounds counter-intuitive, offering a coupon or discount in exchange for a positive review is a dangerous game. Both Google, Yelp, and even the Better Business Bureau have policies banning such reviews. Incentivizing will get those reviews taken down, and you might even face a financial penalty.
What To Do With Reviews
Reviews aren’t as effective if you don’t know how to leverage them. There are two main actions to take when it comes to using your reviews fully:
- Show them off! Don’t be afraid to advertise your best reviews and star ratings on your web pages and social media. This makes it easier for potential buyers to see that your product is loved by their peers. Your reviews can end up selling your product for you!
- Engage with reviews. Let your reviews know that you appreciate it! It doesn’t have to be a long response; simply replying “Thank you!” goes a long way. That bit of effort can turn a satisfied customer into repeat business. Make sure to reply to reviews on Google, Yelp, and any other relevant platform.
Knowing the pros of having reviews, how to get them, and how to use them can greatly improve your sales conversions and SEO performance. While we’re on the subject, if you appreciate our blog or our services, don’t be afraid to leave us a quick review on Google.