Customer Reviews are an essential part of most people’s decision-making process. 90% of customers read reviews before visiting a store or a website, and 72% won’t make a purchase without reading a positive review.
This means that almost all of your customers base their decisions (at least in part) on reviews they read online.
Spending increases by 31% at businesses with positive reviews as well, and an increase in rating of just one star on Yelp leads to a 5%-9% increase in sales.
With good reviews you can drive more traffic to your business, and that traffic will spend more money.
Good reviews affect your site’s search engine ranking, too. Search engines assign more authority to reviewed sites, meaning reviews lead to better SEO.
It can be a cycle - good reviews lead to better SEO which leads to more visits which leads to more sales which leads to more good reviews which leads to better SEO which leads to more visits which leads to more sales which leads to more good reviews… (ad infinitum).
Good reviews affect more than people’s opinions, they affect SEO. Search engines have an interest in providing quality to their customers, and the more reviews your business has, the higher your authority. This authority adds SEO juice to your site.
According to a study by Moz, reviews can account for 13% of local pack/finder ranking factors and 7% of localized organic ranking factors.
Reviews can significantly impact SEO rankings for your site, and they can also increase your CTR and conversions. Customers make purchasing decisions based on reviews, so the more and better reviews your business has, the more likely people are to spend money with your business.
As we said before, Spending increases by 31% at businesses with positive reviews, and an increase in rating of just one star on Yelp leads to a 5%-9% increase in sales.
Images get 650 times more engagement than text alone. Use schema to add star ratings to a search result as a great visual representation of the quality of your business. This draws the viewer’s eye to the rating (and therefore to your listing), helping people notice your listing.
Reviews can help your keyword research as well. Since reviews are written by customers, the reviews contain language the customer uses in searching for your business. You can use reviews as a source for long-tail keywords that customers acually use when talking about your business.
Customer reviews can help search engines and your customers do your work for you, improving sales and helping your business rank higher on a SERP. All you need to do is provide a quality product at a reasonable price!
Tell Us How We’re Doing
Asking customers to leave reviews can be a challenge all its own. Many businesses don’t want to bother their customers or be seen as overbearing or aggressive.
Don’t let this scare you! If your customers like your business, they'll be willing to leave reviews. But sometimes people need a little encouragement.
Here are a few ways to encourage people to leave reviews:
- Widgets or links to review sites from your website can make it easy for customers to leave reviews. Don’t forget to use good design techniques to draw attention to them.
- Use in-store displays to remind people. Yelp, Foursquare, and other review sites provide display materials like stickers to encourage customers to visit and leave reviews.
- An email marketing campaign can include links to review sites. These people liked your business enough to give you their email addresses, they’ll probably take a minute to write you a good review, too.
- Make sure your wifi is free and the signal is strong. By providing a way for customers to leave reviews while they’re still on location increases the odds that they’ll review your business.
- 7 out of 10 customers will leave a review if asked. Please keep in mind that Yelp (and other review sites) don’t like it when you ask customers for reviews, so wording can be important here.
- Instead of “Review us on Yelp”, try simply raising awareness with “We’re on Yelp!”, which promotes the review site without specifically asking for a review.
You Will be Tempted by the Dark Side
There are many unscrupulous companies out there promising to deliver good reviews of your business. These fake reviews are a huge mistake.
Sites are taking action against fake reviews, and the consequences can be severe. The bad press from being caught doing this is reason enough to avoid it.
Many businesses are worried about bad reviews, which can hurt business, but many times responding properly to a negative review can convert the review into a positive and create a loyal customer.
If you receive a bad review, don’t argue with the reviewer, try to make it right. If someone had a bad meal, invite them back and give them a free appetizer or dessert as a thank you for coming back.
If someone had a bad customer service experience, invite them back and take care of them personally. You can also reassure them that you will be conducting additional training for the staff on how to properly treat guests.
It's important to keep an open mind about complaints and review your procedures or products - there may be improvements you can make.
Doing this demonstrates that you care about your customers and about your product. The proper response to a poor review can turn the negative review positive and actually increase your business.
Customer reviews can have a big impact on sales and SEO. Don’t be afraid of them! Trust in your business and your customers, and encourage those reviews.