User reviews are an extremely powerful aspect of SEO and digital marketing. Not only is Google more likely to reward websites with positive user reviews with better rankings, but reviews can also act as a powerful promotional tool.
92% of consumers will read a review before they buy a product or service, so social proof is as great an influencer now as ever. Reviews are a highly effective tool for any business looking to maximise on conversions. So we’ve put together a short guide on user reviews, and how your business can make the most of them.
Set up profiles for your business on reviewing platforms
First, whoever handles your digital marketing should claim your business’ free profile on Google My Business (GMB). This tool will help keep and control all the relevant information about your business in one place that users can easily find in search, including your Google reviews, location and contact details.
Not only can GMB help you make the most of your reviews, but it will also help you rank better in local search. In fact, if your business does not have a GMB account, your site will not be listed in Google’s local 3 pack in the search results or on Google Maps.
Make leaving reviews easy
Once you have accounts on the review platforms which are relevant to your business, you need to make it as easy and convenient as possible for customers to leave reviews.
Your marketing team can add a link on your site for customers to click on which will take them straight to where they need to go to leave a Google review. You can also embed positive Yelp reviews into your site for all prospective customers to see.
While not technically intended as review platforms, social media sites are increasingly acting as a form of social proof to potential customers. In fact, research has found that social media has become the second most effective tool for customer retention in digital marketing, after email. Therefore you should also add Pinterest, and Twitter and share buttons to your website. These buttons should go on your product pages and blogs/news items if your website posts them, to encourage users to become advocates for your brand.
Respond to both negative and positive reviews
If a customer leaves a positive review, it can be easy to feel that your job regarding that customer is now complete. However, since a portion of that whopping 92% of consumers mentioned previously is likely viewing your company’s reviews, responding to positive ones can be an excellent way to do some bonus marketing. Doing so will also make the customer who left the review feel more valued.
Negative reviews have their uses too. A study in The Journal of Consumer Research found that politely worded negative reviews can actually help sell the item or service that is being reviewed.
Responding to negative reviews is an excellent way to give the reputation of your business a boost. Not only that, but if your business can resolve a customer’s complaint, research has shown that 70% of the time, the customer will do business with you again.