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Eric Haskell

Why Online Reviews are Important in your Marketing Strategy

Eric Haskell
Why Online Reviews are Important in your Marketing Strategy

Building online reviews are just as important as any marketing strategy.  They form a psychological connection between the products and customer decisions.

 According to an online search report published on Search Engine Land, 88 percent of customers trust online reviews just like any personal recommendation. This statement is backed with other findings and here is what you need to know regarding the influence of online reviews on customer purchase and decision making -

  • Customers read reviews to determine the quality of a particular product
  • The number of times people click on it
  • Provide brands a wider scope of competition

But online reviews are not just meant for the purpose of branding or influencing customer’s purchasing decision. Here are some of the benefits that an online business can obtain from customer online reviews –

Improving SEO

According to Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors, customer reviews rank the fifth most important drivers of improved SEO. A good customer review can be judged based on the following aspects –

  • The Quantity

The more reviews a website has, the better. Having as many as 10 reviews can make people trust your site.

  • The Velocity

How long are the reviews being posted? There has to be some uniformity in the speed at which the reviews are being posted. If it is too fast, then chances of your site getting binged are higher.

  • The Diversity

The diversity will depend on the number of online directory sites that have a particular business review. This will also include the third party place that does not fall under the Google authority.

  • The Volume

This refers to the rich snippets or reviews that are used in the form of microdata.

  • Keyword-related

While keyword-related reviews make it easily reachable to people who are actually looking for it, businesses must make sure not to overdo them.

Increasing the Click-through Rate

It’s obvious that users are likely to click more on content that is relevant. Other than that, a relevant review helps to build up an impression how great a particular business is doing. This can work to assert the business reputation in their mind and how it can help them.

Reducing the Competition

Businesses registered with a local review directory site are likely to face less competition. That’s because these local reviews are posted with a specific target in mind and hence are niche specific. 

For instance, if you have launched a new app and want people to be already talking about it, then its best to get it reviewed on a mobile app review site and not invest on a broader niche type. Your app would be getting more feedbacks and even page visits. When Google analyzes them based on geographic proximity, the business review will be drawn only among a handful of other reviews.

An Evergreen Aspect

Technologies are prone to frequent changes. So by the time a business reframes and rebrands a new website, it is probable that a new trend will be arriving soon. While adapting to the new trend might take some time and Google’s Knowledge Graph might get crippled.

Local reviews, on the other hand, are future responsive and can form an evergreen authority. This will help to keep your online rank intact even when your website loses its actual ranking from an algorithm update.

Forming a Cost-Efficient First-Hand Insight

Good customer reviews no-doubt help to build up a brand’s reputation. However, a negative review too can turn out to be incredibly valuable for those who try to understand the weak points and work on improving them. Based on recent observations, a bad review can bring about an increased conversion by 67 percent. Responding to disappointment can help a business resolve issues quickly and build up a better brand reputation.

The debate is clear – online reviews can be a beneficial asset that can impact the business performance. But if you are new and don’t know how to acquire customer reviews for your service page quickly, here are a few tactics that you have got to keep up your sleeve now on –

  • Registering Your Business to a Relevant Online Review Site

There are plenty of online review sites that you can get your business registered with. However, it would be ideal to get yourself registered where a majority of the conversation is taking place. TripAdvisor, Google+, Yelp are some of the notable names where you can get your site registered.

Make sure not to miss out any niche specific sites. For example – if your site caters to supply customers with medicine and other supplements, then sites like Healthgrades and Vitals are far more relevant to register with. 

About 50 percent of all online businesses still have an inaccurate online listing and most of them have not yet bothered to get their business service page updated. But then a proper business listing can improve your capacity to engage with the right audience.

  • Responding to Already Posted Customer Reviews

Only the savviest brand will never miss the opportunity to respond back to their customer posts, even if it is as minimal as a ‘Thank You’. Responding allows brands to provide with a vocal identity. This will also help to open up new doors of conversion as impartial observers will slowly turn into potential buyers now that they are fully confident about your business responding to their problem.

Try to keep your business goal in mind, when you are writing down a review response. Maintain your politeness and professionalism even when you are being faced by the harshest critics. It’s a good business tactic that will bring you a second chance.

  • Encouraging Happy Customers to Share Positive Reviews

Customers can become powerful tools of promotion and hence it makes sense to keep them engaged. But most of the time, business owners seem to have that one golden question – how to get more reviews from customers?

First – Let them know that their feedback is welcome. This you can tell them either during the start of a particular business process or by calling them up and asking for a referral.

Second – Do your research properly in order to find out which platform has already got people talking about your business. But do abide by the rules when it comes to asking for customer reviews on different platforms. Yelp, for example, forbids the act of incentivizing customer reviews. Google, on the other hand, prevents users from posting too many reviews about a particular business from the same IP address.

  • Mustering up the Art of Patience and Punctuality

Building up a strong customer feedback base might be discouraging at times. However, it is advised that you keep on plugging your efforts. Develop a strategy that will help you to derive customer feedbacks as fast ad possible.

  • Use Other Remarketing Campaigns

While it is always better to ask for customer feedbacks as soon as possible right after the completion of a particular transaction, you can always use it for remarketing purpose. This will help you to make the most of your social media promotion. For instance, make the best use of your Facebook advertisement with online reviews. Add the cookie to an online feedback form or embed it on the last page of your conversion funnel.

Conclusion

Online customer reviews can be both key indicators and generators working out a successful business growth. It can be a little bit time consuming but with online reviews, local business can reap huge results. Make online review a part of your online branding.

Eric Haskell has over 15 years of experience in web development, programming, e-commerce, and business strategy experience. He also contributes articles for Palmetto Web Design. He focuses on solutions that merge current technologies, applications, and concepts together to help each client meet their goals with success.

Comments

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Garrett S
Garrett S
Great post Eric.

I agree that it's becoming more important that Small Businesses invest in a strategy for getting positive reviews. While there's been indications that data structured schema markup can boost SERPs as a ranking factor, it's not clear how much they impact SERPs.

To what extent do you think Online Reviews will continue to grow in importance for SEO?
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