(Bonus at the bottom to get more reviews the quick way)
The ability to purchase almost anything imaginable online has opened the door to a world of limitless opportunities. The only thing that’s stopping you from buying something online is knowing whether or not something is actually worth the money your spending.
And how do you know whether something is good or bad; yep you guessed it, REVIEWS
Reviews allow consumers a way to identify whether or not the majority of people are satisfied with a particular product or service, and the level of that satisfaction. It also provides additional information that they might not even be thinking about to help them make the right decision.
90% of shoppers read at least one review before making any decisions to visit a store or purchase a product/service.
This means that if your business has a good amount of positive reviews, you stand to increase your visitors; both in-store and online, which ultimately means more sales for your respective business.
Interestingly enough, 94% of online shoppers say that just 1 negative review has swayed them away from visiting a business. However, we all know that it’s almost impossible to have a perfect review every time. There will always be someone that you cannot please; no matter how hard you try.
Still, knowing the importance of online reviews will increase your overall customer experience to help create a positive online footprint.
1. Social Proof Increases Sales
When we know someone else has had a positive experience with a product or service that we are interested in buying, it gives us that assurance we are looking for; justifying our ultimate decision. Even if a stranger says that a product is good, we are more likely to buy it. This social proof is one of the biggest factors pushing our intent to purchase something.
If you don’t believe us, just do a quick search yourself or imagine the last time you were looking for something online. Were you affecting by all those 5-star reviews on yelp or Google; we’re sure you were.
One of the largest and more visited websites, Amazon, relies on reviews for every single purchase an individual makes and with good reason. They understood early on that the amount of reviews, as well as the quality of those reviews, translates to increased sales. Other websites similar to Amazon have taken on this approach.
2. Look Reliable
To build a strong online reputation, you need customers/clients to spread your gospel. Reviews create a sense of trustworthiness with customers/clients. With the number of choices we have at our disposal, a business needs to stand out in one way or another and reviews are a great way to capitalize on your competitors.
What’s more interesting is how businesses are perceived that have perfect ratings. Have you ever wondered how some companies have over 300 reviews and each one of them having a 5-star rating? If you think something’s fishy, you’re probably right.
And most of the time, Yelp and Google will penalize these businesses who are either buying fake reviews or creating them themselves in house. As smart as people think they are, Google is just smarter. It is that simple.
Consumers also have a distrust towards ratings below and above 4 stars.
3. People Can Find you Easier Online
Most people search on Google before they make any decisions. Roughly 90 percent of all searchers don’t go past the first page of Google. This means that, if your business is not on the first page of Google, you will not be found.
One of the ways to increase your position on search engine results pages is through reviews which have a direct effect on SEO. The more reviews you have with positive ratings, the higher your chances are to eclipse your competitors in search engines such as Google. Google’s algorithm is a secret that’s kept locked up from the public but the executives have made it clear that reviews play a big role in where your website will be positioned compared to your competitors.
“When you’re ranked higher, algorithms and people alike tend to see your website as an authority in your industry, which also leads to more exposure.”
4. Creating a Line of Communication
When someone posts a review, they afford you the opportunity to thank them as well as let them know exciting new opportunities that your business is capable of providing such as a promotion or a sale they may not be aware of. This tactic creates the ability to upsell to your customer/client and increase the respective lifetime value of that individual.
There may come a time when your business receives a negative review. When this occurs, there are only two ways to approach this scenario.
You may apologize for their bad experience and ensure that you will look into it or you may go on the defense, explaining how they are wrong for writing their comments. We always suggest going with the first approach. Having a private conversation online is never a good idea and it will just come off poorly to your other potential customers who may be reading this down the line. Just apologize, ensure you’ll do better, perhaps offer them a coupon and move on.
If you want to go the extra mile, contact them through email if possible to continue this conversation but in a polite and pleasant manner. Remember, the customer is always right no matter where the transaction occurs.
5. Show Off your Reviews in Search Engine Results.
Have you noticed that some websites have stars next to their title tag on Google
This is called schema markup and it is essentially some additional code that is placed within your pages. For those clients that have good reviews, we always add this code because we have noticed that it increases their CTR (click-through rates) in a big way. Consumers see those stars as a badge of respect and trustworthiness and are more likely to click that webpage compared to a site that does not have star ratings next to their business name.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Online Reviews can have a positive impact on your bottom line. You just have to make sure that you have a good amount of reviews and that they are positive ones. This will help your brand as well as increase your rankings on various search engines such as Google. Now go out there and create a campaign strategy to target your previous customers as well as your futures ones to extract those 5-star reviews.
Bonus: Below is a link that we use to make it easier for our clients to leave us reviews. All you need to do is have a Google My Business listing and that’s it.
For Google Reviews, we use this link to send to former and current clients: shorturl.at/blEO7. This takes them right to a page where they can add stars and a review right away.
Instructions: to get this link for your business: All you need to do is:
1. Go to https://developers.google.com/places/place-id#ChIJKQqFs2ibwoARhPZLhuayuSU
2. Enter your business name in the “Enter a location” field at the top of the map.
3. Click your business and copy your Place ID,
4. Add your specific code after the equal sign. Ours looks like this: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJKQqFs2ibwoARhPZLhuayuSU
5. Extra: to shorten this link, go to https://www.shorturl.at/ and type in this link to get a short one instead
Now all you need to do is send your customers that link and that’s it. This way, it’s a simple process to ask for reviews.