What are customer reviews? Customer review refers to the review of certain product or service made by customer obtaining mentioned products or services. Customer review can also refer to a way in which customers give their feedback through e-commerce or online shopping sites. Apart from these two sites, there are also other sites that are primarily dedicated to customer reviews purposes. Customer review sites are mainly used by businesses to improve conversion or increase conversions rate, which in the end will translate into higher returns.
Nearly ninety percent of customers read other customers’ opinions on products and services before making a decision which product or service to obtain, and, therefore, customer review on products is now vital for e-commerce sites. User reviews are a good sales driver, and it is something most customers want to see before deciding to purchase a product or service.
Why you need customer reviews
There are various reasons why customer reviews are so vital for every business. Firstly, customer’s feedback can be used to boost and enhance your business. Customer review is also important because it helps to improve your products or services; it also acts as a measure of customer satisfaction; it furnishes you with an understanding that allows you to create a better customer experience; it helps in improving customer retention; through customer review ideas to increase sales can be born; also, customer review improves SEO and ranking; and, finally, customer reviews can also be used to recognize customer favorites.
Research that has been carried out recently reveals that ninety-two percent of customers read consumer reviews online before they make any decisions on whether to purchase a product or service or not. It is, therefore, significant for you to keep customer’s best interest in mind by improving your products or services in response to the feedback given by customers. This will help to eliminate bad reviews, as having a negative review can cost you all potential customers who begin researching your brand in Google.
Research also reveals that most consumers ascertain the quality of products and services by reading consumer reviews online. Therefore, customer review is important for both businesses and the customers. By reading customer reviews regularly businesses are able to increase online sales and at the same time increase sales productivity. In other words, customer reviews impact the majority of customers' purchasing decisions. Therefore, businesses should always strive to meet the needs of their customers in order to have positive reviews.
How to protect your company's reputation on Google
With the growth of the company chances of bad or negative comments online also increase. Therefore, such cases need to be studied by the company; this can be done by regularly monitoring customer review sites and detecting potential issues that may appear. Therefore, for the company to be able to curb this problem online reputation management is needed. A company can take the following steps if it wants to protect itself in Google search:
Search for your company or organization;
The first thing that you should do is search for your company on Google. Results that come up always speak for themselves. Always remember that being at the top of every search result is a good sign for your company. It also depicts that your consumer review website or user review website has a strong social media presence. On the other hand, if your business does not exist on the first two pages of search results, or if the result seems to be not what you would want your customers to see, then your company’s online reputation management team should start working.
Strengthen your online presence;
Strengthening your online presence can be done by you creating content of high quality. Remember to not let negative content appear on at least the first two pages. This is due to the fact that most people are always concerned with the first two pages of Google search results. Strengthening your online presence can also help you to get more reviews. The alternative way to strengthen your online reputation is to register with online business directories that comprise Google My Business, Bing, Yahoo! and Yelp, among others. You should also consider expanding your social media portfolio to sites such as YouTube, Google+,Tumblr, etc. These are also some of the best ideas how to increase online sales and how to improve sales performance.
Finally, consider setting up a monitoring system.
Setting up monitoring systems will enable you to ensure that your online reputation management is often up to date with your company’s online profile. Also, for you be always informed of the latest brands, it is advisable to sign up for Google Alerts. This will ensure that you are always on top of every situation that may occur.
In other words, it is not only important for your online reputation to be strong, but it should also be exceptional. This is why you should invest in your online reputation management team. Not only will it protect your company’s reputation, but also help it grow at the same time. Product ratings and reviews will also go up because clients will be able to find your business without any difficulties when they decide to search for it. They will also be able to find things that you actually want them to see.
SEO benefits of reviews
The most important value of a user review website for e-commerce is its power to increase conversion rate. Apart from the increasing conversion rate, there are also some SEO benefits that you should consider. These benefits include: unique content, improved product ratings, increased CTR, and, finally, long tail targeting.
Unique content. Any time a review is written or published by a user it automatically becomes a unique content, whether it appears on your site or on various review sites. Search engines like content that is unique, and when your site has that unique content your ranking automatically increases.
Improved product ratings. Reviews are highly significant when it comes to customers making their buying decisions. For instance, current studies show that around sixty-four percent of buyers prefer to read online reviews before acquiring technological items. Examples of these items include MP3 players, mobile phones, and digital cameras, among others. Therefore, most consumers, while searching for these items, will be searching for the product name plus the word "review" or other related words, for example "rating".
Increased CTR. CTR is an abbreviation for Click through Rate. It is a system that measures the number of clicks that advertisers get on their ads. Attaining high CTR is important to pay-per-click success, as it directly influences your quality score and also the cost of each click.
Long tail targeting. This is additional content that is created by user reviews. As we all know, words and phrases reviewers use are always the same words and phrases that people who search for your product use. This increases the likelihood of better ranking for long tail searches.
Bad reviews are valuable too...
Many assume that a single bad review can have a significant negative impact on your business, or a few unsatisfied customers can scare off new customers and destroy your brand's reputation. It is vital for you to remember that being humans we all make mistakes here and there unintentionally. A few negative reviews, therefore, would not kill your business. In fact, they may even help your business in some way.
Here is why negative reviews can be important for your business:
They give you legitimacy. When your business has only positive reviews and five stars, one might think that these reviews are fake or generated by the owner of the business. Most people do not always trust businesses that look too good to be true because nothing can be 100% perfect. The fact is that we tend to trust a business more if there are some negative reviews. This is because it helps us see both sides and negative reviews help us feel more prepared as consumers.
You identify weak points. Through negative reviews you are able to identify areas where there is a need for improvement. Therefore, instead of fearing negative reviews it is advisable to welcome them.
You can change the negative attitude. Even though nobody likes to see negative comments being said or published about their business, these negative comments give you an opportunity to change client’s negative experience with you responding to the comment maturely, accepting critique, and promising to improve. By doing this you can improve someone’s impression about your brand.
Generally, reviews are very significant in any kind of business, and the more positive reviews there are, the more chances the business has to get new customers. Positive reviews increase customer's confidence in your business. But negative reviews are also very important because they also offer some benefits to your business.
How to attract reviews from customers
In the process of increasing conversion rates and sales, most businesses focus on web design, not taking into consideration the power of customer reviews. There are many proven merits of reviews to your customers and your business. The question is how to get more reviews.
Here are some ways to get more reviews:
a. Use a review provider
One surefire way of getting more customer reviews is enabling your product page to be more persuasive for customers by engaging a third-party review provider. Most small businesses increase sales by engaging a third party review provider to add reviews to their sites. It is a convenient means of building up a body of reliable reviews for product page, which sometimes is time-consuming. The advantage of it is that all of these reviews are validated, so the customer is confident that the person leaving a review actually purchased the product.
b. Email customers post-purchase
Sending emails to customers who have purchased products from you is also a good way of getting reviews about your products. Doing this you will have to keep in mind that timing is also important. It means that you should give the customer some time to start using the product first in order to form an opinion about it later. Conversely, it should not take too long and the email should be sent when customer's experience with the product is still fresh.
c. Make it easy to leave reviews
Leaving reviews should be made easier for the customer. This can be done by creating direct links to your review profiles and putting them not only in one place, but in several places. The customer should not face any difficulties finding a place to leave reviews.
d. Thank your reviewer
If the review site permits this, do not hesitate to thank each and every customer who has reviewed your product or service. You can even go a step further and surprise a top reviewer by offering him/her a discount. This will make a satisfied customer remain loyal to your business.
e. Offer incentives for leaving reviews
It is advisable for you to offer some incentives to your customers. This will motivate them to take time to write reviews. Note that such incentive should only be offered for customers who actually write reviews. It is not a good idea to buy them so that they write a good review on your page.
How to present reviews and ratings
It is good to have many reviews on your website. But when the number of them increases, it is advisable to find ways to arrange them. They should be arranged in a way that allows online buyers to find information about a product easily and make decisions to purchase very quickly.
Here are some ideas:
Rate this review / was it helpful. Asking this simple question enabled Amazon’s customers to sort the wheat from the chaff and find the most helpful and relevant reviews first. Therefore, you can also mimic Amazon’s way of presenting reviews.
You can also present reviews and ratings by sharing them in social media. For instance, you can use Facebook likes, tweets, and even Google+ buttons that appear on social pages to facilitate sharing. Most often, while sharing people tend to also include comments about the product.
You can also ask your loyal customers and Facebook fans personally to write and submit their reviews. You can do this by including a link to the review form on your website.
You can also provide your customers with an average review score summary. Not all customers take their precious time to read reviews, so seeing an average review score will help them get an idea of website's rating at a glance.
A review site is a website where reviews on businesses, products, services, or even individual people can be written. In order to maintain a competitive edge in business today, it is vital to have a strong online presence. Also, for you to be able to choose a suitable site for your business, you have to know which industry you are in and which site is mostly used by your potential and current customers.
Here are some of the best sites where you can borrow ideas on how to increase sales in a small business. You can also study those ratings and reviews, as well as best practices, if you learn how those websites operate:
Amazon Customer Reviews;
Amazon is one of the first online stores that actually allowed its customers to post reviews on their products online. Amazon started this in 1995, and it still remains one of the most important sites for consumers who are about to make purchase decision.
Angie’s list is a “high-end” review site, because its users have to pay for membership. But it is worth it, as you are sure to get valuable reviews for your money.
Choice is one of the review websites based in Australia. It is funded by its members. Choice tests products and services independently and offers quality reviews to its members.
Trustpilot is based in Denmark and it is a community-driven consumer review platform. Trustpilot has been able to help most companies all over the world in collecting reviews proactively.
Testfreak carries out the same duties as Trustpilot. Testfreak is based in Sweden. They collect both customers’ reviews and seller’s reviews that complement them.
Which? tests and reviews products independently. Unlike other review sites, Which? has a unique way of writing reviews, as it is folks at Which? who write reviews, not the customers.
Consumer report is a nonprofit organization. It carries out unbiased tests to rate and recommend products independently.
As the name suggests, TripAdvisor focuses on the travelling. It is the largest travel site in the world.
Yelp is one of the most popular free review sites. It allows customers to rate businesses on a five-star scale. Both businesses and users are free to set up their own profiles on Yelp.
Google my business;
Getting reviews, comments, and pictures mainly on Google can boost your search engine rankings.
Yahoo local listing;
Just like Google my business reviews, Yahoo local reviews allow users to publish their reviews with a five-star system of rating.
Apart from the review sites discussed above, there are also other tools like G2 Crowd for businesses that sell software; we also have TrustRadius, which is also an online review site for businesses that sell software; another website is Salesforce App Exchange, which is used to review your App’s rating. Another category of website reviews are those comprising both businesses to business and business to customers reviews: Better Business Bureau and Glassdoor.
Online reviews are also found on sites that are not built mainly for publishing online reviews. In other words, some businesses use social sites to encourage online reviews. These sites are Facebook rating and reviews, which appear on the left-hand side of your Facebook page and cannot be moved or removed like other parts of your page. We also have Twitter, and, finally, your own website – the only place where you have all the control. Your own website is one of the best places where you can publish reviews you receive. With your own website, you can even set aside a section on your website just for reviews and testimonials, as well as include some forms for your happy buyers to submit their reviews.
In summary, we can conclude that product or service reviews are one of the most important and trustworthy sources for customers and potential buyers who decide to carry out research on a new product or service before buying it. And if your customer has something to say about your products or service, even if it is positive criticism or advice, it is advisable to turn on your store’s product review features. Once reviews start streaming, the star ratings will be shown in Google search results for your products that rank high. Therefore, it can mean that customer reviews create a sense of community, and it can also be a good way to market your product and assure your customers and new buyers that your products are of the highest quality.