Customer reviews can do wonders for your revenue and website. The more readily product reviews are on your webpages, the more likely your visitors are to make a purchase. Research has found that 88% of shoppers are searching the Web for reviews before they make any purchasing decisions.
These product reviews have a dual purpose: they help your target buyers better understand what you’re offering, resulting in product validations; and they contribute organic SEO to your product pages — for free. Google encourages business owners to reach out to customers for reviews, and there’s a good reason why. Here’s what you need to know:
The Link Between Reviews & SEO
Review signals comprise roughly 10% of Google’s ranking factor, making it an important area of focus for your overall SEO strategy. There are several ways these reviews impact SEO. For starters, they offer unique, user-generated content with each reivew. And because these happy customers are your target audience, these reviews often include the keywords you’re targeting as well.
The more high-rated reviews you have, the more Google believes you have verifiable authority and social proof. And lastly, star ratings appear in Google search results, which yield more site visitors. With increased traffic, you’re well on your way to increasing your organic SEO.
Ways To Ask For Reviews
There are several ways to ask for reviews, including in person, through email, through telephone, and through online chats. Each present their own set of pros and cons. Service-based businesses and brick and mortar retailers who spend more face time with their customers should ask for reviews in person. In-person requests have proven the most effective method of receiving reviews. You may want to pass them a physical flyer or small card that details how to leave the review. This will help them remember what to do after they’re gone.
Many ecommerce shops collect emails during the checkout process, and this is helpful in reaching out for reviews. However, because there’s no way to garner how they felt about their product, you might want to request that they fill out a survey before you ask for a review. For smaller shops and craft stores, consider including your review card in the package.
Additionally, telephone operators and customer service reps can request in-call and offline reviews from their customers; on-page chats can do the same. These two options work better than email as well, because you the person interacting with the customer has a good idea of how they might review the business.
When To Ask For Reviews
There’s a time and place to ask for reviews, so it’s important to not be too pushy. It’s also crucial that you put your efforts into targeting the right customer. For example, asking one-time visitors to review your business will not be as effective as reaching out to existing customers. The best time to solicit reviews is immediately after they’ve received their product or service. Precise timing depending on what you’re offering.
For ecommerce goods, you should wait until they’ve received the package. For ebooks and other types of content, you’ll want to give the consumer some type to actually go through the material. For services, 3-5 business days usually suffices. The longer you wait, the less likely your customer is to offer feedback.
GrubHub/Seamless are great examples of this: the company pushes review notifications to customers who have recently finished a meal from a restaurant they ordered from. This is exactly how you want your review retrieval strategy to be.
Respond To Reviewers
In addition to encouraging reviews, there are a few other best practices for brand review strategies. An important practice revolves around review responses. Communicating with your reviewers helps bridge the gap between company and consumers, and shows you’re dedicated to making the customer happy. While quick, friendly responses to negative reviews are a must, small, local businesses and startups might also feel inclined to thank reviewers for their positive affirmations.