Are you considering collecting online reviews? If you're feeling a bit uncertain, we're here to help. Today we'll be talking you through the very many benefits of online customer reviews so you can get informed and weigh up your options.
1. Online reviews improve your Click-Through Rate
These days, simply ranking high in Google isn't enough. In order to get potential customers to click through, you need to stand out.
Review stars in organic and paid search results can help you to do that. Showing stars below your business listings have been proven to increase conversions by an average of 17%.
This. Is. Huge. Especially when it comes to Paid Search Results.
Let's break this down a bit more to see the benefits of online reviews in full.
Benefits of Online Reviews for Organic Search Results
An increased CTR means more visitors to your site. More visitors to your site means more potential customers. Say you manage to keep your conversion rate the same with this influx of customers - this means more sales and more profits. It's likely, though, that your conversion rate will actually increase, as customers will already have a preconceived level of trust for your business before arriving on your landing page, resulting in more confidence and less friction. Reviews produce an average of 18% uplift in sales - you do the math!
Benefits of Online Reviews for Paid Search Results
When it comes to Paid Search Results, the rewards are greater still. Increased CTR means more bang for your buck - more users will be clicking through, lowering your CPC. Hello savings!
But that's not all.
Just as with the Organic Search Results, customers will come to your site after already recognising you as trustworthy. Therefore, on-site conversions are likely to increase further, increasing profits.
With a lower CPC and increased profits, you'll be rolling in it.
It's important to remember that only Seller Ratings will show in Google Ads. These are the little stars which are shown in Paid Search Results. In order to get Seller Ratings, you'll need to collect customer feedback with Google Customer Reviews or a Google Licensed Review Partner, such as Reviews.io.
Additionally, you'll need to collect at least 100 verified reviews in 12 month period per country, with an average rating of at least 3.5.
2. Increase conversion rates on eCommerce product pages
If you've got some good quality traffic coming to your product pages but not much in the way of sales, then you might need to look at the content of your page. A lot of retailers sell the same products and generally rely on manufacturer information to form product descriptions. It can become quite impersonal and 'samey', which leads to trust issues and confusion for your customers.
What you need, is to stand out. What you need, is a sprinkling of stars.
Showing stars on your product pages helps increase buyer confidence, and written reviews help make customers more informed. Customer-generated content in the form of reviews is often much more personal and detailed than typical product descriptions. They can give additional information about sizing, suitable and quality.
Plus, potential customers are much more likely to trust the opinion of another customer than your own marketing lingo. Unfair? Maybe. But it's not worth fighting, especially when 68% of people say that the online reviews are ‘much more important’ than other sources of information.
In short, if you display reviews on your product pages, you're giving one less reason for the undecided shopper to leave your website.
3. Boost your online reputation
Think back to the last time you were out shopping (we're not talking the weekly food shop) and considered buying something, an electrical item, say. Perhaps it was as small as a pair of headphones, or as large as a washing machine.
Whatever it was, chances are you got your phone out and did a quick search to find online reviews.
The truth is, your online reputation matters, even when your customers are offline. So it's imperative to keep it sparkling across the web - it could influence their decision between choosing your product, or that of your competitors.
Customers will find reviews on your company all over the web (such as Facebook, Yelp, Google Maps etc), so you need to make sure that their first impression of you is good. There's almost no point having a 5-star average across Google Local if your Facebook score is 1 or 2, because both listings will appear in Google close to each other. Inconsistent review scores lead to confusion for the buyer and a lack of trust.
We want you to fix that.
The best thing your business can do is actively collect positive reviews across a wide range of third-party sites. This can be done manually, by setting up accounts across multiple platforms such as Google Customer Reviews, Yelp, Facebook and more, or, you can choose to invest in your online reputation and use a Google Licensed Reviews Partner like Reviews.io. Our Local Reviews solution lets you direct a percentage of your review traffic to third party sites to ensure you have a glowing reputation across the web.
4. More informed customers
We've briefly touched on reviews leading to more informed customers already, but the benefits of this are worth exploring a little further.
Reviews aren't just about good or bad. Say a customer buys a pair of your trainers, but she overpronates, and they're not supportive enough for her. Maybe she leaves you a 3-star review, and goes into detail about how the shoes weren't quite right for her. Another customer comes along, who is interested in buying the trainers, but then sees the review, and, as a runner that also overpronates, ends up getting in touch with you to find a pair of shoes that is more suitable. They love the shoes, and leave you a 5-star review heralding your customer service and the amazing comfort of their new trainers.
And so the process continues - your customers are helping one another to find a product that's perfect for them.
Fewer unhappy customers and prolonged customer satisfaction.
5. Online reviews benefit SEO
If your pages aren't ranking well on Google, there are more than likely a good number of reasons. Google is a complicated beast and often, hard to please.
We all know the importance of keywords and link building, but did you know that online reviews can also benefit SEO?
Google likes to see fresh, relevant content from websites, and one really effective way of providing this is with user-generated content.
UGC keeps your website up-to-date. Comments in reviews are full to the brim of relevant keywords, especially on product reviews, and these are often picked up in the meta descriptions of your page in the Google SERPS.
Again, this isn't an article which is going to go greatly in-depth into SEO techniques, but we know that the presence of reviews on your site, on third-party platforms and on your social network pages does have a positive effect on your page rankings.
When it comes to online reviews, reputation is just the beginning. The list above contains the bonus benefits you can reap when you manage your reviews correctly. In order to do that, and to fulfil every item on the list above, we'd recommend signing up with a Google Licensed Review Partner.
Not only will they be able to help you with reputation management across the web and achieve those sacred Seller Ratings, but they'll also be able to steer you right and help you to achieve your goals.