What is the first thing you do before you contact a new business? Of course, you check them out online before engaging with them!
Getting your business noticed and improving sales is a complicated process. It involves making use of several marketing approaches including having a great website, SEO, consistent social media engagement and eye-catching content. Additionally, one of the most powerful and often neglected advertisements for your business comes from your customers themselves – through online customer reviews.
Whether you sell products online or you are a plumber, builder or firm of accountants providing a service, people really want to know what other people think of you.
These are the key reasons that you should encourage online customer reviews:
1. Online Customer Reviews influence purchasing decisions
According to the Local Search Association:
- 68% of us are likely to engage with a business if we read positive reviews about them
- Only 18% of people look at a review and say it doesn’t influence their decision making
- Over half of customers look at the star rating when making up their mind
There’s no doubt that if you can garner some good online customer reviews for your business or product, you are likely to improve your chances of someone buying from you or hiring your services in the future.
2. Online customer reviews are great for building trust and credibility with potential customers
There’s the much-used adage in business that people buy from people. You can add to that: people buy from people THEY TRUST.
You can put a whole host of information on your website to improve SEO and create a slicker sales funnel to get your leads to buy a product or hire your service. If you don’t have that added ingredient of trust however, it could make little or no difference. Having reviews on your site or posted on industry specific websites boost your credibility considerably.
3. Online customer reviews help boost your SEO rankings
SEO has developed considerably over the last decade. It’s no longer just about putting in the right keywords and hoping for the best. It involves putting in a whole range of different building blocks. Google reviews, for example, are important for building your standing in local listings.
4. Online customer reviews can lead to improved click through rates to your website
People are more likely to respond to positive reviews, and therefore click through to your business website from search engines and rating sites.
Encouraging customers to leave Reviews
It’s all well and good understanding the power of online customer reviews but how do you actually get customers to leave one? The key is making it as easy as possible for your customer:
- Create several spaces to leave reviews, not just on your website. Try signing up to sites such as Yelp, and Google My Business
- Don’t forget to optimise your own website so that people know where to leave reviews and how to view them
- Provide your customer with an incentive to write a review. For example, if you run a coffee shop or bar, a free drink may entice someone to leave a good comment or two about your business
- Just ask. No, it’s not rude to ask someone if they can leave a review for your business. Send them a thank you for their business via email with a link to the review site and you might be surprised at the response you get
- Finally, if you get a review (whether it’s positive or negative) take the time to respond. It’s a way of building engagement and it shows that you care about your customers
If you’d like to find out more about how to effectively build customer relationships and boost your business online, get in touch with the digital marketing specialist team at Woya Digital.