If you’re into ecommerce, you’ve got to consider this question: why would anyone buy from you? Why would people give you their credit card info and money? It’s because they trust your business. They believe that you’ll deliver them the product and the product will deliver the benefits that you’ve promised. There’s no business without trust, and not many online shoppers will trust your business unless you have good customer reviews.
What Makes Customer Reviews Critical
According to research, nine out of ten customers say they trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend or acquaintance. Products that have customer reviews sell, on the average, 18% more than products that don’t have reviews. Reviews are also a form of content. Google and other search engines take into consideration the reviews of your website left at numerous other sites, which vary by industry. With proper Schema markup, you can feature your reviews in your AdWords campaigns and SERP listing, improving your click-through rate by 10% to 20%.
So, yes, reviews are crucial for better rankings and higher sales. But that doesn’t mean you should hire reviewers and start fabricating reviews. Search spiders are smart and will penalize your website if they smell fishy reviews. Luckily, there are legitimate ways in which you can adopt to build a robust review profile. First, however, let’s take a brief look at the top review websites that you should target.
Top Platforms for Getting Your Business Reviewed
The top platforms for getting reviews vary by industry, country and sometimes even city. The best way to identify popular review sites in your industry is to simply search for “your industry” plus “city” plus “review” – for example, “lice removal reviews Ottawa” or “skylight reviews Ottawa”. You can see below that reviews left on Facebook and Trusted Pros are showing up in Google.
#1. Your Own Website
Customer reviews on your website can be in the form of comments or reviews on your sales pages, or on a dedicated reviews page. You can control the reviews that you have on your website. However, be careful not to publish only glowing reviews. They might make your customers suspicious. Research says having negative reviews alongside positive ones can increase conversions by as much as 67%.
#2. Google My Business Reviews
You should get your business reviewed on Google+ if you are a local business. Your Google My Business reviews and ratings are displayed in the Local search results and can make more people click on your listing.
#3. Facebook Business Reviews
Facebook reviews strengthen the social proof of your business or product and can help drive more leads from Facebook. Any Facebook user can review your business and see your previous reviews. You cannot change or un-publish a Facebook review.
#4. Yelp Business Reviews
Yelp is available in some 20 countries and 15 languages, with most of its users located in the US, followed by Canada, the UK, and Germany. The gigantic customer review is a major source of traffic for brick-and-mortar stores and local businesses located. You can list your business free and ask your customers to write reviews.
#5. Trustpilot Customer Reviews
Trustpilot is an official Google partner for reviews and ratings. The consumer review website has quickly expanded into 65 countries, including most of Europe and the US. You can list your business free and start collecting reviews. The paid version also allows you to proactively ask for reviews using customizable review invitations.
#6. Angie’s List Reviews
Angie’s List is geared towards US and Canada based businesses. It requires users to buy membership before they can post reviews. The quality of reviews is much better, as the reviewers do not tend to be impulsive. You can list your business and ask your customers who are members to review your products.
#7. TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor is a “pilgrimage” review website for hotels, restaurants, airlines, and any other business associated with travel and tourism. More, better-quality, and more recent reviews will get your business profile a better ranking on TripAdvisor, which means that it will appear closer to the top when someone searches for information about your locality or business.
The above list is not exhaustive. You can target review platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, Ebay, and many others depending on your niche and location. The above list is just the starting point. Now, let’s see how you can get your business reviewed on these and other websites.
How to Get Positive Online Customer Reviews
#1. Provide Excellent Products and Services
Positive reviews start with great products and services. If you can surprise your customers by going a step beyond what they expect, rest assured many of them will return the favor by writing a positive review of your business. Customer services are critical. You have to train your staff and empower them to go the extra mile in delivering attentive and personalized service to customers.
#2. Target Multiple Review Sites
It doesn’t hurt to have presence on as many review sites as are relevant to your business. Set up your business profile on multiple sites and make sure to keep the NAP (name, address phone number) info identical across all sites. This will not only make it easy for your customers to review your business, but will also bolster your SEO performance.
#3. Ask Your Customers for Reviews
Today’s savvy online customers understand that reviews are crucial for your business, so they won’t feel offended if you requested them to genuinely review your products and services. You should ask for reviews immediately after the customer has experienced your product or service. If some of your customers thank or compliment you via email, phone or in person, request them to review your business on Yelp, Google, Facebook, or any other review website that they use.
#4. Make It Easy to Review Your Business
Satisfied customers will generally not review your business unless you prompt them and make it easy for them to do so. You can send a follow-up email and include links to multiple review websites where the customer can write the review. You can also have a simple review form to collect reviews on your website and/or have review buttons that leads to your Google My Business or other profiles.
#5. Thank People for Reviewing
It can be a simple thank you message or email, or even a small gift or discount to appreciate the people who took the time to write about your products. You may or may not tell your customers about the incentive in advance, but you should never attempt to buy fake reviews or get people to write positive reviews by offering them incentives.
#6. Make Reviews a Part of Your Strategy
Considering how important reviews are for your business, you should integrate reviews with the rest of your marketing. For instance, you can insert review links on your e-invoice, display your Yelp, Google+ and other badges on your website, and ask your front-line employees to politely ask customers for reviewing your services.
Reviews are the new back-links. They will not only drive you traffic and leads, but also get you better rankings with Google. A lack of reviews (or too many negative reviews) can do the opposite. If you are consistently satisfying your customers with your products and services, you should have enough online reviews that testify to the quality of your products and services.