The rapid evolution of the internet technology has taken the ‘word of mouth’ marketing to the next level. In our never-ending quest to increase our conversion rates and revenue, we often concentrate on web design and offers and overlook the power of customer reviews. The viral nature of internet coupled with the growing distrust for traditional advertising has made customer reviews as one of the most powerful factors influencing consumer purchasing decisions.
The Power of Customer Reviews:
In fact, writing customer reviews has become a popular activity with 32% of internet users posting product reviews or comments online. Moreover it’s surprising to hear that 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know and 70% trust opinions of online reviewers they don’t know. If you want to increase visitors to your online store and make more sales without spending a penny extra on advertising, there is only one proven way and that is to encourage online customer reviews.
Key benefits of Customer Reviews:
Online review provides an opportunity for the consumers to raise their voice and allows them to interact on the website with other consumers. Further, it helps to establish more trust between the consumers and merchants, which usually lacks in the eCommerce marketplace. Besides benefiting the customers, they provide a tremendous value to merchants as well. Customer reviews not only helps in increasing sales but also provides businesses with valuable market research and enables them to understand better about the opinions and needs of the customers.
SEO Benefits of Customer Reviews:
Apart from driving business, customer reviews help to power your search engine optimization efforts. Many third party reviews sites let you to add link to your website, which can benefit your keyword ranking. Moreover, online customer reviews provide your website with huge volumes of unique and constantly updated content that is full of relevant keywords. Thus higher rankings in organic search results ensure more visibility, more website traffic and greater brand awareness.
How to Get Started?
By encouraging online customer reviews, you can increase your local search engine rankings, website traffic, trust as well as sales. To get started, you need to claim your business pages in some of the most popular review sites such as Angie’s List, Judy’s Book, Yelp, Insider Pages and Google Places. Generally, submission buttons and links are prominently displayed in these review sites. Always ensure that you provide consistent information across all the sites especially your basic name, website address and other contact details.
How to Attract More Customer Reviews?
Read on to know some tips for attracting more customer reviews for your website.
- Encourage satisfied customers to submit their reviews by requesting them in person.
- Add third party review sites to your customer satisfaction survey.
- Post reviews in your eCommerce website or in social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc.
- Offer incentives for reviews such as a fixed discount on their next purchase, a freebie, a gift certificate or something similar.
- Follow your customers through email and request them for a review.
- Use laptops or iPads in your store for getting reviews from your customers, while you serve your customers.
- Include “Review Us” button on your website.
- Respond to customer reviews. In case of any negative reviews, sincerely address them publicly or privately.
Encouraging, tracking and responding to online customer reviews may seem like a difficult addition to your busy professional life, but it is a worthwhile one as it increases your business sales, search engine rankings, product evangelization and brand awareness.
About the guest author: Alfred writes for Dot Com Infoway, a multinational Company offering Information Technology services to businesses. They provide excellent Internet Marketing solutions with the help of well trained Search Engine Marketing Specialists.
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