Customer reviews are extremely useful when it comes to building trust and improving your position within the search results. However, they have even greater potential when you include them on your website. This is because website reviews assist in:
- Driving conversions
- Improving your search engine visibility
- Increasing brand trust
- Creating a direct dialogue with customers
- Helping customers to make decisions
If you run a company, you may already be aware of the positive impact that business reviews can have on your success. However, collating those reviews and actively displaying them to potential customers can make an even bigger difference.
According to recent statistics from Spiegel Research Centre, it’s possible for your conversion rates to increase by a huge 270% if you choose to display your reviews.
So how exactly can dedicating a space on your site to positive reviews help business? In this article, we’ll explain why.
1. Driving conversions
Visitors to your site are more likely to make a purchase if they can see great online reviews right in front of them. This is a result of something called “social proof” – a rule of human behaviour that means we are more likely to take action if others agree that it is a good idea.
If a potential customer can see on your website reviews that others have decided to use your products or services – and that they have had a positive experience – it’s likely to drive them to do the same.
2. Improving your search engine visibility
The algorithms utilised by various search engines tend to prioritise fresh content – and a display featuring automatically updated reviews can help with this. It will work especially well if customers are leaving reviews very regularly.
It’s likely that even if these reviews don’t contain the most popular keywords for your field, they will at least mention phrases that are semantically related to your practices. They’ll hopefully refer to you positively too, which should again help to improve your ranking.
3. Increasing brand trust
This is another example of “social proof”. If visitors to your website can see direct evidence that others have used you in the past and are willing to recommend you, it means they are more likely to trust you themselves.
If you continue to receive a stream of positive reviews on a regular basis, you’re also more likely to climb the search results and become recognisable as a brand that is synonymous with quality within your field. This will increase that customer trust still further.
Once your audience trusts you, you can expect a number of customers to become regular users of your services, making repeat purchases from you.
Many review sites use star ratings, so if you’re importing feedback from these platforms, it’s important to ensure that most of the reviews you display rate you four or five stars – as this will do more to persuade potential customers that they can expect a high level of quality.
4. Creating a direct dialogue with customers
Generally, consumers prefer to use businesses that appear to have their best interests at heart and are able to respond directly to feedback.
Social networking provides a great opportunity to interact with customers and answer their questions, but if you respond to reviews – then display those reviews on your site – you can create the equivalent of a forum where the visitor will focus entirely on the conversation.
It’s important to respond to both positive and negative reviews quickly – ideally within two days. Thank the individuals that leave good comments and promise to keep up the good work.
Apologise to the individuals leaving bad reviews, find a way to make it up to them and explain how you’ll be improving your performance from here on.
You can also ask for their direct contact information and get in touch with them privately to see if they’d be willing to change or remove their write-up. It will help your image if they do so.
If you respond to reviews in a polite and timely manner, it’s likely that potential customers who read those reviews will admire the level of customer service you provide. As a result, they will not only be more likely to buy from you, but also to leave a review themselves.
5. Helping customers to make decisions
When feedback for your business is readily available online, it can help to “swing” a customer’s decision one way or another. If your company has a greater variety of fresh, positive reviews displayed on its site than others do, it’s more likely that you’ll be used.
Now more than ever before, consumers are turning to reviews to inform their purchase decisions. Advertising still affects sales positively, but one of the most valuable weapons you can wield is that of good feedback.
So creating a highly visible display of up to date reviews on your website can significantly improve your performance as a business.
If you show reviews on your site, you may see a rise in conversions, an improvement in your search engine ranking, increased customer trust, a higher rate of positive online interactions and conversations and a greater number of customers choosing you over others.
To get the ball rolling, ensure that your business has a profile on a wide variety of platforms – including Yelp, Facebook Business, Trustpilot and Google My Business.
You should then try to ask customers to leave reviews whenever you can, providing links to those sites. For example, if you see a positive comment about your services on social media, you could prompt the user to review you.
You can also ask for reviews in person, launch prize draws where a person must provide online feedback in order to enter, or include a simple request for feedback on a booking confirmation or e-receipt.
There are useful widgets available that will then allow you to display an automatically updated stream of reviews in a prominent position on your website.
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