Make sure your business pages are claimed and ready for reviews – then be ready with a strategy to respond to them.
In the crowded and ultra-competitive world of e-commerce, there’s one thing that almost everyone agrees helps you stand out: reviews. According to one study, 97 percent of online shoppers surveyed said that customer reviews factored into their buying decisions, and 73 percent said written reviews were more useful to them than star and number ratings. In other words, you don’t just need good ratings – you need detailed reviews that are helpful to your customers.
That can be a bit of a tall order, and the bad news is that there are no shortcuts to a glowing reviews page on Google, Amazon or any other platform that customers use to find your product. Any service that promises big, instant increases in reviews is probably selling snake oil. But there are simple steps that you can take to gradually build your reviews presence into a selling point for your brand that will also improve your SEO presence.
Here are five relatively easy, common-sense ways to get started.
1. Make sure your business pages are claimed and ready for reviews
The first steps toward getting more reviews involve making sure that it’s as easy as possible for customers to leave them. One part of this is something you should be doing anyway – making sure you have easy-to-find pages on Google, Facebook and other major review platforms. If a customer can’t easily find your profile, they’ll almost never leave a review. You can use the established best practices of local SEO to claim your business listings and ensure you’ve got easily accessible pages on Google My Business, Facebook Business and Yelp.
2. Ask customers for reviews (but don’t push)
Sometimes, you’ll need to reach out to customers and ask them for reviews. This doesn’t have to be painful, and it should never be intrusive. This is one area where it’s easy to annoy a customer if you go overboard. But it’s a good way to get some momentum on your reviews page.
Follow-up emails asking for a review are one common way of doing this. They’re usually sent after the customer receives their purchase, and they usually offer a direct link to the page where a customer can review the product or service. You can also add a “thank you” page to your site that asks customers to review once they’ve made a purchase. This is good for software downloads and other goods or services that the customer receives instantly.
Offering discounts and coupons to customers who leave reviews is an option that can deliver good results, but businesses need to be careful. First, check your review platform’s policies regarding paying for reviews. Yelp, for example, has a policy that explicitly prohibits merchants from asking for reviews at all, and its algorithm targets reviews they believe have been solicited. Amazon, meanwhile, is a little more lenient, but still prohibits “any attempt to influence or manipulate reviews.” If you ask your customers to leave a review and want to offer them something for it, you’ll want to ensure that your customers are posting the reviews on a platform that allows it. – Read more