There’s no denying that online reviews play a big role in our purchasing decisions, with many studies claiming that we trust them just as much as personal recommendations from our family and friends. Having a good number of positive reviews online not only shows that your business can deliver on its promises, but they have also been shown to persuade customers to spend around 30% more.
And if the above isn’t reason enough to start gathering more reviews online, reviews placed directly on Google and their trusted partners (such as Feefo, Reevoo and Trustpilot) will also improve your SEO!
The influence of reviews on SEO
Google’s main aim is to help users find what they’re looking for in the quickest way possible and they have developed the best algorithm in the world to enable them to do this. Reviews play a part because they separate the good from the bad. A high number of 4 and 5-star reviews will signify authority in your brand, bringing you higher up the SERPs (search engine results pages) whereas numerous negative reviews will have the opposite effect.
The value of reviews can be seen particularly clearly in local SEO. For example, if you want your business to rank within the top few positions for location-based searches (i.e. ‘Website design in Worcester’), you should aim to gather more positive reviews than your direct competitors.
When utilised to their full potential through rich snippets (the star ratings displayed under search results), reviews can also help to increase click-throughs, delivering more traffic to your website. If you would like us to look into implementing this for you, please get in touch.
The influence of reviews on PPC
If you run paid advertising campaigns on Google and already have fantastic reviews online, it is beneficial to add them to your Search Network ads using the ‘seller ratings’ extension. They will help your campaign to stand out from the crowd, let customers know that you offer a reputable service and increase your click-through rate by around 10%. Also, by increasing your ads CTR, you can also win higher rankings and reduce your cost per click – which is a nice added bonus!
Google determines your seller rating based on a combination of its own data and additional reputable sources. To have a seller rating, your business must have the following:
- 100 unique reviews within the last 12 months
- An average rating of 3.5 stars or more
- A URL on your ads that matches the domain reviewed
You can check if your business has a seller rating in your country by replacing [yourwebsite] with your homepage URL when pasting the following link into your web browser.
How can I get more reviews?
The key to gaining more reviews is quite simple: ask, and make it as easy as possible. Here are some ideas that might work for your business…
- Take it offline! – Use posters and signs in your physical stores or showrooms asking people to leave you a review on your preferred platform.
- Make it personal – If you are speaking to a happy customer (whether in person, on the phone or over email) let them know how to review your business.
Tip: Don’t be shy in explaining why reviews are so important to your business
- Sign it off – Add a short line to your company email signatures and include a direct link
- Satisfaction surveys – If you use customer survey software, try to direct happy customers to your chosen review site. There may be a built-in way to do so, but if not, you could mention it on your ‘thank you’ page (be aware that this might encourage negative reviews too)
Tip: If you can personalise, do! Your survey will generate a much better response
- Automate it – Send your customers automated emails inviting them to review your business. If you’re an e-commerce business, just make sure you’ve given them enough time to receive and use their products first
- Get social – Your social media followers are likely to be your biggest fans, so it makes sense to ask them for reviews. Try asking monthly – just as long as there are plenty of regular updates in-between
Tip: Don’t forget to engage with reviewers, good or bad, and across all platforms. Others will feel encouraged to leave a review if they see replies
- Spread positivity – Share your best reviews on social media and it may well motivate others to do the same
Tip: Short quotes on branded graphics work a treat!