6 Ways to Make Online Reviews Work for Your Business. Here's how to make online reviews really work for your business. So when you're asking for reviews, provide customers with an opportunity to do more than select a given number of stars. So, how can you generate more customer reviews? The goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to provide feedback via a platform that feels convenient to them. You can also look beyond your own customers' feedback to off-site or third-party review sites. Product reviews can boost SEO in a number of ways, from ranking for long-tail keywords to increasing the chance that your products will show up in search whenever people search for "_____ review." One of the best ways to get product reviews to appear in search results is to use rich snippets. For example, what if all the reviews above the fold are merely star ratings instead of ones that provide rich content? Even if every other review on the page is positive, that's going to have a significant impact on potential customers' perception of your brand.
Study after study finds that reviews have a major influence on potential customers’ buying decisions. Nearly 90 percent of customers surveyed have said they trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from their family and friends, and positive reviews make customers more inclined to trust in the business that’s selling to them.
The key phrase here is “social proof” — meaning proof that normal, everyday people have liked a product you’re selling or competing with. By providing a preponderance of social proof, consumer reviews establish your company’s credibility and boost your conversions.
Still, while reviews are (almost always) inherently helpful for improving sales, the way you approach them can influence their conversion-boosting potential. Here’s how to make online reviews really work for your business.
1. Emphasize quality.
To be truly effective, reviews should go above and beyond star ratings. Customers want rich content that describes the product, its usage, its upsides and drawbacks, how it compares to other brands, and so on. So when you’re asking for reviews, provide customers with an opportunity to do more than select a given number of stars.
Of course it’s ideal if the major portion of this content is positive, but a few negative impressions are okay too. We’ll touch on why below.
2. Emphasize quantity.
Studies consistently find that when it comes to customer reviews, the more the better. That’s because the more reviews a product has, the more social proof and credibility are baked into it. Customers seem to believe that products with a high number of reviews warrant more trust.
If you’re starting with zero reviews, then simply bumping that number up to 10 can have a significant effect on your conversion rates. But you’ll reap the most benefits if your product generates 50-plus reviews. In fact, one study by Reevo found that increasing the number of reviews past 50 resulted in a 4.6 percent increase in conversion rates.
So, how can you generate more customer reviews? Start by providing your customers with a product and purchasing experience that’s worth talking about (in a good way). Then, solicit reviews by asking for post-purchase feedback via email, on social media, via an app, on the product page itself, and so on.
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to…