How important are customer reviews for online marketing?
When you’re researching a potential new purchase, chances are the first pieces of information you’ll look for are genuine user reviews, whether that’s on third party review sites like Trust Pilot or Feefo, or on social media channels that have reviews enabled, like Facebook or Google My Business. For a user, these give you confidence, tell you exactly what you want to know without bias, and reassure you that you’re doing the right thing. But what about the advantages to a company?
Whether you’re selling a product or service, run an online company or have physical premises, online reviews are crucial for your business’s reputation. They’re also widely influential in encouraging people along the path to purchase, so they also have direct implications for your sales targets. Here are some of the ways online reviews will directly impact you, and why they are so valuable.
Organic search benefits
Having recent, and positive reviews, on your website can do wonders for your local search results in search engines including Google, as they act as a signal that your business is relevant and they lend a lot of credibility to your reputation. For maintaining your online reputation, you also need to publicly acknowledge and respond to your reviews, especially the negative ones.
Build your brand
If you haven’t already, you need to set up your Google My Business listing, to give users searching for you a forum to rate you. Of course, this isn’t the only forum people can rate you on – you could also have reviews on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Review Centre – these are all ways to make your brand known and give you more visibility over your competitors, so make sure you claim these listings and respond to reviews.
For ecommerce sites especially, online reviews are extremely influential in encouraging engagement, promoting trust and building loyalty – all of which result in repeat purchase, which in turn lowers your cost per acquisition. In a world where your KPIs are your key measure of success, keeping on top of your essential metrics is the only way to improve and grow. Making sure that customer satisfaction is one of these key metrics will help you grow your brand, with an army of loyal and vocal customers behind you, who aren’t shy about voicing their opinions and rating you honestly, as the 21st century version of word of mouth.