Why Customer Review Sites are Important for Your Business

Most businesses are looking for ways to expand and grow, and one such way that doesn’t require significant financial investment is via the implementation of customer reviews. This sometimes-overlooked method is vital to your business, not just for boosting conversions, but also for building trust and loyalty, whilst simultaneously improving your local SEO ranking.

Here are three reasons why customer review sites are important for your business and how you can harness those all-important reviews.

Increased Social Proof

You could have the best website on the market, written using some of the best copy you have seen, but many customers want the added security of hearing about just how excellent you are from other customers, rather than being told by you directly. This is social proof. It comes in many forms, but in basic terms involves using methods such as testimonials or user-generated content to convert the sceptical buyer, such as via review sites.

Social proof is big business with sites like Trip Advisor, Trust Pilot, Facebook, Google Reviews and other industry-specific review sites being an important part of the sales funnel, particularly if you sell a product. In 2020, according to BrightLocal, 87% of adults check online reviews before purchasing a product, up from 81% in the previous year alone.

Whatever your business, there will be a review site that will be applicable to your particular product or service, but don’t neglect to include Google My Business into the mix.

Improved trust and loyalty

Buying online requires trust and is a different shopping experience to visiting the High Street. For online businesses, reviews provide the enhanced levels of creditability that we automatically have in our chosen High Street shops.

Good reviews build on that trust, and you can take it a stage further and develop customer loyalty by replying and interacting with those reviews. But perhaps even more important is that these review sites empower you with the opportunity to address less favourable comments or opinions quickly and efficiently. You can also use this information to improve the service and or products you provide.

Increased local SEO

A regular stream of positive Google reviews will also have an impact on your local SEO. Good reviews help your business appear in more searches, as Google’s algorithms perceive your site to have authority, which in turn nudges your business further up the rankings. And of course, being on an applicable review site is just another way for your business to be discovered.  

Improved Ad Performance

Google ads will automatically display your stars within your ad which can help advertisers improve ad performance and earn more qualified leads (see an example of one of my client's ads below). The stars are known as seller ratings and are an automated extension type that showcase advertisers with high ratings. The extension works within Search Network campaigns if certain criteria are met.

Pledge Consultancy client ad example showing seller rating
Pledge Consultancy client ad example showing seller rating

You can find out more information here including what the criteria.

How to ask for reviews

It’s a good idea to have a process in place for requesting customer reviews, which should be designed with the review site rules in mind. Some sites, for example, have rules around incentivising reviews. You also need to make the process as easy as possible, both for your staff as well as for the customer, so look at automating this wherever possible. Google My Business facilitates this by using a dedicated link that takes people straight to your review page.  

Don’t forget to respond to reviews (both positive and negative) in a timely fashion. Equally, remember to link reviews to your own website, to ensures that these get seen on both the review platform as well as by visitors to your website. Every website builder/CMS will have apps that will automatically collate and add reviews to your site.

Whether your business provides a product or service, there’s no doubt about the power customer reviews have in terms of attracting potential new customers, increasing conversion rates and maintaining your relationship with existing customers. Reviews are also an excellent way to monitor and improve the service and products you offer.

Simply put, failing to harness the power inherent in customer reviews could cost you sales. Therefore, if you aren’t maximising the opportunities afforded by customer feedback, now would be a perfect time to give it some genuine focus.

Stacey Pledge

About Stacey Pledge

I'm a PPC Specialist helping clients across the UK, Europe and the US get the best from their pay-per-click campaigns and reach their business goals.

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