With 31% of all customers likely to spend at least 31% more with a business who has an array of high-rated reviews, if you are not already putting in the effort to get feedback from your customers you could be missing out on greater custom than you thought. Plus, with a whopping 72% of consumers likely to only take action after reviewing a peer’s positive experience, you may be encouraging customers to visit competitor websites that provide further insight into what their customers say about them.
In our latest blog, we’re taking a closer look at whether reviews really help to support your SEO strategy and how you can effectively reach out to customers to leave a Google review.
Reviews are in, with 9 in 10 UK customers confirming that they would in fact check out online reviews before purchasing from a business. So, if you’re not actively encouraging customers to leave you a review after they make a purchase, you could be missing out on new sales and the chance to expand your customer base.
A lot of us rely on looking at other people’s reviews more than we realise. Naturally, we’re drawn to reading more about a product before selecting the checkout button. With the ability to embed your Google reviews on your website, you can show customers they want to see without them thinking about it.
Google reviews have a not-so-surprising positive impact on SEO through generating long-tail keyword traffic, encouraging social sharing, and improving your Google Ranking. Through encouraging customers to leave a review, they will naturally include long-tail keywords, making it easier for new people to find your business whilst searching for the same or similar product or service at absolutely no cost to you.
This leads us onto the next question; ‘do reviews help local SEO?’ the answer in short is yes, they do. Whilst it’s beneficial to focus on earning positive reviews, a few negative reviews here and there aren’t as much detriment to your brand as many believe is. A ratio of both review types increases credibility, helping to ensure your business is perceived as genuine. Whilst reviews won’t completely change the game for your business, they will influence how Google assesses your brand against local searches, providing you with greater local exposure which can increase your ranking amongst competitors in the same location.
Ultimately, there’s nothing bad about asking your customers to leave a review. Whilst it’s not always possible, it’s beneficial to focus your efforts on reaching out to those satisfied with your service and the product(s) they received. Depending on your customer base, some businesses choose to send regularly surveys to those who have made a purchase to get greater insight into the experience they had. Those who respond positively will then receive a request to leave a review. Doing so is an effective way to filter out possible negative press, helping to ensure your 5-star business ranking.
We recognise that asking your customers to leave you a review isn’t always quite that simple. Ultimately, one of the most effective ways of getting the review you want is through offering an incentive. Said incentive doesn’t have to be major but could be promoted as part of a competition, for example.
You could set up an email marketing campaign that is sent to everyone who purchased from your business within X amount of time. Now, this entirely depends on the scale of your customer base, but we generally recommend looking at your quarterly figures to determine when is best to promote your incentive from there.
Said competitions prize could be a bundle of your best-selling products, or a voucher to spend online or instore. If you want to open the incentive up to everyone, you could provide a discount code after each review has been verified, such as 10% off their next order or X amount off their next purchase. Doing so is a great way to automate the process, ensuring new and returning customers to leave a review, minimising some of the manual worked required to run a successful review strategy.
A successful review strategy involves far more than recruiting your customers to leave a Google review and providing them with an eye-catching offer or discount in return. It’s proven that people who generally wouldn’t leave a review, regardless of their experience, are likely to feel encouraged to do so if they can see that the business is actively interacting with customers through responding. With that in mind, you should just be as proactive in supplying feedback, the good and the bad, as you are reaching out to your customers.
Similarly, customers don’t want to be provided with too many options when it comes to leaving a review about your product or service. We now know that Google reviews do help improve search rankings and other SEO efforts, so it’s a great place to start when wanting to increase your visibility online. Linking them directly to where they can leave the review is the first step to ensuring they have access to the correct platform, minimising the number of steps required to take to get to the desired destination.
You can easily find the URL to your Google Review profile through searching for your business name on Google and selecting your Google reviews. Copying the URL in your browser search bar and using it in your email campaign will automatically open the pop up. All customers need to do then is select ‘Write a review’. If you are seeking your reviews to be left elsewhere, such as on your Facebook Page or Trustpilot, a similar process will apply but be sure to consider the wider value they provide to your online visibility beforehand.
Even though asking customers to leave a review is easier said than done, offering a small incentive can be an excellent way to encourage them to leave information about their experience online to encourage further purchases.