Online product reviews have become an critical part of the customer journey. With the rise of e-commerce, customers are no longer limited to buying products from physical stores. So, consumers do their research, and a big part of that research is product reviews. In this post, we will explore why product reviews are critical to the success of your business and how you can generate more of them. We’ll also discuss the two types of reviews, their significance, and the role of product reviews in SEO.
Why Product Reviews Matter
People now rely on reviews more than ever before to make informed purchase decisions. Whether they are looking to buy a new gadget or try out a new restaurant, reviews have become the go-to resource for many consumers. Don’t believe me? Google your business name (or product name) + reviews and see what pops up in autosuggest.
Here are six reasons why product reviews matter and how they can benefit your business:
- Social proof: In most cases, your potential customers trust other customers more than they trust the business itself. Positive reviews act as social proof that your product is worth buying.
- Increased sales: Products with positive reviews are more likely to sell than products without any reviews. Reviews can help to increase conversion rates and revenue by giving potential customers confidence in your product and encouraging them to make a purchase.
- Customer feedback: Reviews can provide valuable feedback to help businesses improve their services and products. By listening to customer feedback, businesses can identify areas for improvement and make changes that can help to enhance customer satisfaction.
- Brand reputation: Many positive reviews can enhance your brand reputation and attract new customers. When people see that your product has received positive reviews, they are more likely to view your brand in a positive light.
- SEO: Reviews can add unique content that utilizes keywords and is totally unique to your products. By adding reviews to your website, you can create new content that utilizes keywords and phrases that are relevant to your products. In addition, some search engines include aggregate star ratings in the results. Having strong reviews can help to improve your search engine rankings and make it easier for potential customers to find your products online.
- Customer journey: People read reviews now more than ever, and reviews can help to provide valuable insights into the customer journey while helping businesses to understand the needs and preferences of their customers. By listening to customer feedback and making changes accordingly, businesses can improve the customer experience and increase customer loyalty.
How to Generate More Product Reviews
Generating product reviews for your D2C brand might sound a bit daunting if you don’t know where to start, but these four key things will help tremendously:
- Ask for reviews – People are busy. Unless you ask (sometimes 2-3 times), your customers aren’t going to do it.
- Make it easy for customers to do a review – The thought of going back to the website, finding the product purchased, and leaving a review is enough to make your customers not want to take the time to give you one. So make it stupidly simple for them.
- Use email marketing/SMS – Put it right on their phone so it’s front and center.
- Respond to reviewers—positive or negative – Show that you’re a human and are actually listing to feedback.
Let’s talk about each one a bit more. One of the simplest ways to encourage reviews is by simply asking for them. After a customer has made a purchase, send them a friendly email or text asking them to leave a review, and consider offering an incentive, such as a discount or loyalty points, to sweeten the deal.
Additionally, make it easy for customers to submit a review by providing clear instructions and links to your review page. You can even use email marketing to remind customers to leave a review and include a direct link to the review page. Finally, it’s crucial to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. Responding shows that you care about your customer’s feedback and are committed to improving their experience.
Two Types of Reviews
When it comes to online reviews, there are two main types: verified and store-validated reviews.
- Verified reviews are those that are collected and moderated by third-party review sites, such as Yelp or Google. These sites ensure that the reviews are legitimate and not fabricated by the business owner or someone affiliated with the company. You can also get verified reviews on your website by using a service like Okendo to collect, curate and publish. Verified reviews are considered to be more trustworthy and carry more weight with potential customers.
- Store-validated reviews, on the other hand, are collected and moderated by the business owner or their representatives. While these reviews can still be valuable and informative, there is always a risk that they may be biased or even fake. To avoid this, businesses should make sure that their review collection process is transparent and that customers are given the option to provide honest feedback without fear of retaliation.
The Role of Product Reviews in SEO
As a marketer, you’re likely familiar with the importance of SEO in driving traffic and sales to your website. But did you know that product reviews can play a significant role in your SEO strategy? Here’s how:
First, product reviews provide unique content for search engines to index. Each review is a piece of fresh, user-generated content that can help improve your search engine rankings. By encouraging customers to leave reviews, you’re adding new and valuable content to your website that can help you climb higher in search results.
Second, product reviews can help you target keywords. When customers leave reviews, they often use language and phrases that are relevant to your product or industry. By analyzing these reviews, you can identify common phrases as well as keywords and incorporate them into your SEO strategy.
Finally, product reviews help keep your content fresh. Search engines value websites that are regularly updated with new and relevant content. By consistently adding new reviews to your website, you’re showing search engines that your website is active and relevant, which can help improve your search rankings.
So, what are you waiting for? If you aren’t collecting reviews, start today. Following the tips outlined above, you can generate more reviews and take advantage of their many benefits.
Greg is the founder and CEO of Stryde and a seasoned digital marketer who has worked with thousands of businesses, large and small, to generate more revenue via online marketing strategy and execution. Greg has written hundreds of blog posts as well as spoken at many events about online marketing strategy. You can follow Greg on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.