Online reviews are essential to improve the popularity and trustworthiness of your brand or products. Let’s face it; the internet is littered with all sorts of products. Simply having a catchy advertising slogan will not compel people to buy your products. Modern consumers want to know whether your product is actually worthy of buying. That’s where online reviews come in.
Online reviews should play a big role in your business’s reputation management strategy. Research indicates that online reviews work and are generally good for raising sales numbers. Not only that, online reviews also boost SEO rankings. It’s a positive on positive effect. The more online reviews you get, the higher you will rank in terms of SEO. And the higher your SEO ranking is, the more online reviews you get.
Most marketers realize that online reviews are valuable, but constantly underappreciate them. Genuine and top quality online reviews can be a game changer when it comes to local SEO ranking. Also, online reviews close that web-based sales loop. Consumers find you, see the reviews and recognize that your brand is better than the competition, which propels purchases.
One of your brand’s top priorities, therefore, should be getting great, honest online reviews. But how exactly do you do that? Here are several suggestions that will help:
Buyers Prefer to Review People
The online reviews that your products or services get will be largely determined by the buyer’s interactions with the people at your company. Generally speaking, people would rather review other people. Consider, for example, that you sell a toilet unclogging product. Have you ever read an online review about glorious ways a toilet was unclogged? Probably not. On the other hand, you have probably come across many online reviews praising plumbers for fair prices, punctuality, professionalism, and overall doing a great job.
The reason for the above mentioned phenomenon is that people prefer to review or rate experiences as either positive or negative. Who are behind these experiences? People, of course. The point here is that if you want great reviews, you need to provide great customer services as much as possible. It goes beyond simply peddling the virtues of a product. You need to build a relationship with a customer that gives the impression that you care about him or her.
Relationships with customers matter in order to generate positive feedback. So, you can increase your chances of getting a good review by leaving a positive impression. For example, include a personal note with the product or at the end of a customer inquiry. That little extra touch with compel your customers to give you good marks.
Content of the Reviews Matters
There are different types of online reviews. There are the ones that contain one or two lines basically saying the product is great or the product is awful. Then there are those other lengthy reviews containing many details of the product and the customers’ experience with it. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s the second type of review that you should go after.
It goes without saying that you should not post fake reviews. Modern consumers are quite savvy and will be able to quickly spot the fakes from the real ones. If you are caught publishing even a single fake review, you will cause irreparable damage to your reputation.
So aim for genuine and detail-oriented reviews to inspire confidence in potential new buyers. One of the best ways to do this is to ask for a customer testimonial rather than a review. When you ask for a testimonial, people are more likely to leave a lengthy and detailed response.
Make it Easy for Customers to Write Reviews
Getting online reviews is not easy. Even if a customer agrees to write a review, it never materials without some gentle nudging on your part. You can nudge customers by developing an online reputation management strategy. In your strategy, make it a goal to make reviewing your products as easy and simple as possible for customers.
Provide very easy instructions and develop basic feedback forms. You can print feedback forms on a business card, for example. Then, you need to have a follow-up system where a rep gets in touch with a customer to beg for the review without appearing to beg for a review. Offer incentives for reviewing or providing feedback, such as free loyalty rewards points. For people who do post reviews, send thank you emails or notes. Make the experience as positive as possible to improve the number of reviews your brand gets.
Give a Little to Take a Little
One of the easiest ways to boost your company’s online review profile is to start reviewing other companies. Leave honest and genuine reviews for others, and those companies will return the favour. Post reviews on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to increase the chances of getting reciprocal reviews.
The takeaway here is that you need to give a little to gain some in the beginning. Eventually, you need to refocus your strategy in attracting genuine and non-reciprocal reviews. When you garner reviews, don’t forget to collect then in a single place for customers to see.
Do Damage Control with Negative Reviews
It’s inevitable that your brand occasionally will attract the negative review. When a bad review is posted, don’t panic. It’s possible to repair the damage done. Start by intercepting a bad review and then respond. Here, respond doesn’t mean attack. Be patient and understanding. Ask the reviewer what prompted the bad review.
A good majority of the time, it’s possible to rectify a bad review. If the reviewer explains the problem, you can go ahead and fix it. Once you do that, there’s a good chance that the reviewer will change the bad review into a positive one. Review response, in this regard, is imperative for turning bad feedback into good feedback. Think of bad reviews as valuable opportunities to provide truly excellent customer service and prove to everyone what a great brand yours is.
Reviews are very important for online brand management, bolstering SEO, and driving conversion rates. It’s equally important to note here that good reviews should be accompanied by a strong web presence. Even if a glowing review manages to generate a lead, if the web presence is unappealing, the customer will easily turn away. So, develop an airtight inbound marketing strategy to get the best out of online reviews and improve your SEO.