Online customer reviews are a vital currency for any business looking to make its mark in a digital marketplace. Websites like TripAdvisor and TrustPilot have harnessed people’s desire to share their experiences of the businesses in their lives and become some of the highest traffic sites around.
Despite (or perhaps because) of this, business owners can see online reviews as a source of headaches. But did you know that online customer reviews are one of the most trusted sources of advertising a business can have?
If you can leverage online customer reviews effectively, you stand to enhance your business’s reputation and create more sales for less money. Here are 5 ways to fit them into your marketing.
Your website is your digital shopfront, so it’s crucial that you use it to announce to new customers all the great things that other people have said about you.
There are a great range of cheap or free widgets out there which you can either use to pull through and embed an aggregate of your reviews from external sites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor, or to prompt people to directly add their own to be displayed.
Make one of these and add it to the most crucial, highest-traffic pages on your website. We’d suggest your homepage, your product page and your checkout page as essential here, reassuring your customer at each step of their journey towards a purchase.
You don’t need to display a long list of every review you’ve ever received, but a banner somewhere above the fold of the email with either an average score from somewhere like TripAdvisor or some choice testimonials will go a long way to overcome people’s suspicions of new businesses emailing them.
Make sure that whatever element you place on the email, the reader can click through to a page with a more full compilation of the reviews.
User-generated reviews are an increasingly prominent part of how Google displays information about businesses, appearing across search results pages, maps and ads.
The best way to take advantage of this is to sign up for Google My Business, a free tool that improves your visibility in search results and places your business on a map of your area alongside a star average of your reviews.
This way, you’ll have all information about your business in one place, with people easily able to read previous reviews and add their own. Read this article to find out how to go about claiming your business with Google.
Google Ads, the search giant’s pay-per-click advertising service, has a feature calledthe seller ratings extension that allows you to showcase your reviews in ads that appear on the search results pages for keyphrases relevant to your business.
Our digital experts can put together a Google Ads campaign for you that turns your good reviews into new sales.
When designing banner ads to be displayed on websites, the placement of a simple average review score from a site like Yelp can go a long way in differentiating your ads from others on the page.
Even as simple a graphic as your average star rating towards the bottom of the ad grabs attention and inspires confidence in a platform where those qualities are at a premium.
The sight of a negative review might give you a nasty jolt, but if you respond swiftly, helpfully and with empathy, you can turn a disguntled customer into an ambassador for your company.
The odd bad review can even be useful to your credibility. The sight of wall-to-wall 5-star reviews without a single negative comment always looks fishy, and makes you wonder whether the company in question has written them itself! This is why 72% of customers trust sites with a proportion of negative reviews more than sites without any.
Similarly, when other people see bad reviews and complaints being responded to and handled professionally and with good grace, they’ll come away with the impression of a responsible business that listens to its customers and takes feedback onboard.
Far from just being something to be managed and monitored, online customer reviews should become a vital weapon in your arsenal of marketing content. Start putting these 5 rules into practice and you’ll soon have massively raised your chances of converting people’s positive first impressions of your business into real sales.
If you want to know more about the role of customer reviews in modern marketing, why not try these articles from our vaults?