The growth of the Internet and eCommerce has led to the development of online reviews.
So I know you will agree that... online reviews have become an increasingly valuable source of information.
And consumers are reading more online reviews than ever before.
Consider these notable statistics...
- At the moment, 97% of people check online reviews of businesses.
- In the past 12 months, 74% of consumers have left reviews for local businesses.
- And about 90% count on online reviews before deciding to buy something.
These are very high figures... and you know why?
This is because the popularity of online reviews has become phenomenal.
Plus, online reviews give customers a chance to talk about their buying experience.
And those who read online reviews use them to make smart buying decisions.
These online reviews also provide social proof to other potential customers.
But sadly, a lot of businesses fail to understand its potential benefits.
They often overlook how it plays an important role in any business.
Don't get me wrong...
My goal here isn't to lambaste businesses that ignore marketing strategies that promote online reviews.
Rather, I want you to look at how it can benefit your business.
Let's go over it...
The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Online Reviews
And let me provide some answers for everyone to learn about online reviews... so take advantage!
So let me start with...
1. Why Are Online Reviews Important?
A: Online reviews are important because:
- It helps you improve your product and service. When you read reviews about your business, it's an opportunity for you to learn. You learn about your business's positives and negatives. And it's your chance to improve.
- It grows your conversion rate. Reviews have a significant impact on your business's growth on a financial level. A Harvard Business School study shows... that a 1-star increase in your rating can boost your revenue by as much as 5-9%.
- It makes you visible. When consumers research local businesses, online reviews influence where a business appears. Especially in the results provided by search engines.
Next question, please...
2. How Can I Get Online Reviews?
You must remember that reviews must be genuine. And you can get reviews from your customers in a number of ways.
- You can encourage customers to post or comment on your social media page. You can also ask them to post about your eCommerce store(or products) and tag your social media channels.
- You can enlist your business in Google Maps and Yelp so people can leave their reviews there.
- You can have a section on your eCommerce site that displays customer reviews. Maybe you can create a button allowing customers to leave a review. Or you can make use of a feedback pop-up. You can get help here by installing Debutify Theme.
- You can directly email your customers and ask them to leave feedback. And you can do it by providing a set of questions or via a survey.
You see, there are ways to encourage customers to provide feedback in a professional manner.
It would be nice to thank them for their review and support.
And ask them if they want to share their experience... they can do so by leaving a review.
Here's an example... I found this email asking for feedback from Thumbtack...
This is a subtle way of soliciting reviews from your customers without putting pressure in them.
I know what you’re thinking…
3. Who Reads Online Reviews?
I would say... everyone!
Not only that... you should take online reviews seriously.
Because Trust Pilot says 89% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase.
That's almost nine out of 10!
And 79% of customers believe online reviews are just as important as personal recommendations.
And nowadays, customers perceive online review sites as authorities.
Undoubtedly, every business that wants to succeed should begin collecting as many positive reviews.
And the more positive reviews your business receives, the more you become credible as a business.
And the more your business will be visible online.
Now let's go to the next question...
4. Can I Hire Someone to Do an Online Review?
You should never pay someone for an online review.
Although this is possible to do, it's unethical.
You are going to violate most review sites' terms.
And it will put your site at risk of being banned or hurting its rankings.
You should only ask for reviews from actual customers who have experience with your brand.
And you know what?
Google and Yelp are adept at determining when a review is real and when it has been paid for.
And they often remove those reviews.
You certainly don't want to be in this situation. Right?
So instead of spending time and money on getting fake reviews...
Focus on giving your customers a real experience they will tell others about.
5. Which Review Sites Are the Best for Online Reviews?
As mentioned, you can have online reviews on your own eCommerce store site.
But it's a good idea to utilize other popular sites and platforms.
Because some sites receive a lot more traffic, make use of it!
Do you want to know how to be a Google Trusted Store? Check this out.
It's best to get reviews from other credible review sites as well.
Take a look at the table of top review sites below:
It's also good to ask your customers to leave their reviews there.
You must be wondering…
6. How Do Online Reviews Affect Search Engine Rankings?
An online review can directly impact where a business ranks in the Google search engine.
There are several factors that influence this like relevance, distance, and prominence.
Your business may not be able to control all these factors.
But you can optimize your listing on Google and other online review sites.
Google's algorithm prefers businesses with current listings relevant to the industry's trending keywords.
Location is also a priority.
So businesses located near consumers are more likely to rank well in search results.
Online reviews are ranked based on frequency, quality, recency, and quantity.
Just a tip... for your business to improve its search engine ranking, you need as many positive reviews posted frequently.
So it's always good to ask for reviews.
There's a burning question here...
7. Can I Delete Negative Reviews?
In most cases, you will not be able to delete a negative review. And even if you can, it's not advisable.
Because removing bad reviews from a platform would lose your credibility as a business.
Online review sites should be trusted places to learn about customer experiences with a particular brand.
But generally, review sites allow you to respond to both positive and bad reviews.
Often, businesses can also take action if a review is a spam or fake.
If you think you have been faked or manipulated, report it immediately.
Just remember that reporting a bad review will not automatically remove it.
It's always the discretion of the review site if they want to keep or remove bad reviews.
Many people ask this...
8. When Should I Ask My Customers for Reviews?
People who recently had a good experience with a business are more likely to give positive reviews of it.
So it is best to ask your customers for reviews as soon as they leave your eCommerce store.
As they say, "Strike while the iron is hot."
This means asking for reviews while the customer is still hot about your product and service.
Keeping to this strategy will help you and your team deliver the best service possible.
You don’t want to miss this…
9. Do I Have To Respond To All The Reviews?
Definitely! It's very important to respond to every review. It doesn't matter if it's a positive or negative review.
When you receive a positive review, thank them! Let the reviewer know how much you value their support.
On the other hand, respond to bad reviews quickly. And let the reviewers know you heard their concerns.
And then take action!
If there is a way to improve their experience with your business, do it.
I cannot overemphasize this... be professional.
It is not uncommon to read negative reviews that are very harsh.
And what surprises me is this...
There are also some who respond in the same harsh way... even worse! And that's a big turn-off. Don't ever do that!
Remember that potential customers are more likely to read that. And they would imagine what sort of experience you will provide for them.
So be careful.
You don't want to be perceived as unprofessional by your target market.
Another frequently asked question...
10. Is It Okay to Publish Customer Feedback Without Their Permission?
Never. Just let the customer leave a review on their own.
Or you can humbly ask their permission if you want to post those reviews on social media.
It's the ideal thing to do.
Always ask your customers politely for their reviews. And be sure to provide your customers with the direct URL of your review site.
Don't just say..."Please leave a review on this or that site."
Give them the link to your business website or a review site so they won't need to search for it.
Make it easy for them to leave reviews.
So there you have it...
These Are the Burning Questions Most Customers Ask About Online Reviews...
Online reviews won't go away.
They'll be around as long as there's a business and there's the internet.
So collect as many customer reviews as possible!
But I'm not done yet!
Did you know that Debutify Reviews can help you collect as many customer reviews as you need?