Customer testimonials have three main benefits that allow businesses to grow and learn.
- Use them when marketing your business.
- Understand what your business is doing right and/or wrong.
- Improve Google’s visibility of your business.
Do not underestimate the review data’s power even if you have all other elements of your local search strategy covered. Gathering honest, genuine reviews on customer experience with your business online are always growing in importance.
Potential customers can be influenced by reading positive reviews. Potential customers are more inclined to believe an unbiased third party over your own praise, even if their review mimics your own words. A recent study suggested that the most powerful influence on purchases is customer reviews. Seeing a positive review and a positive SEO ranking is more likely to influence people to contact a business with further inquiries.
Some businesses hesitate to scroll through their online reviews fearing a negative review. Having a few negative reviews isn’t always a bad thing. Negative reviews can be used to improve your business and show potential clients how much you care about customer feedback. One study found that conversion can increase by 67% due to negative reviews.
Testimonials written by customers are essential to any SEO strategy. Google wants to know what your business does as well as how it is perceived when giving you the most beneficial and relevant local search results. This is done by looking at your average customer rating in addition to the number of reviews you have. Proof of this is in the features of the new Google Maps. When searching with local intent in Google Maps, the business with the highest ratings will appear first. Rating and reviews are shown more prominently in the updated map search layout. When searching for the address of a business, you will be able to see the rating and number of customer reviews. Ratings and reviews continue to update over time.
Google also puts content above all else. Using customer reviews, blogs and testimonials to your site is an incredible way of adding fresh, unique content on a continuous basis.
Local search results of products and service are ranked based on the quantity and quality of reviews. People will see the businesses that have the highest rankings based on the number of reviews. Reviews for these businesses will show how high the trust level is with customers and, in turn, gain more clicks.
It is important to be aware that reviews will appear whether or not you want them. Reviews can be done on social media sites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp. Your first priority should be to encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business page. This will help you maintain as much control over your reviews as you can and maximize their effect.
After establishing importance, how do you get customers to write online reviews for your business? There are a few factors to help gain reviews and grow your business. The most important factor is to have fantastic customer service which will result in both happy customers and positive reviews. Just below that is planning a strategy that encourages customers to submit a review instead of waiting for them to occur on their own. Start by asking family and friends to review your product or business. These early reviews help get the ball rolling. Another strategy is to ask both new and existing customers to write a review immediately after they make a purchase. This makes it more likely for them to leave a review. You want to make leaving a review as easy as possible.
Never offer incentives, including products, in exchange for reviews. Though it may increase your review count, your ranking on Google will be negatively affected. Incentives are strictly against the terms of service. Always ask for honest and genuine reviews that stem from their opinion of and experience with your business and/or products.