Four ways you can maximize user reviews and increase your business sales

One of the most powerful marketing tactics is making the most of favorable online reviews for your business. It’s user-generated, depended on by many, and may not cost a thing.

So why are reviews so important for marketing? User reviews bring many benefits to your business. And two of the most important are more sales and enhanced local SEO.

And it’s easy to see why they’re so vital. A positive user review reflects a customer’s previous experience with your business. It delivers legitimate and credible testimony from someone who already tried your products or services. In turn, this encourages visitors to choose your products or services over your competitors.

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Consumers have become reliant on reviews because it shows transparency as people who left those reviews weren’t paid by the company or not affiliated with the brand.

Another benefit is that user reviews enhance local SEO. About 93% of consumers went online to search for a local business in the previous year, and 87% read online reviews about local businesses, that’s a 6% increase from 2019.

The more reviews you have, the more your online visibility improves. So collecting more reviews benefits your overall website search engine optimization. Reviews provide keywords that your average customer will be looking for and it provides useful information, which is Google’s main priority. 

How do you capitalize on reviews to boost sales?

To help you capitalize on reviews to boost sales, here are four suggestions to try.

1) Gather more Google reviews

Reviews are one of the main ranking factors for Local Pack results. If you own a local business or you mostly do location-based marketing, this will be most beneficial to you. 

The Local Pack is the section that appears front and center on Google’s search results and shows local businesses related to a user’s query. It’s a highly coveted spot because Google designed this section for the user’s convenience. It displays the three most popular businesses in the area and users can just quickly tap on them to access Google Maps for directions or learn more about the business’s NAP (Name, Address, Phone).

The first step to ensure you’re automatically in Google’s business directory is to activate or claim your Google My Business profile. Then, make sure that you stand out. Always provide important information like your NAP and strategically include the most searched keywords related to your business. 

This will maximize your local SEO efforts and help bring more customers to your business.

2) Use customer review plugins 

Customer review plugins let you add review reminders. When someone purchases, the customer will get an email reminder to leave a review. Some plugins offer features like coupon systems so that when someone leaves a review, they will then be rewarded with a coupon. 

Some WordPress Review plugins you could try are Google Reviews Widget, WP Customer Reviews, and Starfish Reviews.

3) Personally ask your customers to leave reviews

If you’ve worked with a big-name client or someone who can bring more visitors to your site, reach out to them. Subtly and politely ask if they would be OK to leave a review.

Call them and ask how they’re doing. Then, kindly ask if they would be fine with having their name on your website under a review or a testimonial. You can even add a video testimonial to your review page or the review section on your website.

4) Collect reviews from other sites

Your customers may have written a review about your product or service and posted it on another website. As a business owner, you should be open to creating spaces for your clients to leave reviews. Collect positive reviews from these websites or listings and showcase them on your own website.

Aside from your website or social media accounts, be active on other listings like Yelp, Amazon, and other pages that are relevant to your industry. This way, you can manage the reviews, especially when they’re negative.

How do you deal with negative reviews?

Negative feedback is unavoidable, even when you’re doing your best to run a good business. But instead of treating these unfavorable reviews as a barrier, use them as an opportunity to:

  • Showcase how your business values every feedback
  • Admit mistakes and present changes
  • Improve customer service if the review contains actionable suggestions
  • Remain professional even when the review is a customer merely venting their anger

When a business is willing to see its operation through the customer perspective, other people pay attention. And those frustrated customers may rethink their opinion of its services or products.

So don’t delete negative reviews. Here’s how to handle them:

  1. Investigate whether the review is valid. Get to the bottom of the complaint and what made the customer unhappy. See if other customers have experienced the same thing, or talk to the person involved and hear them out. Here’s what to do if the review is fake.
  2. Reply at once. Your aim is to help. Always keep your cool and be professional when dealing with your clients. Be sincere with your apology and resolve the issue by offering a replacement, a refund, or a special gift.
  3. Always resolve the problem. Make sure to follow through with your promises. If you see that many customers have experienced the same issue, make some changes.

Growing your business with reviews

Consumers are now savvier when it comes to researching what they need and the products they’re interested in. You must leverage social proof as reviews are something that separates a good business from an average one.

User reviews not only benefit your sales and local SEO but also gives you an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Comments and insights from your paying customers can also benefit your content marketing strategy.

Reviews are the voice of the people. They influence other buyers’ purchase decisions and they can influence the way you run your business. Learn how to capitalize on customer feedback, and you’ll soon see positive results for your business.

Dan Smink is the founder of C1 Partners, a Denver SEO company that helps small to medium enterprises with their digital marketing strategy. Dan comes from a background of 20 years in business leadership and has a track record of helping businesses achieve million-dollar revenue values. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Photo by Jodie Cook