How to use reviews to drive traffic to your business

Are you using reviews to drive traffic to your business? Find out why reviews are such an important marketing tool and how to use them.

It is always nerve-racking to find out what your customers or a professional reviewer think of your business or performance. Sometimes it seems easier to put your head in the sand and not look. However, reviews should be a key part of your marketing plan and customer engagement strategy.

Even bad reviews can be helpful. You might not be aware of a problem with your business, but a member of the public could highlight something that is relatively easy to change. 

We must accept that we cannot please all the people all the time and some customers will not like what you offer. However, most people look at reviews and make purchasing decisions based on what others have said.

As reviews can be left on various platforms, including Google, Trust Pilot, and Twitter, it is time to embrace the opportunities they offer. At their worst, they could save you a fortune in market research; at their best, they could drive traffic and increase your sales. 

The two classifications of reviews you need to know about

There are essentially two different classifications of reviews. There are the ones where the general public feedback on your products and services, and there are the ones that professional reviewers undertake.

Peer-to-peer reviews can come in many forms. For example, if you sell on a website like Amazon, eBay, or Depop, the reviews are managed by the third-party platform, with the buyer giving feedback based on the goods they bought.

A holiday accommodation provider gets a similar type of review if they market their property or experience through Airbnb. After the rating is public, it appears on the business’ profile. In some cases, like Airbnb, the host also has the opportunity to review the guest. Airbnb also allows for private feedback.

Why it is important to respond to reviews

The important thing to remember is to respond to reviews. Thank people for taking the time to give feedback and decide if any criticism is justified. If it is, take remedial action. For example, if a customer has had a bad experience, you might want to offer them an incentive to try your products again. Remember to respond promptly and always be polite. 

There are also more generic sites where customers can leave reviews, like Google or Trust Pilot. With these sites, you can either ask customers to leave you a review, or they can do so themselves. Remember to link to it and embed it onto your website if you get a great review. You also need to remember to blow your own trumpet when a good review comes in and share it on your social media pages.

Reviews can help build trust and confidence in your brand

Some industries use professional reviewers to build trust and confidence in their brands. The creative industries have done this for years. For example, book publishers send advance copies of novels to media critics in the hope of write-ups in newspapers and magazines.

More recently, the online casino industry has used a similar model to rapidly grow its business and guide gamblers through the maze of types of games and what each operator offers. This is particularly important in newly regulated markets. For example, what different Michigan online casinos are offering can easily be compared on one such site, and players can choose what is best for them. 

A book or online casino will proudly show off the star rating and comments on their site or, in the case of a book, on the cover. The presence of reviews reassures customers and gives them insight into what to expect.

Its worth trying to engage with influencers

While we cannot all get professional reviewers, it is worth trying to engage with social media influencers who can get your product in front of thousands of their followers. You can also use your social media pages to encourage your customers to leave feedback.

Facebook, for example, has many business tools, including a recommendations function. You can send a link to your customers if you have a business page. Their rating, in turn, will let your potential customers know what to expect of your goods or services. 

Photo by Thom Holmes