When you’re looking to buy a product or hire out a service, what’s one of the first things you do? If you’re like 91% of internet users, you probably read some online reviews to help narrow down your options. If you’re looking for a way to boost your own business, then it’s vital for you to have customer reviews on your website in addition to third-party sites like Yelp and Google.

Why are reviews so important, anyway? By having a better understanding of the true impact customer reviews can have on your business, you’ll quickly see how reviews can be one of your best marketing tools. From there, we’ll also walk you through some steps to encourage more reviews from your customers and clients.

There are several ways in which having customer reviews posted on your website can benefit your business, ranging from increasing your brand visibility to boosting your reputation.

1. They Can Improve Your SEO

Did you know that having customer reviews can make it easier for your website to be found on search engines? Specifically, customer reviews are one of the many factors taken into account by search engine algorithms. Reviews are especially powerful from a local SEO perspective; however, having lots of positive customer reviews can benefit your business no matter what your service area may look like. That’s because companies with excellent reviews are more likely to rank higher in the search engine results than businesses with fewer or no reviews.

When your website ranks higher on the search engine results page (SERP), potential customers and clients will be more likely to stumble across your site and become new customers.

2. They Can Boost Your Reputation

In addition to optimizing your search engine optimization strategy, having customer reviews on your website can also improve your company’s reputation by making you look like a more trustworthy business to customers. Consider the fact that many of today’s consumers will not trust a business with less than a four-star overall review online. With this in mind, consumers are taking reviews more seriously than ever before, making them a major determining factor in any buying decision.

By having lots of positive reviews on your website (ideally, a four- or five-star average), potential customers will see your business as being more reputable and trustworthy. As a result, these potential customers are more likely to decide that your brand is worthy of their business.

3. They Give You an Open Line of Communication

These days, it’s not enough to just give your clients and customers an avenue on which to review your products or services. In reality, consumers now expect you to respond to their reviews promptly. While this may seem like more work added to your already-full plate, the fact is that online reviews do give you a unique opportunity to keep the conversation going with your customers long after your transaction is complete.

By taking the time to respond to reviews (both negative and positive), you can demonstrate to your customers and potential customers that you care about their feedback and take your public perception seriously. This, in turn, can further boost your brand’s reputation and credibility.

product review

4. They Can Increase Sales and Profits

The majority of shoppers today rely heavily on customer reviews to make buying decisions. Without reviews of your business, there’s a good chance you’ll be missing out on sales. Of course, it’s not enough to have a lot of reviews; you need to have a lot of positive reviews to see a boost in your sales and profits. According to one study conducted by the Harvard Business School, an improvement of even one star across your customer reviews can lead to a 5-9% increase in short-term sales!

How to Encourage Reviews from Your Customers Now that you understand why website customer reviews and satisfaction surveys matter, it may be time to take some proactive steps to get more reviews from your customers.

5. Post on Social Media

One of the easiest ways to encourage online reviews is to simply post on social media. There’s a good chance that many of your past/current customers are already following your brand’s social media pages. By posting a request for them to leave a review on your website, you can reach them directly and hopefully gain some new reviews almost instantly.

6. Reach Out Directly

If you have a smaller business or are just starting out, you may benefit more from directly reaching out to some of your past customers. By contacting them via email or telephone, you can speak with them and explain just how helpful their feedback can be to your growing business.

7. Offer an Incentive

Sometimes, your customers may need a little bit of an incentive to take time out of their busy days and leave a review. To encourage more customers to leave reviews on your site, you might offer a discount on a future service or a similar promotion. Just understand that you’ll have to provide this incentive to every reviewer—even the ones who don’t necessarily leave a glowing review of your business.

8. Make it Quick and Easy

Always make it easy for your customers to leave reviews by providing them with a direct link to your review page. The fewer clicks they need to make to leave a review, the more likely they’ll be to publish one.

The Final Word on Customer Reviews and Business Growth

Having plenty of customer reviews on your website and elsewhere on the web is one of the best ways to grow your business and your brand’s reputation. Still, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by trying to get your customers to leave reviews (or by any other aspect of your business marketing), it may be time to work with a team of marketing professionals. Contact Strategic Growth Advisors today to find out more about what we can do to help your business.

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