The importance of online reviews has grown exponentially in recent years. According to research, the number of consumers trusting online reviews with their purchasing decisions has increased by more than 50% in the last three years.
Creating a presence on review sites is an essential part of SEO and marketing strategies for businesses and brands. In this post, we’ll explore what all beginners should know about online reviews as well as some best practices to benefit from. Let’s get started!
What Is An Online Review?
An online review is a piece of online content that is posted on a website by a customer after purchasing or using a product or service. Reviews are usually filled with details of the customer’s experience with the product or service as well as ratings (usually between 1 and 5 stars).
Online reviews have become an important part of the purchasing decision for consumers. It is estimated that 90% of customers read reviews before making a purchasing decision. It’s no wonder, then, that businesses are increasingly focusing on encouraging customers to leave online reviews.
History Of Online Reviews
Online reviews have been around since the early days of the internet. In 1995, Amazon became the first online retailer to allow customers to leave reviews on products they bought on the site. This soon became a standard practice among other e-commerce sites and review sites.
Some of the earliest review sites include Epinions, which was founded in 1998, and TripAdvisor, which was launched in 2000. The popularity of these sites grew rapidly during the early 2000s. A lot of this had to do with the Internet growing in popularity and becoming increasingly accessible. Another factor was the rise of smartphones and the apps that came with them.
With customers carrying around smartphones everywhere they went, they had easy access to review sites and could leave their reviews after every product or service they used.
Online Reviews And E-Commerce
Online reviews can have a huge impact on your online sales. A recent survey found that online reviews can increase your conversion rate by up to 9%. The same survey also found that the customer retention rate increased by 24%.
More than half of the top grossing e-commerce sites in the US depend on online reviews for up to 75% of their sales. Amazon is one of the best examples of the power of online reviews. Amazon has become such a behemoth in the e-commerce space that many people simply go straight to Amazon for their product searches and often only read the reviews on the Amazon product page before making a purchase.
This makes it even more important for businesses that sell their products through Amazon to encourage their customers to leave reviews.
Online Reviews And SEO
While online reviews can increase your sales and customer retention rates, they can also have a positive impact on your search engine optimization (SEO). Having a large number of positive and verified reviews on your website can increase your overall site authority and make it easier for search engines to crawl your site and rank it higher.
This is because Google looks at your site’s authority as a positive ranking factor. Without a strong presence on review sites, you can expect to see a serious drop in your site’s SEO. This is especially true for e-commerce sites. eCommerce stores that don’t have many or any reviews on their product pages are at a serious disadvantage when compared to their rivals.
For example, if you sell a particular type of t-shirt, and your website only has a few reviews on that product, Google will see your website as less authoritative than a competing website that has hundreds of reviews on the same t-shirt.
Importance Of Online Reviews
Online reviews are a powerful marketing tool that can have a significant impact on your business. This is especially true if you have a large number of positive reviews on your website. Having a large number of positive reviews can make it easier for your customers to make purchasing decisions.
Customers are more likely to trust your brand and purchase your products if they see that there are many positive reviews about your business online. This is especially true for e-commerce sites. With a strong presence on review sites and a lot of positive reviews, you can expect to see a significant boost in your online sales and revenue.
If your business doesn’t have any reviews on one or more of the main review sites, you can expect to see a significant drop in your sales. Without a strong presence on review sites, customers on review sites will simply not see your website. They will skip right over your website and head straight to your competitors.
Tips For Utilizing Your Online Reviews Effectively
Make It Easy
You don’t want to be too pushy when asking your customers to leave reviews for your products or services. However, you also don’t want to wait too long or your customers will forget to leave a review. When asking your customers to leave reviews, make it easy for them to do so. You can offer to send them an email reminder or include links to the review sites on your website.
Incentivize the Reviews
As we’ve discussed above, getting customers to leave reviews can be challenging. However, if you don’t have a rewards program or incentives for reviews, you may not get the results you were hoping for.
This is why it is important for businesses to always encourage customers to leave reviews. You can do this by writing an email asking customers to leave reviews and even asking them to leave reviews on third-party websites.
Giving discounts, promos, or special premiums may be the best way to increase your reviews as these offerings encourage customers by letting them feel that they can get an advantage by leaving a review.
Respond To All Reviews
A customer will leave a review for one primary reason: to help other potential customers make an informed decision about your products or services. Responding to these reviews not only helps you build goodwill with other customers but can also lead to new sales.
Create A Presence On Review Sites.
The best way to get reviews for your business is to focus on creating a strong presence on review sites. As we discussed earlier, customers are less likely to leave reviews on your website if they can easily find reviews on other sites.
It’s important to have a strong presence on review sites like Reliable Reviews Amazon, Google, TripAdvisor, etc. This makes it easier for your customers to leave reviews for you.
The Bottom Line
Online reviews are an essential part of e-commerce and online marketing strategies. Getting a strong presence on review sites can help boost your sales and bring in new customers.
Doing so can help boost your sales and bring in new customers. It will also give you an edge in the digitalized competition, as customers become closer to you even without the need of going to your physical store.
Business owners should possess at least these basic features of online reviews as they plan to engage in the digital market. This is to avoid getting defrauded and to train employees if ever that do not have experience.
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