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Have You Googled Yourself Lately? Using Customer Reviews to Elevate eCommerce

eCommerce    |    SEO

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Sarah Browning

When it comes to purchasing products online, how do you make the decision to buy? Most of the time, all you have to inform your decision is a product description, some specifications, and maybe a few images.

In most cases, these basics alone are not enough to convince shoppers to convert. Because they cannot physically interact with the product or service, shoppers will often look for validation from customers that have purchased the item already.  In fact, over 90% of consumers turn to online product reviews to inform their next decision. Because eCommerce reviews hold so much weight in the conversion process, your brand’s reputation can be shaped and assessed with nothing but a few keystrokes. 

Here are a few ways we believe you can capitalize on the feedback your business receives online to influence sales and drive revenue while maintaining a strong relationship with your customer base. 

  • Build Brand Awareness and Establish Trust

When it comes to building brand awareness, we are all familiar with spending countless hours and resources on creating targeted marketing ads, launching creative campaigns, and developing media strategies to drive traffic to your website while simultaneously trying to drive a higher ROI. Receiving reviews on your products and services on review sites like Google, Yelp!, and Amazon can be one of the easiest ways to organically set yourself apart from the competition in your industry and push your business to the forefront of the audience’s online searches. 

Positive reviews that praise your services or products provide evidence of brand quality and inspire trust in a good business reputation. Most customers rely on social proof when debating on whether or not to make a purchase. Reviews from fellow customers can be a driving force behind taking a skeptical shopper to a completed conversion. In this case, reviews act as the trusted advice and opinions behind the largely circulated advertisements and social media campaigns. 

Think of your business reviews as another sales channel. The happier your customers are, the more they will talk. The more people talk, the more attention you get. Remember, word of mouth is free and can help your CRO tremendously. 

  • Optimize Your SEO Strategy 

The ultimate goal of keyword research is a higher ranking in SERPs. But most times, it’s a gamble. When you choose keywords, it is not a guarantee that your ranking will be higher, therefore and SEO-friendly web presences can be illusive without fact based keyword research. There are 2 ways that reviews can be used to build a strong SEO strategy:

1. Strengthen Keyword Research

Reviews act as your fact based research tool in creating a more effective strategy for SEO optimization. Pay close attention to the names of the products or services your customers are reviewing, and phrases they are using to describe those throughout their review. You can then tweak the keywords and phrases you use in your SEO campaigns to match what customers are using so that you are not only more likely to appear in searches but, there is also a higher chance that users see your positive reviews. Win win. 

Keep in mind too, the search engines favor more positive reviews. Good reviews will help you master the algorithms and increase your page authority.

2. Gain Usable Content to Encourage Social Engagement 

Customer reviews act as a great resource to acquire user generated content to share across all social platforms. A great way to enrich your social strategy is to feature customer reviews to spark conversation and peak interest in the online communities. Feature reviews on your site and social accounts. Offer incentives for a review contribution and encourage a positive buzz throughout your sales channels. This will boost the online presence of your brand and your products, driving even more traffic to your site.

  • Improve Customer Service and Brand Experience

Let’s address a more obvious point. Not all reviews will be positive. Negative reviews will happen and our first instinct would be delete them as they appear to be a threat to our otherwise sparkling online reputation. However, oberlo.com reports that 62% of consumers say they will not buy from brands that censor online reviews. 

With that, there is a way to use those negative reviews to your benefit without having to delete or censor them. Keep an eye out for recurring issues or concerns your customers may voice, these may be indicative of a process or a product in need of improvement or adjustment. Paying close attention to customer complaints is yet another great way to expand your QA process to ensure your business is always functioning at its best. Even if there are problems that arise within your business processes or with your products, customers will appreciate your attentiveness and a prompt response to issues may just lead to another positive review and a more loyal customer base.  

Because your brand identity can depend on what Google says about it, it is essential for eCommerce businesses of all sizes to leverage their online reviews to grow sales and maintain positive brand engagement. Be sure to encourage your customers to provide feedback by requesting reviews via email or SMS survey after an in store purchase, on the checkout page before the “Place Order” button, or in a “Thank You” pop up after a transaction is completed online. If the process is easy and accessible, your customers will be more likely to leave you a review. Thank them for their time and feedback and you’ll be on your way to 5 stars on Google in no time. 

 

Need some help getting started? Schedule some time to chat with our expert SEO strategists today!

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