In the past, online reviews were little more than background features. But these days, user feedback on the internet is essential in encouraging prospects to turn into paying customers. Word-of-mouth remains an effective advertising tool, after all. And now that most consumers depend on the World Wide Web, what people say about your business can make or break its chances of success.
Still, building trust and confidence with the target audience is only one aspect that these reviews bring to the table. It also affects your internet presence. Back in 2016, Google had announced they were introducing web reviews into its knowledge panel. Now, when completing searches on its site, you’ll find that consumer reviews are much more prominent than they’ve ever been. It’s also an integral ranking factor that can affect your search engine optimization efforts in more ways than one.
Importance of taking notice of internet reviews
As an entrepreneur running a business, it’s crucial to encourage reviews online and take advantage of their benefits. The internet has grown in popularity as a marketing tool, and images and descriptions alone are no longer enough to win over consumers; you need the word of your satisfied customers to persuade people to spend on your offerings. With that in mind, here are some reasons why internet reviews are essential:
- They affect the search rankings. Online reviews send signals to Google of a website’s trustworthiness and authority, making it one of the many ranking factors of the search engine.
- Many consumers rely on reviews. Most consumers today are savvy buyers. They don’t just take the word of the company. Rather, they need social proof to justify the purchase. In other words, internet reviews impact the buyer’s decision more than people realize.
- Online reviews can be a source of information. Beyond boosting a brand’s reputation, it provides the business with information on how to better its products and services.
How to boost your SEO strategy with online reviews
Now that you understand the weight that online reviews carry for a brand or company, the next step is to incorporate them into your search engine optimization strategy. But the question is, how do you do it? Listed below are some of the techniques you can use to leverage online reviews effectively and elevate your SEO to new heights.
- Evaluate the current reviews of your business. The best way to start making online reviews work for you is assessing what the online perception of your offerings is. By monitoring your brand mentions on review sites and social media, you’ll be able to gather some of the feedback about your company on the World Wide Web and get a good idea of where it stands with consumers. Once you have enough, look into whether they’re on the positive or negative side. Doing so will enable you to find the areas of your business that require improvement, address any existing concerns, and respond to the reviews accordingly.
- Respond to the reviews. Whether or not the feedback is good, it’s a rule of thumb to always respond to them. If your brand receives glowing praise, don’t just ignore it. Show your gratitude and appreciation with a reply. It will help keep your current customers engaged and loyal to your company. On the other hand, if you receive a negative review, take a sympathetic and factual approach, even if you don’t necessarily agree with the remark. In this way, you’ll put yourself in a position to win them back. You may even draw in potential customers into the fold.
- Focus on the appropriate social media channels. There’s no denying that social media is one of the most popular digital platforms where people express their thoughts about specific businesses. However, not every channel will have your target audience. And you won’t generate the returns you’re looking for if you try to establish your presence and remain active across all networking sites. Instead, choose your channels wisely. Not only will you be able to generate online visibility more effectively, but you won’t spread yourself too thin in the process.
- Give value through quality content. It comes as no surprise that many businesses today have content marketing as a part of their advertising campaigns. After all, it allows them to engage their target market in ways that few strategies can, and so should you. When researching reviews on your company, look up what problems they tend to struggle with and try to publish content that answers their questions. For example, if you run a contractor business specializing in renovations, you could publish material on a few DIY jobs that homeowners can do to elevate the look and appeal of their homes.
- Implement a review system on your website. Apart from social media, it’s a good idea to encourage customers to leave a review on your website. It can be as simple as a section for comments on one of your online domain’s web pages or rating systems like stars whenever it’s most appropriate to the business. For instance, if you run an eCommerce business, asking users to leave their thoughts after they’ve made a purchase through your website will make it easier for you to know their input on your brand.
- Stack the reviews up. Once you’re able to get a respectable number of reviews, try to find ways to leverage them. Paraphrase quotes or work them into your campaign, whether it’s a tagline for a header or statistics you can use to build confidence with your intended audience.
Online reviews are incredibly useful marketing tools that you can use to keep up with your competitors, if not get ahead of them. Therefore, you must utilize them correctly. Always remember that the customer’s word will always be stronger than the claims and promises of a company. And by motivating people to leave positive reviews in all the right places, you’ll be able to build up a winning SEO strategy, attract more users, and generate higher sales and revenue.