If you haven’t incorporated customer reviews into your marketing plan yet, it’s time to enable this crucial service. Online customer reviews are an important tool for two main reasons:
- 88% of people said they read reviews to check the quality of local businesses (according to BrightLocal’s 2014 Customer Review Survey)
- Reviews make up almost 10% of how Google and other search engines rank search results according to the 2013 Local Search Ranking Factors from Moz.
Reviews Improve Business
Your reputation is one of your most valuable assets! (Remember high school?) Most business owners know that while advertising is important, word of mouth talk about your business can be even more helpful in growing your business and developing loyal customers. Thanks to the Internet and the easy access to technology today, positive word of mouth feedback isn’t limited to face-to-face interactions. People are commenting about businesses they love (or hate) on Yelp, Facebook, Instagram and Google+. While you don’t have much control over the information on these other sites, you can have a little more control when you allow consumers to review your business on your own website.
Through our service, RocketReviews you can solicit feedback and encourage online reviews. It also provides service recovery methods for the rare negative review you might receive. We also provide an automated response process to help encourage people to write reviews on your site. Only a small percentage of clients will take the time to write a review, which makes it important to reach out to as many as possible in order to get reviews on your site.
Reviews Improve SEO
Everyone wants their website to be at the top of the list whenever a person performs a search on Google or another search engine. There are a lot of different factors that go into the ranking of websites, and reviews are one of them. Making up 10 percent of the algorithm Google uses to rank sites, reviews are pretty important on this major search engine. Positive rankings also affect your place on lists done on mobile searches. Google Map searches prominently feature reviews.
When it comes to improving SEO, it’s not just onsite reviews that matter. The more reviews you have from anywhere on the Internet — Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor and other sites — can raise your business’s profile and improve your rankings. In part because for search engines such as Google and Bing, a number of reviews about your business lets the search engines know people care about your business, and improves your credibility. Next time you do a search of your own, think about your actions. Are you looking first at the listings with reviews? Of course, good reviews are important, but even negative reviews don’t hurt as long as you respond to them appropriately and in a timely manner.
In order for online reviews to work for you, it’s important to know the rules of each platform to really take advantage of using reviews to improve your SEO. For example, Yelp absolutely forbids giving any incentives to get people to write reviews. And Google will discount reviews that come from an in-store kiosk or computer (they know when there are a lot of reviews from the same IP address). When you use RocketReviews, the service follows best practices to obtain reviews, with no IP address blocking or forbidden incentives, to help you obtain as many reviews as possible in a way that will only benefit your company’s online presence.
Having reviews of your business online, both on your website and on other review sites, provides a place for potential customers to see what other people have thought about your products or services. It also helps drive traffic to your site, and hopefully into your business, thereby improving your sales! Take advantage of online reviews and RocketReviews service to help improve your SEO and your business today.