Did you know that 92% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase? In today’s customer era, reviews have become not only an important trust signal in both domestic and international markets but also a useful tool for both consumers and businesses. Customer feedback is vital to any business, especially to those selling online.
Apart from being a useful trust-building tool that helps boost your credibility in new markets, what else can reviews do for your business?
Well, companies who collect reviews from third-party platforms are more likely to see improvements in their organic rankings, something that is vital for companies launching new websites in different markets.
In this blog post, Trustpilot explains how customer feedback can increase your business’s visibility on search engines, inspire trust and credibility and, in turn, increase business in new markets.
Why start collecting customer reviews?
Each review tells a story about a shopping or service experience, which can be useful information for consumers and businesses alike. Open review platforms pride themselves on amplifying the voice of the customer and making sure they’re as transparent as possible. Why? Well, once a business is reviewed on a third-party review platform, its profile page or reviews cannot be deleted, simply because openness is the reason why consumers read reviews in the first place.
It is only natural to have concerns about being reviewed online, but collecting reviews from open platforms creates significant opportunities for businesses to engage with and learn from their customers. This includes building trust and credibility.
If you’re looking to expand your business into new markets, or simply want to try and be more customer-centric, start by collecting reviews. You’ll be happy to hear that customer feedback can have a positive impact on your SEO, and considerably improve your visibility, which will help you stand out from the competition.
How do online reviews impact organic rankings?
You might be wondering how reviews affect your SEO strategy. Collecting fresh, new customer content on a regular basis can help you acquire rich snippets and improve your organic visibility.
What are rich snippets?
Rich snippets are the mark-up of your content with ‘structured data’ that allows search engines to better understand and index this information. This mark-up makes your website stand out in both Google and Bing’s search engine results pages (SERPs). More importantly, featuring reviews in your rich snippets can increase click-through rates. Below is an example of how these reviews can appear in search engine results pages:
The screenshot above is for a particular product from IslandSurf.com. The yellow stars, the rating, and the number of reviews show useful feedback information to the person searching. Before clicking the link, the consumer already knows upfront that the product has a high rating, which inspires trust in the product and therefore increases the click-through rate to your products.
To set up for rich snippets, all you need to do is simply collect reviews with a third-party platform and mark-up the web page with AggregateRating. The data should automatically update in your company’s language as and when new reviews are added.
Reviews are the best kind of data you could give to Google about your company. The content is constantly updated and tells search engines a little bit more about you, your customer service and your customers.
Please note that rich snippets and the benefits gained from them are entirely down to Google’s discretion. Even when you have satisfied all of their guidelines, it is still Google who decides whether they display rich snippets in SERPs.
How do reviews inspire trust in new markets?
When searching or shopping online, people need reassurance and confirmation that their actions are the right ones. This is even more crucial when you enter a new market with little brand awareness. Third-party validation, under the form of customer feedback placed earlier in the funnel on SERPs, will push people to click and visit your website more than results with no rich snippets.
Using the power of social proof earlier in the funnel can only improve the results of your marketing efforts, whether you’re trying to conquer a new market or just starting from scratch. Collecting reviews shows both users and Google that you have a business that people trust.
The importance of user experience
You cannot fake reviews. If you want to collect customer feedback, whether that’s for trust purposes or for better visibility on search engines, you have to concentrate on providing the best possible customer experience. That’s the most important thing you can do. Customers will only feel like leaving a review if they’ve had a really bad or a really good experience, so make sure it’s the latter.
Showcasing good reviews so early in the funnel through rich snippets helps you build trust with consumers, both domestically and in new markets, before they’ve even reached your website. It also leads to an increase in click-through and conversion rates and is likely to lead to more good reviews and therefore better SEO. Think of it as a never-ending circle. Take care of your new and existing customers, collect their feedback, enhance your visibility on search engines, get more customers, take care of them, and keep going…
By now, you should understand why reviews can help your website’s SEO in each and every market. If you’d like to get started, we’ve put together a list of ways you can collect reviews to acquire rich snippets. Third-party sites can help you:
- Set up automatic emails to ask for feedback
- Use social channels to request and showcase reviews
- Reply to both positive and negative reviews. This shows how engaged your brand is and therefore encourages new customers to leave reviews too
- If you’ve got a store, don’t forget to let people know about your review profile – customers who shop offline are often more than happy to leave a review online if they’ve had a good experience!