How Online Reviews Affect Your Bottom Line
Reputation. In this product, service, message inundated online network called the internet, your business is competing. Search engine optimization plays a critical role in creating visibility for your business, but it is your customers’ experience and voice who will determine what your brand represents. With over 2.8 billion social media users globally, building SEO with online reviews is a critical component of any digital strategy and can affect your bottom line.
Rare are the businesses whose products or services are unique. With a multitude of options available, 90% of consumers are checking out online reviews first before shopping at a new business. It is their conversations that are driving new purchases to your site or to your competitor. No reviews mean no visibility.
The Google Factor
Organic traffic from SEO is one of the best sources of web traffic for businesses. While there are many elements involved in ranking, the number of reviews you have is a key factor. Google looks at your reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and Google. The more reviews the more SEO opportunity. After all, why would Google want to prioritize your business in the search rank if it has no ratings?
Remarketing and Recycling
Earned and organic reviews online are social proof that customers are engaging with your business. Maximize SEO opportunities by re-using positive reviews in other digital initiatives including sharing on social platforms like Facebook, posting on your website, or utilizing in email marketing campaigns.
Ask to Receive
Build online reviews by simply asking for one. When a customer shares a positive experience, ask them to write about it. Code a post-purchase review into your shopping cart program. Send a follow-up email. Make it easy by providing direct links to review websites. Since responses are best fresh, reviews should be requested immediately following the customer’s experience.
To Buy or Not to Buy
While asking is okay, purchasing or incentivizing is not. Taking a ‘short cut’ through the creation of fake reviews can cause considerable damage to your business in the long-term. Consumers do not want to be duped and will go to great lengths to let their community know when they feel misled. In addition to its being an ethical issue, some states including New York’ state general are acting against companies who choose to intentionally deceive through false reviews.
When a Review Goes Bad
Giving control to your customer’s voice means being prepared to also receive negative feedback. You may be inclined to disregard a complaint, but as fiction writer Johnathan Carroll once said, “not responding, is a response.” Give an angry consumer access to your online community and it will explode if not addressed. Adopt a solid customer service process for nurturing an unhappy consumer. By providing a prompt response and directly addressing the issue, potential customers will know that even when something goes wrong, you are willing to respond quickly and fix it.
SEO and reputation management is essential to building an effective marketing strategy. You can choose to play an active role in determining how your customers might speak about you, or you can let them decide what to say. Encouraging and generating customer reviews needs a solid plan. Reviews require daily monitoring. Capture Digital Marketing can help manage the good and convert the bad while improving the ranking and visibility of your business.
Capture Digital Marketing specializes in creative solutions to help businesses optimize their digital presence through website development, online marketing, and individualized SEO services. Our team of professionals work with small and mid-size companies, entrepreneurs, and independent business owners, to develop digital strategies that drive revenue. For more information, contact us today at (561) 630-3699.