Online Reviews – A Dual Purpose
A message to ecommerce merchants: your diligent efforts to run a thriving business and gain satisfied customers may pay off in a way you’d never imagined, by just putting one strategy to use.
By now, collecting and publishing customer reviews is a household concept. Studies show that consumers making a first-time purchase decision often divert their eyes automatically to the review score, even if they do it subconsciously. This might not be a fair measure of a product or service, but get used to it. It’s here to stay.
But there’s something you haven’t considered, and it is a big deal. Customer reviews posted on your site will improve your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings. Algorithms in Google alone show how advantageous that can be.
When customers offer detailed reviews of a product, they may include a specific word string of the function or features of their purchase. Example: “I was searching for a good wireless mouse that would pair with my keyboard for smooth operation” just happens to be a keyword string that registers. The phrase “good wireless mouse” reflects a common search phrase that potential buyers enter into a search engine. Boom. You’re there.
Want some motivation to give this a try? Here are stats collected by Brightlocal.com:
As with anything else, using this strategy does not come without the need for attention to quality and service. If you aren’t staying on top of customer complaints, you may find your reviews are reflecting that. The idea is to develop a solid plan for every facet of your business, from the listing, to the ease of use, to the sale, and finally, to the follow-up.
Most experts encourage a two- to three-day time span after delivery to e-mail a customer and gently ask for a review. Make sure they are satisfied, first, and then encourage them to participate. The stars model seems to work nicely, with one to five or so, and a window for the buyer to enter a short (or long, upping the SEO factor) description of what they liked or disliked about the product or service.
As noted in the stats list, reply windows that allow expressions of thanks, and even explanations and apologies under each review are useful. But be careful not to overdo that, as it may look cumbersome and even defensive. Do it just right, and you’re on your way to becoming a favored vendor.
Are you a data nerd? Hop on over to Moz.com and take in this data-rich analysis of search ranking factors.
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