You probably already know that no form of advertising is more effective than word of mouth from friends — but did you know that 88 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations? Many shoppers will not even consider making a purchase on an item that is not thoroughly reviewed, especially Millennials.
That’s important for the brands you sell, but it’s also important because those reviews bring people to your site and help them convert.
Building SEO through reviews
Not only do online reviews build consumer confidence, they build unique content on product pages, boosting their visibility to web crawlers. Google’s algorithm is smart enough to recognize this content as review material and ranks it highly, increasing your organic rankings for the page title and keywords contained in the copy. Chances are good that reviewers will use many of the same keywords that shoppers use to search for products, so it takes much of the guesswork out of adding SEO-friendly content yourself.
Think of each product page as a landing page for your site, pulling shoppers in from search engines with its own set of SEO keywords. Additional traffic is also brought to those pages through organic search, increasing the possibility that shoppers will look at additional product pages. It’s vital to properly organize how related products link to each other and built intuitive navigation with an overall intelligent user experience.
Powerful opinions on conversion
One of the biggest mistakes retailers make is believing that the manufacturer is responsible for reviews. Regardless of how many reviews exist for a product on other sites, reviews on your site are key because customers have a tendency to buy where they research. When your product reviews are robust, chances are increased that consumers that come to learn will stay to buy. The opposite is also true: Shoppers interested in an item with zero reviews on your site are unlikely to buy it from you.
Take that one step further: Reviews can, and should, be used to induce loyalty. You can automate your system to generate emails to customers after they have made purchases that invite them to return to your site to contribute a review on the merchandise they received. Incentivize this by offering discounts that are either generalized or customized to individual purchase behavior. If someone purchases a pair of earrings, it is possible to offer them a discount on a complementary bracelet or other relevant merchandise in exchange for writing a review of the originally purchased merchandise.
For today’s omnichannel shopper, product reviews are an integral part of the journey. If you leave them to other sites, that’s where the traffic — and conversions — will take place.