A strong brand is the most powerful asset that any business can have, and one of the best tools for growing your brand is the online review.
Reviews can get your name, your values, and your quality products and services in front of countless potential customers and collaborators. A great review can enhance your brand and grow your sales, while too many negative ones can damage your reputation.
Research backs this up too, with 94% of customers choosing to avoid brands because of bad reviews, while websites that display reviews are 63% more likely to get sales than websites that don’t.
To see how online reviews can enhance your brand, view the eight points below.
Search engines are the best way to increase your brand’s visibility online because 51% of all website traffic is the result of organic search. To show up in relevant search results, you need to develop a robust SEO and Local SEO strategy, and reviews are an important part of this.
Here are 3 ways reviews help to boost your SEO and get your brand noticed in search engine results:
- Reviews are a top-three ranking factor for Local SEO, meaning customer reviews will help you appear higher in local Google search queries
- Google Reviews provide fresh content and keywords for your business, which you don’t even need to write. This is great for your SEO efforts
- In general, people spend more time on your website when there is user-generated content (e.g. reviews, comments) to interact with
You need potential customers to know, like, and trust your brand. People might know your brand because they’ve seen it in search results. They might like the look of what you have to offer. But only when they trust you is that relationship at its strongest.
Online reviews help you increase trust in your brand simply because people trust online reviews. In fact, 91% of consumers surveyed (aged 18-34) trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
The more positive reviews you get on sites like Google, Bing, Facebook, and Yelp, the more people will see these reviews they trust, and the more they will feel like they can trust you too.
Reviews play a role in helping you appear credible and genuine, and this is thanks to negative reviews as much as it is positive ones.
When people look at brands with too many good reviews and not many bad ones, they think it’s too good to be true. Fake reviews certainly exist – both positive and negative – but even an excess of genuine happy reviews could have this effect.
Even one overly positive review in isolation could be seen as not credible, with research from Harvard Business School confirming that moderately positive reviews are more trustworthy than glowing ones.
The key takeaway here is that you shouldn’t lose sleep over some less than positive reviews. As long as you have a good amount of reviews and the positives still outweighs the negatives, your brand’s credibility will remain intact.
Reviews can increase the conversation about your brand. There are so many places to leave a review on the internet, from Yelp to Google, Yellow Pages to Facebook, and even your website. The more places people are talking about you, the more reach your brand can have.
Furthermore, you can engage in constructive and positive conversations with your customers by responding to reviews. Responding to all reviews is best practice because it shows that you’re willing to engage with your customers and you’re concerned about solving the problems prompted in negative reviews.
According to BrightLocal, 97% of people who read reviews also read a business’s response, so when you’re replying to one review you’re sending a message to all existing and potential customers.
Reviews increase conversions because they may be the difference between a customer buying and not buying your products. In fact, displaying five reviews next to a product can increase sales by 270% compared to products with no reviews
This is because reviews serve as a form of social proof, which allows people to make decisions (such as the decision to buy) based on the experiences of others, rather than having to do further research themselves.
Increase Control of Your Brand Image
A branded search is when someone searches for your brand rather than your products or services. For example, searching for “iPhones” instead of “smartphones”. If your brand has been reviewed across multiple websites, these reviews can show up in branded searches.
While you can’t directly control how people review you online, there are many strategies to promote positive reviews. Furthermore, many reviews could lead customers to webpages you do control, such as social media profiles or your website.
Increase Your Understanding
Understanding your target market is the key to growing your brand and selling your products or services. Online reviews can be a goldmine for finding out what your customers think and better understanding them.
Just some of the things that reviews can give you an insight into include:
- What customers don’t understand about your offerings
- What customers dislike about your products and services
- What changes customers would like to see to your brand
- What you’re doing right (and therefore what you can emphasise in the future)
Increase Your Opportunities
Once you know what your customers do and don’t like, you can take advantage of new marketing and promotional activities. These activities can build your brand and help you grow your sales.
For example, if online reviews indicate that customers share a common concern, you can create content that addresses that concern and explains how you will overcome it.
By looking at positive reviews, you can identify ideas for content, calls-to-action, and other elements of your campaigns. After all, why wouldn’t you want to emphasise the elements of your brand that you know customers love?
Now It’s Time to Enhance Your Brand with Online Reviews
With all these great benefits for your brand, there’s no reason not to put some effort into online reviews. To get customers to leave you reviews on specific sites, send them a message with a direct link to the review page. For example, to generate a direct link to your Google review page, try the free Supple Reviews Tool from Supple Digital.
Start generating and utilising online reviews today and see the difference this makes for your brand.