Online reviews are increasing in importance as consumer behavior and technology continue to evolve. Consumers are getting savvier about comparison shopping and conducting more online research before purchasing, creating an environment where companies need to watch competitors more carefully and strengthen efforts to win conversions at the critical moments when consumers are making purchase decisions.
Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family are, by far, the best form of advertising. But online reviews are extremely valuable – nearly 80 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to a BrightLocal report.
Online reviews help foster trust and loyalty. What will consumers find on other sites about your brand or business when they search for reviews about your product or service?
While you can control what people see on your site, you can’t control what appears on review sites. This is why it’s essential to optimize the entire search experience of consumers – including the feedback customers are giving about your brand or business.
Here are some ways to get customers to engage and leave coveted reviews of your brand or business.
1. Make It Easy
If a visitor to your website wants to make a review, make sure it’s a simple process. Make it easy to find, either by promoting your listing directly on your website so customers know where to submit their reviews, or making the button to write a review highly visible.
If your company relies on crowdsourced reviews for content, like Yelp or Angie’s List, the user experience of writing a review should be exceptional. Yelp does a great job of showcasing their review form front and center, and making the minimum of submitting a review as simple as a click on the star-rating system, and clicking “post review” after the review is written.
For ecommerce companies, a great way to request a review is with a polite email that features the product name and image, sent at a time shortly after the product should’ve been received. Amazon is one example of a brand that does this well.
2. Present Reviews As An Unobtrusive Option
Many websites go about soliciting reviews in a way that is annoying and intrusive. Distracting pop-ups that appear uninvited usually do nothing but aggravate your website visitors.
We’ve all been there. We’re reading an article or browsing a product page and suddenly a pop-up obscures what we were looking at. Our knee-jerk reaction isn’t positive, which means your website is providing a negative user experience.
Better alternatives for asking for reviews is with a subtle, non intrusive pop-up, a simple appreciative email, or remarketing. You can use AdWords to target your customers who have completed a transaction. Let them know you’d love to get their feedback.
You can drop a remarketing cookie on a page that marks the end of your conversion funnel, like on your “Thank You” page after an online purchase, embedded in an online copy of their invoice, or on your online feedback forms.
You can get creative with your messaging, experiment with options other than “Please review us!” To avoid annoying your customers, set your remarketing campaign so that it terminates when they land on the desired page or after a reasonable timeframe.
3. Incentivize & Reward Reviewers
Want to incentivize users to review your brand?
- Create a splash page or special deal for customers. Share it in a follow-up email with a message encouraging them to review, or as a reward to reviewers, which can help encourage additional future reviews. This helps drive reviews and helps increase brand loyalty.
- Many companies offer a chance to win a gift card or another prize in exchange for a review.
- Yelp offers perks for “elite reviewers” in the form of exclusive deals and events.
Get creative with your incentives and offer brand-specific or even personalized prizes.
Are you making it easy for your customers to write reviews of your brand or business?