Using customer reviews to drive CTR and conversions

Using customer reviews to drive CTR  and conversions
Don Ross is the President of the Americas at Trustpilot, one of the fastest-growing global online review communities with 30 million reviews of 160,000 businesses. For more information, read Trustpilot’s white paper, “Five Ways Reviews Amplify Your Marketing”.

Consumers have never been so empowered, with information, insights, and analysis at their fingertips.

However, we are also living in the age of distrust, with Edelman’s 2017 Trust Barometer reporting the largest-ever drop in trust across institutions of government, business, media and NGOs. 

Put simply, consumers are more skeptical than ever and are changing the way they make purchasing decisions.

consumers are more skeptical than ever and are changing the way they make purchasing decisions

Today, more than 80% of people trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. It makes sense; without the ability to try or see products before purchasing them online, consumers have to make a decision based on trust.

However, recent statistics make a very compelling point: Reviews are one of the best conversion tools and can help boost sales in a very short time. According to a Vendasta survey, 92% of consumers read reviews before buying online, and 68% of them are more likely to make a purchase if the product has ratings and reviews.

Econsultancy found that reviews increase sales by 18% on average.

Customer reviews now represent a real asset to marketers, and harnessing their power can lead to tangible results.

SERPs

One of the most valuable benefits of online reviews is the increased visibility they provide for search engines.

It’s hard to stand out from competitors when everyone is trying to build and grow their online reputation and visibility. However, 8.4% of a site’s search visibility in local search depends on whether or not it has online reviews.

everyone is trying to build and grow their online reputation and visibility

Search engines aren’t just listening to what marketers say about their brands; they’re also listening to what customers have to say, and SEO rankings are now placing more weight than ever on that feedback.

In 2016, reviews influenced 10% of rankings, and there’s no sign of that slowing down. Customer feedback is likely to remain a valuable form of user-generated content that search engines crawl and place an increasingly higher level of value contributing to the algorithmic results.

Rich Snippets

Online reviews can help marketers acquire Google Rich snippets, structured data markup that site operators can add to their existing HTML.

Rich snippets allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page. Translation: More SEO bang for your buck. The additional markup can help websites stand out in SERPs.

Google Seller Ratings

Google Seller Ratings are an automated extension type that showcases advertisers with high ratings.

seller ratings can help marketers improve ad performance

Google gathers seller ratings from reputable sources, including Trustpilot, that aggregate business reviews. Showing below text ads, seller ratings help people searching on Google to find businesses that offer quality service.

Seller ratings can help marketers improve ad performance and earn more qualified leads. Google Seller Ratings apply to brands with at least 150 unique reviews and an average rating of 3.5 stars, but once they are acquired they can help marketers increase online visibility and stand out from other ads.

Conversions

For marketing teams who are having trouble proving the ROI, reviews are an easy way to succeed in making a measurable impact.

In 2016, retaining visitors was one of the biggest issues in the eCommerce industry, with an average cart abandonment rate of 69.23%. Displaying third-party validation on a website demonstrates trust, reliability, and transparency, which is likely to lower bounce rate and increase conversions.

reviews are an easy way to succeed in making a measurable impact

In fact, nearly half of digital buyers worldwide say that reading reviews, comments, and feedback influence their digital shopping behaviour.

Customers are now looking for proof that a product or service is the right choice for them, and customer reviews provide that proof from an authentic and independent source.

Customer Support

Today’s consumers want to purchase from brands who really care. Building a close relationship with existing customers can help marketers prove they take a customer-centric approach.

Third-party review platforms allow brands to directly engage with customers, especially unhappy ones.

Negative reviews will surface from time to time, but 95% of unhappy customers return if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. Replying to customers and showing their feedback is valued goes a long way towards building reputation, brand loyalty and, in turn, repeat business.

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