Customer reviews are more important than ever before. We have seen repeatedly how reviews can singlehandedly make or break a business. And the number of consumers who read and trust online reviews is growing. This is largely down to trust. Customers trust other customers a lot more than they trust retailers and certainly much more than ordinary advertising channels. According to statistics, 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal ones, and 90% read online reviews before visiting a business. These numbers are likely to grow even further next year. Essentially, reviews have become the number one way to sell products and services online.
Raising search visibility
Apart from the trust issue, which is of course essential, reviews raise your search profile. The more people reviewing products on your online store, the better. Every new review increases the unique content on your site, which improves your ranking and ultimately helps drive more traffic to your online store. Google’s algorithm favors high-quality unique content, and leveraging your customer’s thoughts and opinions is the best and most efficient way to produce a lot of this content quickly and at a low cost. As Google’s SEO algorithms continue to grow and gain sophistication they seem to place more and more weight on reviews.
It’s all about authenticity
So with so much hinging on reviews, businesses are often tempted to fake them. It’s not so hard to create a fake IP address and put out some good content that looks just like real reviews. But beware; too many excellent reviews make customers suspicious. More than anything they are basing their opinions on trust and nothing is so good that it doesn’t have criticism. A few bad reviews make your online store seem authentic and also provide opportunities for improvement. Ultimately, consumers want the “real” reviews, and this means the good the bad and the ugly.
Reviews are digital word of mouth
Word of mouth is an essential way for businesses to grow and gain customers. Even in our digital world, face-to-face word of mouth remains a strong channel of advertising. However, it is fairly unpredictable and therefore difficult to fully plan or leverage. What’s interest to note is that online reviews are essentially the digital aspect of word of mouth marketing. They have taken something personal and translated it into online mediums that are accessible by much greater numbers than face-to-face interactions.
Bringing back voice
While digital mediums are fast and simple to use, they often lose the personal element of word of mouth. However, using different mediums can help bring the personal connection back to what has largely been an anonymous and text-based world of reviewing. With new technologies and platforms such as voice and video, online reviews are taking a step forward. It is hard to ascertain credibility when all you can see is a written comment, but when a tone of voice is brought back into the equation it is much easier to tell if a review is legitimate. For this reason, voice reviews are much better at generating trust and ultimately much better at increasing conversions.
Heyoya is a game-changing comments and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya’s new Receiver plan allows for quick and easy below-the-fold monetization. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
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