Today, online reviews are more important than ever. If you want to increase your customer base and boost sales, then online reviews can make or break your business. As well as providing a general assessment of your business, most reviews give you an overall ranking. According to research, 94% of customers would use a business with a 4 star rating, while only 14% would do business with a 1 or 2 star business. Online reviews also help your search engine rankings; driving more traffic to your site and most importantly, helping to convert more site visitors to customers. The infographic snippets from websitebuilder.org used below, capture some of the key statistics when it comes to online reviews. For the full infographic, click here.
The importance of user-generated content
User-generated content or UGC is crucial for creating buzz around your business. In fact, consumer reviews are trusted 12 times more than marketing or descriptions that come from brands themselves. The big difference between traditional advertising and reviews is authenticity. Reading a customer review is that much more convincing because you know the person who wrote the review is not an employee or advertising executive; they are another user who is genuinely excited over the brand and what it has to offer. Of course, authenticity relies on the fact that your reviews are real. So, if a user suspects fake reviews, the overall effectiveness will be lower.
Reviews convert to sales
Reviews aren’t just there to improve your overall search ranking, and help build up a strong reputation, they also convert directly to higher sales. Research shows that better reviews mean a stronger reputation and more conversions. Looking at the travel industry we find that a one-point increase for hotels results in a proportional increase in levels of hotel occupancy. And this is true of other industries as well. In fact, 50 or more reviews can lead to an increase of nearly 5% in conversion rates. While it may seem like all 50 of these reviews would need to be positive and 5-star, the truth is that negative reviews can also be a force for growth. An occasional negative review can actually be a good thing as it lends authenticity to your brand. After all, a 100% positive rating just doesn’t seem realistic – no one can please everyone all the time. But make sure not to get too many negative reviews as this can cause a decline in sales.
Making the most of reviews
Since reviews are so important, how can you make the most of them? There are a few simple tips that can help you better leverage online reviews. To begin with, it’s important to interact. Reviews shouldn’t just be static user comments on your site. If someone thanks you, thank them back. If you have a negative review, try and address it (politely and in a constructive way). Another way to radically improve your reviews is to explore other options in terms of media. For a long time reviews have been exclusively text-based. The problem is, text is inherently ambiguous. It’s hard to tell tone – and this is especially difficult if someone is being sarcastic or ironic. Using voice is a great way to eliminate this ambiguity and make reviews much more personal. Voice reviews can help you create a better conversation with your users and ultimately increase sales even more than text-based reviews.
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 through native advertising. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, click here.