Ratings and reviews are essential for new and existing brands and have a variety of benefits for brand success, SEO, and visibility. It can also build online knowledge for brands, help customers make informed purchasing decisions and increase customer confidence and trust when scaling ratings and reviews. They also increase credibility, authenticity, and conversations that drive conversion. Reviews are an important validation process for consumers, with 93% of online customers reading reviews and 91% trust them (Qualtrics.com, 2020). Therefore, today we will be discussing the importance of ratings and reviews along with how they can affect and influence your business and reputation.
Businesses should value the opinions of their customers and be open to honest and reliable feedback. This demonstrates the brand has nothing to hide and consumers have faith in your brand and products. Don't be afraid of the occasional bad review, at the end of the day, we cant please everyone. Bad reviews can help customers build trust because they see a range of both positive and negative reviews. This shows that reviews are more reliable and based on real customers who are unbiased.
The content of reviews play a critical part of helping consumers make informed decisions. They provide detailed information on products and help potential consumers make purchase decisions. They provide clear insights on the intricacies of the product which might not be possible to communicate through traditional methods of marketing. This helps consumers obtain honest insight to understand if the product is a good fit for their requirements.
By enabling new consumers to access all essential information to them personally, before trying a new product, it ensures they are well informed and reduces the chances of disappointment, in-turn, resulting in increased consumer satisfaction. If negative reviews are dominating a product, people will be less likely to purchase. Reviews typically have a domino effect for brands, the more reviews a product has, the more people are able to educate themselves prior to purchase, ensuring only the right consumer profiles are purchasing the product.
Online reviews are another form of marketing for your brand but in an indirect, unbiased form. They project the voice of consumers, to consumers, driving awareness, reach, credibility and sales. In frequently maintained with fresh reviews, it also creates continual brand awareness and reputation. Reviews can also provide content for wider, online and offline advertising campaigns.
Trust and reputation
Replying to both positive and negative reviews allows you to build a closer relationship with your customers and increases online interaction. It also allows you to understand the consumers needs, expectations, and habits, helping you understand your audience demographics, trends, and how to meet expectations. It shows that you care about your customers and are invested in maintaining the business’s reputation.
Frequently engaging with consumers who invest time into a brand helps build powerful communities. By engaging with consumers reviews published online, it increases the chance of them following other marketing channels such as social media and brand groups. These communities become a valuable asset to a brand as they are much easier to reach and are far more likely to engage. This can provide instant access for NPD launches and brand communication.
In a world dominated by mass brands, spending power and budget size, ratings and reviews enable smaller brands to compete and standout against larger brands. It creates a level playing field for small brands to demonstrate and communicate their benefits to new consumers when they aren't able to compete against brands with mass marketing budgets.
Increased traffic and SEO
Search engines work with product reviews, driving traffic to brand and product websites. Products with more reviews appear higher in search results, attracting more organic traffic. Reviews help improve SEO and User-Generated Content provides Google with content and keywords found in reviews; thus boosting SEO which is estimated to be as much as 10% of the ranking factors on Google (21digital.agency, 2019). An increase in reviews lead to increased visibility, which in-turn, drives more click-throughs, increased conversions, sales and revenue. You also get more interaction with your organic rankings and paid ads, enticing potential customers to click through to a product page. This further increases the conversion rate from visitor to customer, increasing the trust in your product and acting as free advertising tool.
Being successful as a brand requires you to be visible. Most online shoppers search on Google or Amazon, and these sites have search algorithms that can favour brands with customer reviews, such as Google’s paid AdWords and optimisation. Google attaches positive ratings from products to AdWords ads, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Data from Google reviews are also used in star rating extensions, and these are important for businesses. They are based on reviews from Google product listing ads and Google Shopping. These can increase click-through rates by up to 17% (Reviews.io, 2019).
Amazon also has a specific review system with Amazon prized reviewers. Getting a positive review from Amazon’s prized reviewers can help increase sales. Amazon product reviews and ratings also create the buyers’ portal allowing customers to look at your product ratings.
Reviews have the power to influence consumer’s decisions and strengthen credibility and trust, also encouraging interaction with the company. This customer interaction leads to high profits and happier customers. Here at Free4you, we help empower customers to make informed purchasing decisions. Did you know that 94% of consumers research online prior to purchase? (Retailtimes, 2018) Therefore, it is important to have accessible reviews for consumers. This is why we aim to maximise brand ratings and reviews at scale and efficiently, working with retailers such as Amazon, Boots, Tesco and many more. You can learn more about us on our website or follow our social media pages to keep up to date with our latest updates.