Benefits of Customer Reviews You Can’t Ignore

Are the benefits of customer reviews and recommendations worth the risk of exposure? They are and there is a lot of data to prove it.

Allowing product reviews and displaying client testimonials have a direct impact on a website’s lead generation efforts and an e-commerce site’s product sales. And guess what? Custom reviews can also help with local SEO efforts.

That’s a whole lot of goodness that shouldn’t be ignored. I want you to be a believer, so let’s explore each scenario in a little more depth.

Customer Reviews Help With Product Sales, Lead Generation, and Overall Website Conversions

An Invesp article, titled The Importance Of Online Customer Reviews, gives hard numbers to the power and impact of reviews.

88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

According to Moz.com’s article, titled New Study: Data Reveals 67% of Consumers are Influenced by Online Reviews, reviews don’t just help conversions, they highly alter the buyer’s purchase decision.

The results revealed that online reviews impact 67.7% of respondents’ purchasing decisions. More than half of the respondents (54.7%) admitted that online reviews are fairly, very, or absolutely an important part of their decision-making process.

I can validate those claims by our own sales activity. I’ve had multiple prospective clients reference our testimonials, product reviews, or recommendations from third party sources. They provide examples of things they’ve read and state that this information helped them convert into a lead or purchase.

Recommendations Help With Local SEO

Online user reviews help validate a website’s reputation and they help weed out underperforming businesses while also highlighting exceptional businesses. Google wants it’s users to be happy, so by default, it will encourage users to visit those businesses who provide a positive user experience. User reviews help Google understand what local business can deliver a quality experience to its users.

That said Google will only utilize user reviews to influence search ranking at the local level. Google has stated they do not include user review data at the national level when deciding where to rank a web page.

Examples of how recommendations and reviews alter search results in Google:

Scenario #1 – User searches for “divorce lawyer” on a desktop computer
In Google, this will use local search results and pull data from Google My Business.
User reviews are included in the decision to rank a given website or page.

Scenario #2 – User searches for “business software” on a desktop computer
In Google, this will use national search results only.
User reviews are not included in the decision to rank a given website or page.

Scenario #3 – User searches for “yoga” on an iPhone or other mobile device
In Google, this will use local search results and pull data from Google My Business.
User reviews are included in the decision to rank a given website or page.

This means having valid online reviews will help increase your ability to rank for local search, so SEO value they offer makes them well worth your effort to obtain and monitor activity.

Reviews and Ratings Help with Click Through Rates in Search

Consider the following results from Google for the search phrase of “estate agent.” This is a local based search so Google immediately displays listings from the Google My Business directory. When you look at the results below, which one catches your eye?

The Watersons Hale on Main listing, with the review stars, stands out and is like a calling card for the visitor to click through to the website. You can’t help but notice the listing with the most reviews and multiple star ratings and ignore the listings less lower reviews or no ratings.

Such start ratings can come from Google’s local listings or they can come from websites that offer rich snippets (review data). Both are a powerful force for increasing visibility in search engine results pages and increasing traffic to your website.

Does Your Website Offer Reviews and Testimonials?

If your website doesn’t highlight customer reviews, consider adding this into your next website design refresh. These can easily implemented by a code snippet we can supply you. Changing content on your homepage especially from Google is great for local SEO.

Custom reviews don’t need to be over used or intrusive. They simply need to be available to help offer the social proof that helps convert visitors into leads and revenue.

The benefits of custom reviews and recommendations outweigh the time required to add them into your existing website or online store.