10/10 Would Recommend: Leveraging Reviews and Testimonials in the Digital Age

January 12th, 2016 by Laird McIver

88% Of People Are Influenced By An Online Review Image

Before booking a room at a hotel or making a reservation at a new restaurant, do you read the online reviews? In a survey sponsored by Zendesk, 88% of the 1,046 participants were influenced by an online review when “making a buying decision.” This statistic is not limited to businesses like restaurants and hotels, as it applies to businesses across industries.

Using Feedback for Brand Awareness

Reviews and testimonials have traditionally provided insights into how a business can better serve its customers. With the evolution of digital marketing, the role of reviews and testimonials has also evolved. Feedback about customer experiences is now critical for gaining new clients. With so many consumers turning to the Internet before opening their wallets, reviews and testimonials are user-generated content that drives consumer decisions. A review and testimonial webpage showcases real customer experiences and creates a new, powerful platform for interaction between businesses and customers.

Having a regularly updated review or testimonial page on a website is a great way to communicate the quality of services and the individuality of your business to potential customers. Authentic reviews on Google+, social media websites, and niche review sites like Yelp or BBB will also promote your brand. In the digital age, consumer interaction via these platforms is an affordable and necessary method of gaining new leads.

Reviews, brands, and businesses

Reviews and Testimonials for SEO

SEO rankings are not just based on what you have to say about your business. As Google continually alters its algorithm for increased transparency, consumer content—what other people have to say about the business—is impacting SEO.

When Google searches for your keyword, fresh user-generated content differentiates a webpage and reduces risks associated with duplicate content. By incorporating reviews in a website, your business is maximizing its ability to rank high and increase traffic.

A review and testimonial web page also presents an opportunity to enhance an SEO structure. Reviewers may include keywords or backlinks, helping to naturally optimize the website for improved rankings. A review feature allows you to put customers to work for you, secretly shaping your SEO structure without lifting a finger.

The Importance of Authenticity

Remember that reviews and testimonials are real-life recommendations. There may be some negative ones, and that’s ok. Econsultancy reports that 68% of consumers actually trust online reviews more when they see a mixture of both positive and negative feedback. As long as the negative reviews make up a minority of the feedback, a business should expect beneficial outcomes.

Since a review and testimonial web page is a space that can help reduce the risk of duplicate content, a quality review is not a simple, bland statement. Comments such as “Great service!” or “Quick response time” may not help a SEO campaign. These reviews also fail to highlight what makes your business unique, superior, and reliable. An effective review or testimonial does not necessarily have to be long, but it should showcase what makes your business stand apart from the competition. Particularly good reviews can be placed in a spot of prominence in a website or even used as a social media post.

Your business already has a great reputation. Why not put that reputation online? In the digital age, leveraging reviews and testimonials for marketing and SEO purposes can put you one click ahead of the competition.

Image Sources:

Brand/Consumer Interaction Image
5-Star Review GIF