Online reviews have become an increasing concern for businesses, as customers turn to independent reviews more and more to help them make purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, some brands are using fake reviews in an effort to enhance their reputations – this can negatively impact consumer trust and can permanently damage the brands that use them.
Still, reviews are an important element in your SEO strategy – Google uses keywords and location tags found in customer reviews to boost rankings, so it is essential to get them right.
Here are some helpful tips to engage customers and solicit honest reviews that can improve your position in search results, not to mention consumer trust in your brand.
Know your industry-specific review sites
Industry-specific review sites, like HealthGrades, The Knot and HolidayCheck, are probably where your potential customers go to for information. You should identify these sites first, then devise a strategy to get your business earning positive reviews there.
Partner with product bloggers
User reviews are different from paid blogger reviews, but these influencers can be crucial in building consumer trust for your brand. Promotion and links from trusted blogs have the potential to earn significant referral traffic and conversion rates.
Engage with reviewers
When handled appropriately, responding to reviewers can have a positive impact on your brand’s reputation, showing care for your customers and their feedback. Remember when responding to reviews – especially negative ones – that tact is crucial. Anyone reading your exchange is forming their opinion about your brand.
Reach out to satisfied customers
Happy customers leave positive reviews, so encourage these contacts to leave feedback about their experience with you.
Keep tabs on social media
Many consumers use social media to engage with brands, from reporting problems to soliciting opinions. Check social media for mentions of your company and respond to customers as quickly as possible. Keep conversations online and transparent, in full view of others who might be following the thread.
Do more than just ask customers if they like your product. Use specific questions about how people use your product or how it helped them solve a problem. These are the kinds of detailed reviews that can encourage other buyers.
Deploy these tips to encourage independent reviews of your products or services, which will simultaneously raise your search ranking and build trust with customers, thereby enhancing your brand.