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//   by judethomas |

Why Customer Reviews are Essential and How to Add Them to Your Site

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Reviews have become an integral part of the purchase process for many consumers. In fact, according to BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Since today’s consumers are that focused on seeing what others have to say about your product/company, it is essential that you make it easy for potential customers to find reviews on your site.

There are many ways to incorporate reviews on your site as well as many benefits to doing so. Find out the various ways below along with the potential impact on conversions and possible SEO benefits.

Customer Testimonials

One of the most effective types of reviews are customer testimonials. In general, these are reviews from satisfied customers that you collect yourself. This is typically more applicable to a company offering services rather than products.

The most effective spot to highlight your customer testimonials is on your homepage. You may also find a couple other spots throughout your site to include testimonials, such as your About page or even product/service pages. This can really be customized to your site and what works best with your existing site structure.

Let’s take a look at how a couple different companies have incorporated customer testimonials into their sites. For example, Source Capital Funding takes a unique approach by creating a “Testimonials” page where they feature pictures of handwritten notes from satisfied customers. This really gives the testimonials a personalized touch and shows that they are genuine reviews from customers.

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Our next example comes from Community Tax. They take a more traditional approach to displaying testimonials by simply including the customer quote on the homepage. What makes their approach different is specific to their industry – by including how much money the customer owed in back taxes (liability), they further prove how good their services are as they helped their customer with that amount of tax debt.

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Elements of an Impactful Customer Testimonial

Whenever possible, include the customer’s name, photo, title, and company/organization if applicable. These items establish the credibility of the reviewer, and customers are more likely to trust what the customer has to say about your company. Make sure to highlight a variety of reviewers; this will increase the likelihood of a relatable review.

Fitbit offers a great example of creating impactful testimonials. Instead of just including a photo of the satisfied customer, they actually include a video of the customer explaining their experience in their own words.

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Not every company can afford to create such high quality videos, though. It’s perfectly fine to take a less costly approach, like FreeAgent did, and simply display the customer’s headshot next to their glowing review.

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Product Reviews

While customer testimonials are better for businesses offering services, product reviews can be very useful for e-commerce site. Since online shoppers have the ability to compare products at the click of a button, it is important to offer product reviews on your site so that the user doesn’t have to leave your website to find these reviews. Typically, when you incorporate product reviews on your site you do so directly on the product page and sometimes on the category page (where all products are listed).

There are a variety of different platforms you can use to add product reviews to your site, Google Reviews being the most popular. This post offers a great step by step process on how to get your reviews on your site.

Let’s take a look at how BioClarity uses product reviews to encourage site visitors to take the next step and make a purchase. They include the product reviews directly above the product name. Once the user clicks to view more, they are able to view the entire list of reviews. The user is more likely to make a purchase seeing as there are so many positive reviews.

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Another approach is to include the product reviews in the category page, as Kratom does. Below you’ll see that the product on the left has fewer stars than the product on the right. While this may cause more users to choose the right product over the left, seeing as both products are highly reviewed, it probably won’t have a significant impact on conversions.

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It is not always necessary to include your reviews on your site, though. You may find that there is other information that you want to provide consumers that takes up valuable real estate on the page. FTD takes this approach but still offers visitors a way to view reviews if they are interested. This link take the user to their Google Reviews page.

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Search Engine Ranking Benefits

Enabling customer reviews on your website will affect your business’s search engine rankings. By having reviews on your website you can increase your authority and relevance, therefore contributing to a boost in rankings.

You can code a microformat for reviews to direct search engine crawlers. Search engine crawlers index reviews and display them right in the SERP, which may not necessarily have SEO benefit, but it could contribute to your click-through rate.

Additionally, off-site reviews can positively impact your search engine rankings. Google’s algorithm incorporates data from a number of third-party review sites that can be seen in the SERP, as well.

Increased Conversions

Reviews for your products and services will lead to an increased conversion rate, even the “bad ones”. A mix of positive and negative reviews will be more believable to the consumer. Consumers value authenticity over perfection. Having a bunch of only 5-star reviews will look suspicious to customers.

The blend of reviews will make the positive reviews hold more of an impact. The more honest reviews you have, the more likely the customer will complete the sale (as long as there isn’t an overwhelming amount of negative reviews).

Conclusion

Reviews are arguably the most effective form of marketing. It is essential that you track and monitor your online reputation – it can prove to be a beneficial practice in improving many aspects of your business. Take what customers are saying about your products or services and use that to your advantage. Ultimately, you’re looking to show consumers how great your product is and encourage them to make a purchase, so get reviews added to your site, and watch your conversions increase.

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