Marketing Advice

How to Maximize the ROI of Customer Reviews

By Ryan Gilmore on November, 16 2015

How to Maximize the ROI of Customer Reviews

There's no way for a business today to avoid the impact that customer reviews can have on its reputation. A lot of consumers will evaluate these reviews before they decide whether or not to make a purchase from a given company. Others will turn to reviews as the starting point for their search for a product or service. And if a customer has an unsatisfying experience with a company, there's a good chance he or she will express that displeasure in a review.

All of this can make business leaders nervous. After all, that's a lot of pressure. 

But that's the wrong attitude. Instead of worrying, business leaders should be thinking about how to make the most out of their customer reviews. With the right approach, customer reviews can deliver major ROI. Here's a quick look at why customer reviews can be so valuable, along with three key strategies for generating more customer reviews:

Customer Reviews Benefit Your SEO

When used correctly, customer reviews can improve the quality of your search engine optimization. 

Most business leaders recognize that search engine optimization is incredibly important. What they don't realize is that customer reviews can have a major impact on search rankings.

YotPo contributor Aime Millwood recently highlighted several of the leading reasons why customer reviews can positively affect SEO. First and foremost, search engines value new content when determining their rankings, and customer reviews provide exactly that. Reviews also naturally identify long-tail keywords and develop link connections, which further boosts SEO. Additionally, these reviews can improve social media optimization, which in turn will contribute to overall SEO.

Leverage Rich Snippets 

Rich snippets can help you see better clickthrough rates on search result pages. 

It's also important to note that reviews can have a strong, positive impact on snippets and click-through rates, as Moz contributor Selena Narayansamy explained. The writer pointed out that snippets - the lines of information that appear near a Google search result - help users to determine what a webpage contains, and therefore whether it's worth visiting. Snippets that contain customer reviews and ratings will lead to better click-through rates from organic searches, and help to draw attention to companies' products and services. 

How to Get More Customer Reviews 

Applying the following strategies will help you secure more high-quality reviews from your customers. 

With that in mind, it's clear to see that customer reviews are important. Now, let's take a look at some strategies you can embrace in order to get more of them and maximize their value for your business. 

  1. Ask for reviews.
    This may seem really obvious, but a lot of companies fail to take this basic step. Odds are that your business will have a lot of customers who would be willing to provide a review, but they need to be prompted - they won't take this step without some motivation. 

This is an issue for two reasons.

  • First, it limits the number of positive customer reviews, which limits their ROI potential. 
  • Second, those customers who have negative experiences will need less motivation to provide reviews. That can skew a company's performance on aggregator websites, such as Yelp and Epinions, which collect together consumer feedback to produce a straightforward score. And a low score can turn off potential customers. 

To overcome this, companies should offer incentives for customers to write reviews. This can take the form of discounts, coupons or anything else with real value. By encouraging customers to write reviews, businesses will improve their overall pool of feedback and the ROI of these resources. 

  1. Display them prominently
    Positive customer reviews are only valuable if other consumers actually see them. There's no reason to simply sit back and hope that potential consumers come across these reviews. Instead, firms should actively promote and display them. 

The most obvious option here is to feature the reviews on the company's website. This way, anyone who comes to the site will inevitably see the positive experience and satisfaction that others have enjoyed, without having to do any additional research. 

Additionally, Entrepreneur Magazine contributor Brian Sutter recommended that businesses try to get their customers' reviews posted on industry-related websites. This may involve asking customers to use these specific sites or contacting the sites directly. However, it may be wise to reserve this direct approach for only your best customers and most loyal advocates, as they will be the most likely to accommodate such a request. Whatever specific strategy you embrace, though, displaying customer reviews prominently is a worthwhile step for maximizing ROI.

  1. Share on social channels
    To further ensure that positive customer reviews are viewed, businesses need to leverage social media. A YotPo eBook revealed that visitors who reach a website via Twitter will spend 35 percent more time there and are 8.4 times more likely to convert into customers. To see these returns, companies should again offer concrete incentives for customers who post and share their reviews on social networks and personally thank anyone who does so. 

Taken together, these steps can help to ensure that a company is generating and benefiting from its customer reviews for the greatest possible ROI. 

If you're a Zoey customer, be sure to check out YotPo! It's our recommended app for getting and leveraging customer reviews. If you're not a Zoey customer, we invite you to start a free 14 day trial today

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