By Carol Jagic
Online reviews. Love them or not, it’s now a fact that consumer reviews play a vital role in driving your product sales. According to the 2018 Nielson Connected Commerce Report, there are currently 4 billion people online, and almost 93% of them are connecting on their mobile device. There is no market in the world where growth isn’t coming from online sales. With online search being the first, and often deciding, step in the path to purchase, having a solid review strategy is essential for any marketing plan.
Importance of reviews in search ranking
Every marketer knows that achieving top ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is essential for winning customers during key stages in their decision path. As effective as a good SEM strategy is, consumers engage with organic search results at much greater levels. Rich content, such as user images and video, as well as reviews which have been clicked as useful, feed into the organic search algorithm. Whatever ecommerce site your product is on, your average rating and number of reviews will be displayed on that first search results page.
Engage your reviewers for better SERP results
Real customers providing authentic, rich content will greatly enhance your digital brand health. In an Insider’s Case Study, we introduced a group of engaged Insiders to our target product. Through intensive community management we educated and stimulated their interaction with the product’s features. The resulting reviews, social media posts, and videos all went towards ensuring top ranking on the SERP page for the duration of our campaign. The key to the success of this campaign was that our Insiders’ reviews were detailed and informed, thereby providing quality content both for our client and for any search engine’s algorithm.
Move from one-off to an ongoing review strategy
Now that we know how quality reviews increase organic search results, it’s important to have a strategy which provides a consistent result throughout the life cycle of your product. A robust review maintenance and growth plan will provide your customers with unique, up to date content on an ongoing basis. This program should include a re-engagement of your brand ambassadors at regular intervals, as well as a responsive mechanism which can be easily executed in case of any ratings decrease.
Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Leveraged properly, your brand ambassadors will help keep your product top of search, and therefore top of mind.
Image: Rohit Tandon @unsplash