Everyone wants good user reviews. It’s a given that they will boost your profile and reputation as a company. But, how do they do that? And can they help you even if they’re negative? To a certain extent, yes they can. We’re taking a look at all the ways reviews can help you – or not. Read our guide to know how to use one to your advantage.
Increase your visibility
Reviews, by their very nature, draw attention to your brand. So that means, whether positive or negative, they are at least fulfilling the point of getting eyes on your brand. They can act as a conversation starter, where people can discuss their experience with you. However, the problems they might bring up, is up to you to solve. They allow you to publicly demonstrate you actively manage your reputation by responding and improving based on feedback. This strengthens your brand image.
Plus, review volume and sentiment factor into placement and prominence on influential directories like Yelp, Apple Maps, etc. and positive sentiment and stories in customer reviews humanize your brand and can help attract potential customers related to the reviewer.
Customers will use recognised resources that aggregate reviews on similar things. For instance, those looking for online casinos available in Canada will head to casino.org because they value the expertise and writing on the site. Getting reviewed on these sites puts in direct comparison with competitors and gets you in front of a big audience, improving your visibility.
All of this amounts to more engagement on your site and socials, which will feed back into algorithms.
Increase your SEO
Reviews, whether positive or negative, will boost your SEO. They create fresh, unique content that search engines love. Google factors in online ones into their Google search results, resulting in a drive to boosting your appearance in results. The more reviews you have, the more content there is for search engines to index, which can boost your visibility. Additionally, they’re likely to use keywords that you will want to be ranking for, such as your industry or speciality, so the more you get, the higher you are naturally going to rank. You can help to boost this by responding to ones that use your targeted keywords.
Reviews are often hosted on high domain authority websites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. Having your business name and links on these reputed sites passes authority to your own website. And authority is important to any business website, not only because users will see you and trust you more, giving a boost to your real world reputation, but authority gets you backlinks, and backlinks boost your SEO, for a nice cycle in the system.
Plus, they build your local search presence on Google Maps and other directories. Higher ratings and more reviews raise your local ranking. This means you aren’t wasting valuable views and data on Joe Schmo from Australia who isn’t going to visit your gym in Croatia.
Improve your customer service
Reviews go hand in hand with customer service. The point of a review is to express how your experience with a brand went, and your customer services are their first point of contact with the brand. This might be a chatbot, a call centre, or in the case of small businesses, even an owner.
However, even negative ones can help customer service in a number of important ways. First and foremost, people are blunt. They are going to tell you what they perceive you to be doing wrong. This means objective feedback on what your customers feel you do well at and where you need improvement. This allows you to double down on strengths and improve weak areas. It means you can tackle systemic or recurring problems in issues in the business and nip the problem in the bud before they become a narrative.
Additionally, you can use them as something of a market research exercise – especially as both your business sector and customer service techniques continue to evolve. They give you data-driven insights into what service qualities like speed, friendliness, expertise, convenience, etc. customers value the most.
In turn, this can guide staff training. You can motivate your staff with good reviews and affirm good service and integrate constructive feedback into your staff training. They identify knowledge gaps or areas for development that can inform your staff training and development programs to align service with customer expectations. You can use them to identify where business systems need work and use it to make positive changes in your team.
Not all reviews are good, but they can make a positive impact if you use them well. Use online reviews to fine tune your business systems and offer a better service to your customers, as well as reaching new customers.