Product ratings and product reviews comprise a large part of the buyer experience. Customers read and monitor reviews online and use them to inform a purchasing decision they’re about to make. Because reviews play such a pivotal role in guiding customer decisions, Google has introduced more quality requirements on Google product reviews and other product reviews to improve the quality of information customers find online.
In April 2021, Google announced a Product Reviews algorithm update (which is now in its third iteration) that would significantly impact brands that regularly share product review content. Essentially, Google is cracking down on customer reviews that aren’t helpful and rewarding those that share in-depth, high-quality information.
Google stated in the announcement,
“We know people appreciate a product review that shares in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products. That’s why we’re sharing an improvement to our ranking systems that’s designed to better reward such content.”
In many ways, the Google Product Reviews update is akin to a core update as it takes a deeper look into the quality of customer review content being shared and alters rankings accordingly.
But how does this update impact your search traffic and conversions? Why do product ratings matter so much anyway? Read on to learn:
- How reviews impact your bottom line
- Why you should be tracking reviews
- How to get great product reviews from customers
- How to perform online review monitoring through an online review management platform
How Product Reviews Make an Impact
In lead generation, having even a single product review can make a huge difference. It’s not just that consumers read online product reviews when they stumble upon them – they seek them out.
According to Deloitte, 75 percent of shoppers look for product online reviews to find and evaluate products they intend to buy. Eighty-eight percent of these searches have led to a decision to purchase due to the influence of a customer review.
“A customer review can help generate more leads,” said Rize Senior Reputation Manager Tim Clarke. “Companies with good reviews [as well as] many recent reviews have better revenue growth than other companies, especially when the company has a healthy review profile.”
The impact of product online reviews for businesses cannot be overstated. Simply put, having more customer reviews can positively impact your business’s lead generation and conversion rate optimization strategies by increasing traffic and conversions.
Product Online Reviews Boost Conversions
In Raymond Bauer’s model of perceived risk, he talks about shopping being a risky activity since it deals with shoppers facing numerous uncertainties. The advent of the internet magnified those uncertainties through online shopping. With the lack of anything physical or tangible, consumers will always be uncertain about transactions they make online. To compensate, they turn to online product reviews and product ratings made by their peers to reduce both the purchase risk and search effort involved.
Online product reviews and eCommerce product reviews are a form of social proof. You can also call social proof as decision aids because they offer validation while acting as consumer support systems that “fill in the gaps by providing a tremendous amount of information on which to base decisions,” as the Harvard Business School puts it.
A study from iPerceptions showed that 63 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from sites that have user reviews. That’s because the more eCommerce reviews you get, the more information consumers can use to make a decision. And when those pieces of information are more skewed in your favor, you generate more sales.
Online Product Reviews Increase Search Traffic
Online search statistics reveal that over 93 percent of online experiences begin with search engines. Additional research reveals that over 60 percent of online visits to eCommerce and retail websites come from search engines. These statistics clearly show the importance of increased visibility online through search engines. This is where a Google product search review can also impact your business.
Google considers reviews as indexable original content. As keyword-rich content, you gain countless opportunities to have your product pages indexed by Google, which improves their performance on search. Products may also appear at the top of search results as rich snippets depending on their relevance to the search. This means that the more reviews you get, the better your pages perform on search. Even having at least 10 reviews can improve search traffic by as much as 20 percent.
All About the Google Product Reviews Update
Now that we know the value of a product review, let’s go back to the Google Product Review Update because it affects the searchability of your reviews. When Google launched the first update, it sought to improve the quality of every Google product search review by going beyond the basic information found elsewhere. According to documentation released by Google, the focus was on “providing users with content that provides insightful analysis and original research.”
Although Google doesn’t say it would penalize low-quality reviews, some websites saw their rankings dip while others climbed the rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). The Search Engine Journal analyzed and compared the performance of different websites to identify qualities that impacted their rankings on SERPs. Here’s what they found:
- Google views eCommerce reviews that are too thin or salesy as poor quality. So instead of showing a single Google product review, provide a buying guide that shows the buyer what qualities to consider.
- Review content should contain information that paints a better picture of the product. Include product specifications to offer information that helps them visualize the product.
- You can use sales language and push a sale but only in a manner that still offers value. You must monitor reviews to ensure none of them are too aggressive at trying to push a sale.
- Build out the content by sharing information that is relevant to the product. But only share useful information.
Essentially, if you want reviews to rank high on SERPs after the Google Product Review update, you must offer expert information that’s useful to the user. A standard list of pros and cons will no longer cut it – reviews need to be valid, unbiased and informative, which is why online review monitoring matters now more than ever.
How To Get Great Product Reviews from Customers
Did you know that over 92 percent of consumers look for eCommerce product reviews, but only six percent end up leaving reviews themselves? That means many people care about reviews but not nearly enough to leave one for other shoppers.
If you want to generate reviews fast, you can tap into product review services offering to write reviews for you. However, because these product review services lack authenticity, your efforts will be all for naught.
So, how do you get more reviews in a way that bolsters your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies? We’ll show you how to get great product reviews from customers below.
Ask Customers To Leave a Review
Sometimes, the secret to getting a review is to simply ask. A BrightLocal survey found that in 73 percent of customers who were asked to leave a review, 72 percent went on to leave eCommerce reviews. You can do this by making reviews more visible across your website. Tracking reviews and showcasing them on every product page with a CTA attached can help in review management and generation. You can also ask for reviews online through email, social media and chatbots.
Offer Incentives To Customers for Writing Customer Reviews
Offering rewards and incentives is a great way to encourage customers to leave a review. Discounts, freebies or a social mention are good examples of incentives you can offer. But in doing so, you need to make it clear that you’re not doing so to encourage a positive review. Otherwise, you risk being seen as untrustworthy, especially if you’re using product review services and review management platforms like Google and Yelp, as their guidelines prohibit such shady practices.
Send Post-Purchase Emails
It’s always a good idea to ask your customers to leave a review after they’ve tried your product or service to get the most accurate information possible. But the timing to ask for a review is tricky for products that require shipping, as you could be asking for feedback too early or too late. In such cases, your best course of action is to send post-purchase emails. You can integrate those emails with various review management software for online review monitoring and tracking reviews that you receive. When you receive no response, you can send follow-up emails as a reminder. The key here is to be persistent without being disruptive.
Leverage Product Review Software To Create Custom Forms for More Informative Reviews
To make review monitoring a breeze, you can leverage the power of product review software like Rize to help generate more reviews for your website through our Review Generation Services. Using the power of such product review software can get you the right answers by asking the right questions. This product review service makes review management and generation a more seamless experience.
Monitor Reviews Through Review Management Software To Weed Out Unqualified Reviews
Unqualified reviews are those generated by untrusted sources that could harm your online reputation. Only one in five customers say they fully trust the reviews they see on a website, mainly because of the prevalence of untrusted and biased reviews. This is why review monitoring is crucial. Review management software like Rize has tools to streamline review monitoring and review management.
Your website is your business’s most prized digital asset. So equip it with the right tools and allow it to fulfill its role of boosting conversions.
Leveraging eCommerce product reviews is one of the best strategies you can apply to improve your lead generation and conversion rate optimization strategies. Providing indexable, keyword-rich content positively impacts your website’s search traffic by making it more searchable online. And by leveraging social proof, you increase the likelihood of a conversion considerably.
Need help attracting high-quality reviews from your customers? Work with the Rize Reviews team and generate insightful product reviews through our product review service. Our product review service includes review generation to help you attract insightful and meaningful reviews from your customers. And with our review management platform, you can resolve negative reviews privately to maintain a positive reputation online.
Get in touch with us today and start leveraging reviews on your website.