30 minutes to a better website: Using reviews to boost sales
Is your business trustworthy? It’s an important question and one to which you’ll no doubt answer “yes”. In turn this raises another question: Why should people believe you?
All companies, from out and out scammers to FTSE 100 firms claim to be trustworthy. After all, if con artists always told the truth no one would ever get scammed. Clearly, in this case, your word is not enough. So how can you show other people that you are to be trusted? By getting other people to vouch for you.
Reviews are an excellent way to do this. In this piece we’ll be looking at how you can get the most out of reviews you already have. If you haven’t gathered any reviews read this guide to get started and then follow the tips below to get maximum value.
Where should I put my reviews?
The flippant answer to this question is “where people can see them”. But clearly it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Let’s consider where customers should be able to see your reviews and why.
A dedicated landing page
Why? Because people are likely to search “[Your brand name] reviews” when looking for more information about your company. If you’re one of the results that are returned when they do so, you have a good chance to make a good impression.
If you Google “123-reg reviews” we appear pretty high in the rankings. Anyone clicking that result will be taken to this page.
Here we’ve put together a collection of reviews from a third-party review site. Clearly, any business wants to show itself in the best possible light and building your own review pages is an excellent way to do that.
Third party review sites
Why? Because building up a good review profile on an independent third-party site shows to customers that you can be trusted. If you’re not sure which sites you should be focusing on, or how to get reviews, check out this guide.
Third party reviews sites also have other advantages – as explained in this guide to local SEO, Google+ reviews can show up in Google search results (see below), while Yelp reviews can get you on Apple Maps. If you’re running a business that relies on passing trade, being reviewed in these places can provide a crucial boost. Be sure you combine local SEO and the power of reviews.
Why? If you’re running an ecommerce store, allowing people to leave reviews for each product is a great way to let others know that they’ll get what they’re looking for. Amazon is probably the best example of this.
However, product reviews aren’t just for the internet giants. Here’s an excellent example from
Why? Do customers get so far along the buying process only to abandon their purchase before it’s completed? Is it costing you a significant amount of money (If you’re not sure, you can use Google Analytics to track your buying funnel to check.) If there’s a particular point at which customers are giving up, consider adding reviews to your site at these points. The extra reassurance should lower the number of people who change their mind about buying on their way to the checkout. Here’s an example from Buzzstream – see how testimonials from happy customers are placed right throughout the site. Essentially, industry experts are telling potential Buzzstream customers that the product is exactly what they’re looking for.
Meanwhile, on 123-reg we use video testimonials in a similar manner.
Testimonials can take a bit more effort to gather than reviews, but they’re worth the effort. This guide has some excellent tips on getting testimonials right.
How do you know if it’s working?
The first two points are essentially “fire and forget” options. Although you’ll want to the search rankings and traffic of your dedicated review page, as well as keeping an eye on the feedback you get on third party sites, you don’t really need to put much effort into refining and optimising these pages.
However, for other review placements, it’s important to know exactly what impact the reviews are having on your sales. That means testing. It’s never a good idea to make changes to your site without monitoring the impact. To learn how to do this, read our guide to getting started with A/B testing. Reviews are a powerful way to boost trust in your site, so make sure you use them.