Monday 24 March 2014

11 ways to encourage customer reviews

We’ve collated some of the very best tips from around the web on how to encourage your customers to leave reviews. Whether it be service or product reviews, asking users to leave a review on your website is one of the best forms of marketing that will help not only your SEO efforts but should improve your conversion rate too.

Okay let’s get started.

1. Provide a great service and/or great products. 

Psst… you really should be doing this anyway… but if your products or service beats your competitors then your customers are more likely to leave a review.

2. Ask for a review by email. 

Include a link to the reviews page either within the automated email confirmation following a purchase or make it part of your follow up email.

3. Embed review collection in confirmation email. 

This way your customers don’t have to click away from their email at all. No obstacles are put in their way.

4. Provide comment cards. 

If your business is done in person then providing comment cards that your customers can easily fill in is ideal. Or you can pop them in the post with a hard copy receipt. (Don’t forget to provide a pre-paid envelope otherwise you don’t stand any chance of getting them returned).

5. Add a request to your ‘thank you’ page. 

This is usually found after someone has made a purchase and completed checkout on an ecommerce store.

6. Make it easy. 

As with any action you ask your customers to make you must remove any barriers. Don’t ask for them to fill in a great long form. Using the five star rating system (similar to what Amazon uses) is easy and should encourage customers to also leave a written review (which is by far the best type of review from an SEO and conversion perspective).

7. Publish good and bad reviews. 

If all you have are great reviews doesn’t that look a little suspicious? Now I’m not saying go ahead and create some negative reviews if you really don’t have any but do make sure you publish your not-so-good feedback too. This also lets your customers know that you’re willing to publish any kind of review and will encourage them to take the time to write a review.

8. Turn every bit of feedback you receive into a review. 

Whether it be on the phone, via email or social media (see next tip) any type of feedback you get should be added to your website.

9. Use social media. 

Feedback via Twitter, positive or negative, can be turned into a review, so don’t forget to ask for it. Use your Google+ local page to obtain reviews. Facebook has a ‘reviews’ tab that allows anyone visiting your company page to read or add a review. After all what’s the point of having fans and followers if you don’t do something with them? Turn them into brand ambassadors.

10. Publish reviews where people can see them. 

Why would a customer leave a review if they can’t see reviews others have made? Or they didn’t know that they could leave a review?

11. Pick up the phone.

Give your top clients / customers a call and ask them if they'd be willing to give you a review. They don't have to put anything in writing but need to be willing for you to use their names. Let them know that you value their feedback and by giving your products or services a review will help others to make a better buying decision.

Thursday 20 March 2014

angelfysh MD Mike Owen is Guest Speaker at the BPMA North Regional Event

Mike Owen is MD of angelfysh and award winning brand consultancy Violet Bick, our sister company. He'll be speaking on:

‘Why STOPPING Using Promotional Gifts As Marketing Tools - Today - Will Make More Money (For You and Your Customers) Tomorrow’

It’ll be challenging, odd, unusual and weird.

But then that’s the world of proper branding…

The BPMA North Regional Event, will be taking place this Wednesday 26th March. Read the full story here.

User Reviews: why they’re essential for e-commerce SEO and how to encourage your customers to leave reviews

Enabling customer reviews on your e-commerce website can both help your SEO and positively influence your customers' buying decisions. In this blog post we'll talk about why reviews are so important and how to encourage your customers to leave them.

Why are customer reviews important?

BrightLocal carried out a survey in 2013 where they asked 3,600 consumers various questions about how reviews impacted their buying behaviour, they found that:

  • 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more.
  • 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 49% of local consumers are more likely to use a business that has positive reviews.

Reviews matter to consumers when they’re deciding whether or not to make a purchase. They present the customer with real insight into what the product is actually like. Customers identify with these reviews and have begun to expect them.

Do online reviews have the same impact as personal recommendations? This is a very important question as there would be no use in reviews if other customers didn't believe them. The second statistic above shows that nearly 8 out of 10 people do. Customers tend to trust a review even more if the author is similar to them, as we all take advice more readily from those our own age and in similar life situations.

How do customer reviews help your SEO?

Reviews = UGC: You may have noticed that we talk a lot about content. That’s because it is arguably the single most important factor when Google determines where to rank a website in its search results. Content is the backbone of SEO. Reviews allow users to add their own content to your website; this is called User Generated Content (UGC for short).

This additional unique content makes a real difference to your SEO. For example, two e-commerce websites selling the same product are likely to have very similar product descriptions; product reviews give you the opportunity to have completely unique, product specific content for each product page.

Regularly updated website: Customer reviews mean that your website will be regularly updated, without you having to do anything. This is beneficial because to Google, a regularly updated website is a useful one. Google will crawl updated pages more regularly and this aids your Google rankings.

Increased CTR: Google has started to include consumer reviews in its search engine results displayed as star ratings under the website link. These little stars draw the attention of the searcher, causing the proportion of people who click through to the website (the Click Through Rate) to increase. This not only gets you more visitors but it also helps your rankings.

Increased conversion rates: If visitors arriving at your website see that other customers were pleased with a product then they are much more likely to make a purchase, therefore increasing your conversion rate. This means that you receive more business from the same number of visitors. saw their conversion rate increase by 14.2% when their product pages featured reviews.

Broader range of LSI keywords (words with similar meanings): Customers will use their own phrases to describe the product, purely because they’re not you! This adds keyword diversity to a product page, which Google thinks is a good thing.

What happens if I get a bad review?

Publish it. Customers need to see authenticity to trust reviews, not cherry picking just the best reviews will show customers that the good reviews are genuine.

It is really important that you respond publically to all negative reviews. This shows the rest of your customers that you’re listening, you do care about their custom and that you’re quick to resolve an issue.

Negative reviews could alert you to an issue you may not have been aware of, e.g. If your delivery company is grumpy and unhelpful, this allows you to fix the issue.

How to ask people to review my website?

One great opportunity to ask customers to review a product is in their post product emails (make sure to include social links in this email in case the customer wants to share the product). You could also follow up this email with a friendly call.

Offering an incentive for leaving a review works well to encourage customers. Incentives don’t always mean giving something away for free; gamification techniques such as customer status are very powerful incentives which can be used to increase engagement. (If you want to read more about gamification - which means making an experience more game like - Gabe Zichermann talks about it here.)

Make sure that it’s really easy to leave a review. If a customer is already logged into an account, do you need to ask them to fill out a CAPATCHA?

It is really important that you don’t duplicate external reviews in your website review system as Google will be able to tell that the content is not original and Google penalises duplicate content.

Make sure your reviews are accessible for Google to index. This means avoiding Java script, flash, images or frames. It is also very important that Google can match the review with the product – otherwise all the SEO benefits will be wasted.

With the online world becoming increasingly competitive, any advantage you can get over competitors is worth seriously considering. In 2014 customer reviews are an e-commerce website ‘must have’. They aid your SEO = more visitors. And they increase conversion = more business from those visitors. It's win win.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Write on Tap with Debbie Owen

Debbie is our angelfysh copywriter and Social Media Author. She creates character. When she's not writing for angelfysh Debbie writes for ITV, BBC and now Write on Tap.

Working alongside highly renowned writers such as Lynda La Plante, Debbie has contributed towards some of the UK’s most highly rated TV soaps and dramas and has received various commissions from the BBC and ITV.

Debbie is also a founding member of Write on Tap, a theatre group entirely devoted to producing and developing new plays authored from aspiring new writers. Chrysalis is a play that Debbie composed and was performed in February.

Read a little more about it here.