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If you’re not currently utilising online customer reviews, you should be, as you’re missing out on the many benefits. Studies have found that reviews have a significant influence on potential customers’ buying decisions.

In fact, surveys have revealed around 90% of customers trust online reviews, in the same way as they trust recommendations from their friends and family. Potential customers are more inclined to trust businesses who have received positive reviews, because they are “social proof” that ordinary, everyday people like a product or service that you’re considering.

5 star rating

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Consumer reviews will help establish your company’s reputation and credibility and will boost your conversions. A study by Harvard Business School revealed that every ratings star attached to a review translated to a 5% to 9% boost in revenue – a substantial amount. It concluded that the consumer had to make a decision based on little information – hence rankings, online consumer reviews and evaluations played a vital role in boosting consumer confidence.

Generally, when making a purchasing decision, shoppers want to know three things: is the price reasonable, is the company trustworthy and is the product suitable for their needs? Reviews, widgets and features on your website are a proven way of helping to improve your business, as they can convey information to potential customers about these three vital factors.

Widgets such as a trust badge will instantly show new visitors a summary of your online reputation, displaying how many online reviews you have and your overall rating. A vertical review box is a popular widget, as it provides a peer to peer insight, in a clear and concise manner, into the level of service customers can expect to receive from your business.

Rich snippets (the results that Google shows to users when a search is carried out) are more valuable in terms of SEO than normal snippets, as they show additional information between the URL and description – this often includes a star rating. Rich snippets benefit everyone: since the search engines can return more relevant results, site operators will achieve more click-throughs and lower bounce rates and visitors can easily determine the relevance of specific results.

Adding structured data to your website makes it easier for search engines to understand. A specific vocabulary is used to make it work successfully and the one used by larger search engines is called Schema. It provides a selection of detailed properties and tags to mark up your products, reviews and local business listings.

When used correctly, structured data helps search engines to better understand the content of your page. This can lead to a better presentation in the search results – such as acquiring rich snippets in your listings. Marking up your site with structured data in the form of Schema can make your page instantly understandable by search engines.

Structured data is important for SEO – it may not give you a better ranking, but it will give your site an improved search result, creating an enhanced listing that will make it easier for searchers to pick a result from the links that come up. If you have a rich listing and the page does what the listing says it will, then you will be providing a valid result for visitors, leading to a lower bounce rate. This tells Google that your site is a well-regarded result that delivers on its promises.

Providing a significant opportunity to get a head start on competitors, which business will customers be more likely to choose: one that has many five-star reviews that show directly in search results, or one that has no reviews at all? It’s a no-brainer!

Some worry how to deal with negative reviews. When handled properly and with the company responding to any negativity in a constructive and mature manner, this can show your business in a good light, proving that if problems should occur, you will prioritise any concerns and assure a satisfactory outcome. So, any negative reviews can be used to benefit your business strategy.

Offering rewards for your feedback and honesty, Psydro is a unique review platform for businesses and consumers. We differ from other sites, with a gamification system that turns points into prizes! As you help fellow shoppers to make an informed decision, you are awarded points when you leave a review. As regular reviewers progress up the point-scoring ranks, Psydro users can receive prizes and experiences that are changed monthly.

More and more people have started to rely on reviews and our free, impartial reviewing platform provides real advertising benefits, without the financial risks associated with SEO.

Psydro… by the people, for the people!

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