Five Steps to Get Good Product Reviews & Importance for SEO

Author Allison Smith
by Allison Smith , VP Online Marketing

The importance of product reviews on eCommerce websites has varied throughout time and varies per industry, but one thing remains true. They do merit some worth in the eyes of the search engines, and can impact an eCommerce SEO campaign, so this is an area that should not be ignored. Reviews are valuable because they naturally generate unique and ever-changing content on your site and about your site, for the search engines to pick up and factor into their rankings. New search developments including rich snippets further highlight the importance of reviews by allowing ratings and reviews to appear in the SERPS along with other meta information. The theory is if you offer a great product and great service, people will credit you for that. But what if they don't? What happens when your happy customer needs a little push to get the good word out there? Here are five steps to give your customers that little push they need:

1. Offer great service

I know, I know. Duh. But seriously, you have to offer consistently great service to each of your customers. They will talk, whether good or bad, about their experience with your company, and a good reputation does wonders for gaining future business. There is a reason people still talk about the famous Nordstrom tire story. Good service pays off.

2. Don't forget about your existing customers

An experienced business owner knows that just because they have turned a visitor into a customer doesn't mean they are done. Your reputation in the mind of your customer starts with how you handle that first purchase. Your relationship with that customer starts with the follow-up. If you have offered them a great product and great service, ask for a review! There are many ways to do this. The most basic way is to send a follow-up email asking the customer to rate the product or experience. The email should be sent long enough after an order is delivered to give them time to try out the product, but not too long after the order that they forget about you.

3. Make it easy

People are lazy. If they do agree to leave a review, you don't want them to have to look around for where to leave it. If you are sending them an email requesting a review, you should include a link to the product they are reviewing, and provide a way to review it (via stars or another rating symbol) right there in their email, eliminating any guesswork. Also do not forget about outside review sites, such as Yelp. A review site can be a powerful tool that can work for or against you, depending on what kind of information is generated. In these cases, we suggest a link from your email request to your Yelp business page (for example) to make it as seamless as possible.

4. Offer something for free

Sometimes making it easy is still not enough. People want incentive. Offering a discount for a review is a simple way to do this. Other ways include giveaways, or spinning it in the form of a contest (think, “leave a review for a chance to win…”).

5. Say thank you…and repeat

Once someone leaves a good review, Hooray! Only, you're not done. Your customer is already happy, so keep the momentum going by sending them a thank you email with a few more products they may like, sprinkled in there. If you keep them interested and happy, you not only have a customer for life, but you will generate a bit of free marketing for life!