When it comes to Internet marketing, the basic objectives are still traffic and conversion. That means drawing visitors to your website and converting those visitors into leads or, better yet, customers. For local businesses, much of that new traffic is going to come from their Google Place Pages. Consequently, many are focused on the impact reviews have on Google Place Pages, and rightfully so. Customer reviews help your listing rank higher and they are key to differentiating from other local search results, but customer reviews are more than just SEO signals. If featured correctly on your homepage, verified customer reviews drive sales. Of course, there is a right way to do it.
Here are 3 tips for featuring customer reviews on your homepage to increase conversion:
When your prospective customers land on your homepage, they are likely still early in the buying cycle. Aside from providing useful information about the services you provide, your homepage should be a platform for content that nudges your prospects off the fence. To this end, a button linking to a third-party reviews website will be one of the best performing parts of your site. The reason is simple: Consumers make a point to ignore marketing copy, but verified customer reviews are the most valued resource for shoppers online. So, if you have a page full of verified 5-star reviews, your top priority ought to be displaying them before your prospects.
Since we know verified customer reviews increase conversion, every effort ought to be made to increase the performance of the button linking to your reviews page. The first thing to do in this respect is make sure the button is displayed above the fold. It is essential that the button get clicked before your prospect bounces from your homepage, so when visitors to your site have to scroll to the bottom of your homepage to see the button, you have effectively added an extra step. Aside from posting the button above the fold, use a button that pops visually. Choose colors and shapes that contrast with the visual elements in your site’s design scheme.
Shoppers research businesses by reading verified reviews from credible third-party sites, not cherry-picked testimonials. Think of it this way: Would you rather read an article about a business published by a credible third-party or one published by the business itself? That’s why it is important that the button be readily distinguishable as a link to a third-party site. Luckily, many reviews sites provide branded button links you can upload, but if you do make your own, be sure to clearly include the name of the reviews site. If possible, have your web-master include script to open the reviews page in a separate window, preferably a pop-up, to keep traffic on your site.
Hopefully your third-party reviews are already indexing organically on the search engines as well as your Google Places listing. However, there is no guarantee your prospects are going to actually open your Google Place Page. This is because the largest link on your Google local listing is the one that goes to your own website.
Finally, not all web traffic comes from Google. I know it seems that way, but your prospects will find your website through other channels. So, if you want to ensure your prospects see your reviews, especially your best reviews, it is important to feature a button link prominently on your homepage.