Don't forget to encourage post-Christmas reviews

Piranha Designs - Thursday, December 21, 2017

Survey suggestion opinion review feedback concept

It only takes a few minutes of Googling to unearth statistics showing just how important customer reviews can be to your company. One recent survey found that 60% of consumers look at online reviews at least once a week, with 93% stating that reviews influence their purchasing decisions.

Links have also been made between customer reviews and improved ecommerce conversion rates - and it's thought that they play an instrumental role in making your site's product pages easier to find in the search engines as well.

All of this, combined with the natural rise in ecommerce sales volume that greets Christmas, makes it an obvious step to do everything possible to encourage the posting of customer reviews as an aid to your post-Yuletide marketing.

Customer reviews have strong value for ecommerce sites

There are plenty more statistics like the above that firmly signal just how much customer reviews could bring to your online business. Did you know, for example, that 82% of consumers say the content of a review has convinced them to make a purchase?

However, it's also vital not to underestimate the SEO dimension of customer reviews, with Google believed to favour sites that have received positive reviews over those with no reviews when using them as a factor to determine search engine rankings.

Customer reviews also often contain long-tail keywords, which could further assist in making your site easier for casual online searchers to discover.

So, what can you do to boost how many reviews you receive?

The greater number of visits to and sales at online stores during December means that now is definitely the time of year, of all times of year, to encourage customer reviews. But how can you do that?

The most straightforward and obvious way is to simply ask for reviews. You may do this through marketing emails that also give you the opportunity to signal how much you appreciate your customer’s purchase, and your interest in receiving honest feedback that will enable you to improve the products your business sells.

You could make a similar request in a social media update, asking those of your followers who have shopped with you whether they would be kind enough to provide a review.

Given the greater impact that reviews for more expensive items may have, it might be a good idea to go further here, perhaps by sending a handwritten card to those who bought such products from you, thanking them for choosing your store and asking them to post a review.

But what if you attract negative reviews?

It’s almost certain that your company, product or service will attract a bad review from time to time. Nor is that always a bad thing, given that the occasional poor review amid the five-star reviews you hope to receive will probably help to make your wider body of public feedback more believable.

Indeed, one study a few years ago showed that ecommerce sites could expect to gain the best conversion rates when their average product review scores hovered between 4.2 and 4.5 on a scale of one to five.

All in all, post-Christmas reviews can definitely be a big part of your firm’s marketing mix as you head into the New Year, so don’t underestimate them! Remember, too, that here at Piranha Designs, we can provide the website design and other services that will help your business to get 2018 off to the best possible start.

How should you deal with your site’s duplicate content?

Piranha Designs - Thursday, December 07, 2017

When you’re building or running an ecommerce site, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll end up with some form of duplicate content on your site. You’re probably thinking of that as very much a bad thing for your site’s search engine performance, but not necessarily for the reason you think.

Doesn’t duplicate content attract a penalty from Google?

It’s interesting that this idea of duplicate content on a website resulting in a penalty from Google has actually persisted for so long. As it happens, a Google blog from as long ago as 2008 declared: “Let’s put this to bed once and for all, folks: There’s no such thing as a ‘duplicate content penalty.’”

However, duplicate content can still be a major detriment to your site’s search engine fortunes, despite the lack of any formal penalties to be imposed for it.

It’s an algorithmic ‘dampening’ issue, rather than one of any human on Google’s web quality team being alerted to certain pages of yours, judging them to be spammy and slapping your site with a punishment accordingly.

After all, when you do have duplicate content on your site, you’re effectively competing with yourself for the same keyword theme. It means that the link authority you would have gained from one page is instead split across two or more pages. When you have duplicates of one page, that page is also less relevant to search engines, which are forced to determine which one to rank.

So, surely the answer is to kill those pages...

Alas, simply removing duplicate content on your site can have undesirable effects. Remember that certain content that is technically duplicated from elsewhere – such as a customer’s ‘wish list’ page or a printable version of a product page – can be useful to visitors to your site.

Getting rid of such content may therefore harm the experience that you give to your site users, which may in turn adversely impact your sales and revenue. But on the other hand, there may be certain duplicate content that you have to remove regardless of any detrimental SEO or customer experience effects, such as if leaving it in place would put you at legal risk.

Exactly how you should deal with particular duplicate content on your site therefore depends on what you need to accomplish. There are a lot of good techniques for removing duplicate content or nullifying its SEO impact, ranging from 301 redirects and canonical tags to 404 ‘File Not Found’ errors and the Remove URLs tool in Google Search Console.

Would you appreciate help to remove or negate duplicate content on your site in a way that brings maximum customer experience and SEO benefits? If so, don’t hesitate to talk to our experts in ecommerce website design and search engine marketing today.


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