Reviews are important in the shopping experience of your customers. According to the BrightLocal 2016 Consumer Review Survey, 84 percent of people said they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and 54 percent will visit a website after reading positive reviews.
The right reviews, it seems, can have quite the positive impact on your traffic. Let’s look at a few ways you can include customer feedback into your advertising to help boost your click-through rate.
AdWords Rating and Review Extensions
AdWords offers advertisers ways to display ratings and reviews through both automated and manually-created extensions.
Consumer ratings are automated extensions appearing below the text of search ads with a link to more ratings. Based on consumer surveys, they can help drive traffic.
Google Consumer Surveys is the platform used to collect data from thousands of consumers for one business, and uses ratings categories specific to your industry. AdWords uses industry benchmarks to give ratings for those categories. The extension is free to advertisers.
According to Google, ads with the consumer rating extension tend to raise their click-through rate by about 10 percent.
Another automated extension is seller ratings, which rate the business itself based on ratings from sources that aggregate business reviews. Seller ratings show up within text ads and can help improve ad performance.
Seller ratings are designed to reflect overall consumer experience with a brand, and generally only show if a company has a rating of 3.5 stars or higher. Seller ratings, a free extension, might not show if the underlying reviews aren’t related to the content of a specific ad.
PPC Hero monitored the before and after click-through rates for clients implementing seller ratings, and saw a 14 percent increase. Better yet, for one client, conversions went up 50 percent.
Third-party reviews are snippets from actual published reviews or rewards that show up beneath your text ads. Add this extension manually to give shoppers one more reason to click.
Advertisers may choose to include quoted or paraphrased reviews, and it is the advertiser’s responsibility to attribute them and ensure they’re allowed to be used. Ideally, third-party reviews focus on the business overall, rather than one product or aspect.
According to Google, third-party reviews can boost click-through rates by as much as 10 percent.
On Facebook, ratings and reviews are a little simpler. With just a few clicks you can allow (or disable) ratings and reviews on a business page, and let anyone logged in to Facebook publish a review. The average of the star ratings you receive from those reviews is your page’s overall star rating.
Advertisers may report reviews that don’t follow Facebook’s standards or actually review the page or its content.
Going back to the BrightLocal survey from the introduction, we know that, after word of mouth, Facebook is the most common way for consumers to recommend a local business. That alone should make a good case for accepting reviews from your customers.
Once you have the reviews, it’s wise to do something with them. Kissmetrics ran some tests to compare the success of Facebook ads that included customer content with those that didn’t, and found those with the reviews to have a:
- 300 percent higher click-through rate
- 50 percent lower cost per click
- 50 percent lower cost per acquisition
Because Facebook is, for most users, a social rather than commercial platform, brands that join the conversation with user content are making their ads more social, and building trust with the voices of people, not businesses.
So what’s the best way to use those customer reviews in your Facebook ads? Take some tips from Social Media Examiner:
1. Select Appropriate Reviews
What’s really going to get attention? People love personal stories, and images to go along with them. For example, pictures of customer’s dogs with positive words about a grooming service would go over well.
Use targeting to show first-time customers reviews with top-selling products. Then show returning customers reviews of the brand and site overall to build trust.
2. Create Great Copy
Don’t alter your voice to match that of a customer review, and don’t refer to the review in your ad copy. Keep your copy short and snappy, and the reviews will take care of themselves with personal stories and specific positives.
For example, you can simply say “Our program is rated number one by experts,” and include a personal story about how much success someone has had with said product. The ad copy sticks to a brand voice and the review brings it to life.
3. Prepare the Ad to Launch
Spend some time targeting to your audience, but don’t bombard them with too many ads—two is good for one audience. Keep in mind that your reviews are relatively specific, and you should target an audience that can relate to them, so it’s wise to avoid targeting to Facebook’s default interests.
Then, be sure to change up your ads and reviews regularly, even the ones that do really well, to stay fresh and visible. Finally, test your ads before blowing your whole budget on the wrong ones.
Whether you’re using AdWords, Facebook or both, you’ve got plenty of options for including customer reviews. This is a great way to connect with your audience, be a part of the conversation, and not simply an interruptive ad.