Site Reviews: Critical Components of Your Search Strategy
A potential new customer, Ned, hears about your shop from a friend. Ned, being a discerning web user and shopper, decides to check you out. He’s hoping your store lives up to the great review he received from his friend as they’ve never steered him in the wrong direction.
However, Ned’s friend told him the wrong name, so he has to poke around on Google to find you. He does – but what’s this? Next to your website are some reviews of it…and they’re not so good. In fact, they paint a picture that’s none too flattering of your entire business.
They say your website is confusing, almost intentionally so. They hate your search system and your checkout system and even your logo. Ned suddenly has second thoughts from even clicking over to your website at all, much less buying anything from you.
Painting a Picture
When you present your company and brand to the web, you’re not just offering customers a chance to buy your stuff. You’re putting your reputation on the line as a legit business owner, one who has a vision for their company and will use every means at their disposal to accomplish their goals.
If you have a cruddy website that makes no sense, you’re painting a picture that doesn’t do any of that hard work justice. You’re telling the world you really don’t care whether or not your website looks good or even makes sense. They should be honored they get to buy your stuff in the first place, right?
You want your website to immediately convey a sense of authority and sustainability. The last thing you want is a customer like Ned stumbling upon your site and gasping in horror. You can have the best products known to man but if your website is terrible, nobody will buy from you.
Knowing all this, you want any reviews you get of your website and/or store to reflect how much work you’ve put into it. When’s the last time you looked at these reviews? They may be less than flattering, meaning you’re losing money left and right and not even realizing it.
Some of the reviews may be a little on the older side; perhaps you remodeled your entire business a few months ago and all the reviews are from before that happened. Now it’s your duty to scour the Internet and (kindly) respond to these reviews saying you’ve improved and everyone should come check you out.
A website that’s gotten no coverage at all can also be a liability. Customers may be a little unwilling to send money to a store that’s hardly been seen – the transaction could go either way.
To counter this, try and solicit some reviews from a few reputable people. Some frequently read bloggers, for example, or even a top Yelp user. Kindly ask them to check out your website and, if they have a second, throw up a review. Don’t try to bribe them as that may backfire. Just point out that you exist in hopes they’ll give you some coverage.
But remember: make sure you’ve painted the picture you want before you ask anyone for their opinion!