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How Adding Customer Reviews to Your Site Can Increase Conversion Rate

Katie Donabedian

Katie Donabedian

Over the past few years, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) has become a main focus for SEO experts. After all, what good is putting time and effort into driving traffic to your site if the visitors don’t turn into leads or sales?

To help with your CRO efforts, we are sharing how we helped one of our clients, a moving and storage company in the Pacific Northwest region, leverage customer reviews to increase conversions and user engagement on their website.

The Problem:

The conversion rate on the site was already strong, but the reviews the company received on Yelp and Google+ were few and far between. The client was already collecting customer feedback to help improve their business internally, and they were looking for a way to broadcast the fantastic responses they received.

The Solution:

Our web team created a reviews and testimonials page on the site to capture the sentiment of the company’s satisfied customers. A call to action to visit the reviews page was placed in the mininav at the top of each page, and the reviews were posted on the page at a consistent frequency of 2-3 reviews per day.

The Results:

Just over a year later, the results have been overwhelming. The site boasts over 1,000 customer reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars. The main reviews page is the ninth most viewed page on the website, and visitors who viewed the reviews page during their visit spent an average of eight minutes interacting with the site.

In addition to the volume and popularity of the reviews, the most impactful result we saw from July, 1 2012 to September 30, 2013 was a dramatic increase in the conversion rate of visitors that engaged with the reviews pages. Visitors that did not view the reviews page during their visit converted at 8.46 percent, while those who did converted at 15.4 percent.

The chart above represents the difference in the conversion rates of these two groups over time.

We also saw an impact in the overall site conversion rate. In May 2012, before we implemented the reviews initiative, the site’s overall conversion rate was 9.56 percent, and in May 2013, after the reviews were up and running, the overall conversion rate was up to 10.5 percent. In fact, the site began converting so well, the company received more business in the summer of 2013 than they had since 2006.

Adding reviews to your site is one way we suggest increasing your site’s engagement and conversion rate. Just make sure the reviews are authentic, and don’t be afraid to include negative reviews. In fact, people tend to trust a set of reviews containing some negative responses more than a set of perfect, five-star reviews.

Most importantly, your goal shouldn’t be to have reviews on your website; it should be to have an outstanding product or service. If you focus on providing great service to each customer, great reviews will follow.