Ignoring Online Reviews Can Hurt Your PPC Campaign, Your Organic Search Results, and Your Business
You’ve been told by every marketing agency in town that reviews are important for your business. You have asked a few of your clients to review you online, but it isn’t worth the effort to you because they never end up leaving one. While it may just seem like the next fad that advertising agencies are trying to sell you, there actually is a reason to not only get online reviews but pay attention to them as well. In fact, ignoring online reviews can actually hurt your business and your online advertising efforts.
Google has long shown that user reviews are important. In the beginning, Google prioritized embedded links on relevant sites pointing to your site as a form of qualifying reviews. Now ratings are prominently displayed in local search results. Google considers the opinion of others when determining where to rank your website. Google trusts others to describe their experience with your goods and services accurately in hopes that other users will have a better understanding of what to expect for their experience.
How does all this play into your PPC Campaign? Good question. While user reviews don’t directly affect your PPC campaign – after all, you are paying for your ads to show up for certain keywords – they still have an impact on how well your ads perform. In fact, reviews affect your click-through rate and your cost per click.
Google has added two types of extensions to Google AdWords that deal with the opinions of others about your business, but more on that later. If you think consumers aren’t looking at those extensions and making decisions using that information then you might be in for a surprise and could end up losing money and customers.
Click Through Rate and Cost-per-click
Your ad cost depends on how well your ads perform and how well your ads perform is based on your quality score. Quality score is Google’s way of determining the quality of your ads and whether they are meeting the needs of the user. It’s based on click-through rate, ad relevance, and page experience. In other words, if the consumer clicks on your ad based on the information in the ad and then finds what they want, your cost per click is likely to cost a lot less.
Now, since click-through rate is a major factor in the quality score, you want more people clicking on your ad, but how do you get them to do that? By giving the consumer the information they want to see of course! Consumers rely heavily on reviews to tell them about whether they will have a good experience with your business. In comes the ad extensions from Google. Google will allow you to pull ratings from third-party review sites and display it in your ad if it meets certain requirements. The other extension you can add is a third-party quoted review that links directly to its source.
With those two ad extensions, you can give consumers information about how much others like your goods and services. Think about it as a consumer, which would you click? The ad that shows up first or the ad that shows a business has a 4.4-star rating? Many consumers are looking for ads that provide them with relevant information for their shopping, aka the one that shows them that others had a good experience. Often the ads with high review ratings in their extensions will be clicked on because they provide quality information. More clicks equal up to less cost per click, which means less money you have to pay.
Even if you don’t have a PPC Campaign, you are still probably relying on local search results. The effect of online reviews on your business is still prevalent and may be hurting you more than you think. When people are shopping locally, they often read reviews to determine whether they should stop in to visit your shop or not. The all-powerful “business near me” search from consumers means they are looking to stop in your shop within the next hour. The only thing that might stop them is reading negative reviews.
Don’t ignore your reviews just because you don’t want to deal with them. Having reviews in multiple places, especially on Google, is a great way to ensure you aren’t missing out on business. Don’t lose to your competitor just because they took a little extra time to ask their customers to review them. Manage your reviews and improve your PPC campaigns and your overall business traffic.
Meredith Kisow is the lead copywriter at Catapult. She enjoys reading, hiking, and taking way too many pictures of her cat.
Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc.
Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.