Reviews are exciting. There’s no denying that. You know the feeling of excitement when you get a notification that someone’s left you a review.

But of course, they’re not just great to read; reviews are also tremendously valuable too.

According to one recent study, 90% of American consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. While a study by Nielsen and the Better Business Bureau shows that 55% of all US adults online “always” or “often” use ratings and reviews to make purchase decisions. What’s more, a whopping 15% of consumers don’t trust businesses that don’t have reviews. That’s significant!

Not to mention, Google reviews are instant credibility from an SEO perspective, and can improve your search engine ranking as well.

In short: your business’ reviews matter.

They hold a lot of weight and paying attention to them can offer significant benefits to your business –helping to influence your customers’ decisions; and making a big impact on your sales, profit margins, and conversion rates.

But far from being confined to review sites –or Facebook, or Google, there are a number of things that you can do with your reviews to get the most out of them. Think of it as doubling your mileage.

Here’s a look at a few ways that you can use your reviews, putting them to work for you.

1. Put Them on Your Landing Pages

Online reviews have got to be one of the best things that you can put on your website. After all, there’s very little that you can say about yourself that compares to even just one honest review from a happy customer.

Adding product reviews on your website can help to increase your site’s credibility. In fact, these days, it is almost an unspoken rule that you should always have customer reviews to your website. The presence of reviews gives your prospects that are on the fence about your company or specific products the confidence to purchase, as they’ll have the added assurance that previous customers have had a positive experience.

For extra credibility? Consider displaying reviews direct from review sites themselves. It doesn’t get any more genuine than that. Just remember that with this option, you won’t have the ability to preview reviews before they appear on your website, so make sure your confident in your business and product offerings before you go this route.

2. Add Them to Blog Posts

Next up, adding reviews to your blog posts. It makes a change from the usual CTAs that are often found at the bottom of the page. Or, include them higher up in your content as well whenever it seems appropriate. In fact, one great type of post to include reviews on are ones that are targeting prospects that are a bit lower in the funnel, as these ready-to-convert prospects may just need a bit of a nudge to make that decision to buy.

Alternatively, you could link to your reviews, instead of inserting them into the blog post itself for even more subtlety.

Or take a leaf out of Zapier’s book and have reviews pop up on the sidebar of your blog content as a user scrolls down the page. Immediate credibility –and it’s all automated. If you’re using WordPress this can be accomplished with a plugin –like Popup Builder.

3. Put Them Directly on Your Product Pages

Product reviews placed directly on the product page can be extremely valuable as well. This is perhaps one of the best places for them as they’ll be front and center for anyone who’s interested in your product to see.

Not only does this offer often-useful information that your prospective customers could be searching for, it also helps to offer an incentive for your shoppers to click through with their purchases. With 85% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, adding them to your product pages can benefit both you and your customers.

4. Use Them in Emails or Ads

In addition to your website, you can also insert relevant reviews into your email or ad copy. When you’re composing your emails, consider attaching a fitting review to go with it. Likewise, when it comes to ad copy, the same principles apply. If you’re running an ad campaign, why not boost its credibility by adding a brief “What customers are saying” section? Keep it short and sweet and let your customer reviews do the talking.

5. Use Them to Inspire Content

Online reviews, both good and bad, can provide inspiration for exceptional content.

The great thing about drawing inspiration from your customer reviews is that it allows you to create content that your target audience will almost certainly be interested in.

The opportunities here are practically limitless. You can dispel rumors, address questions, create extremely targeted helpful posts, and so much more.

Articles are great ways to showcase good reviews and counteract the negative ones. You shouldn’t force a review into an article, but if it fits and the inspiration is there –then take it away! You should also keep an eye out for any ‘trends’ that you spot in your reviews. If a lot of the reviews seem to be pointing to the same kind of ‘advice’ then you might consider turning that into an article as well. Real reviews from real people can translate into real articles that inspire everyone. Win-win!

6. Use Them to Improve Products or Processes

An honest review from your customers could help you improve your website, products, or approach. Take into consideration the feedback your customers are leaving and use them to help inspire you to improve and do better. Instead of viewing negative feedback as a personal grate against your business, use it as an opportunity to refine your business operations or product offering. This is especially true if you notice trends with your customer feedback; that multiple people are having issues with the same thing.

Consider what you can do to resolve the issue and prevent it from happening again. Would a new product offering help? A new approach? A different format? The reviews may not always sound promising, but they do provide you with valuable feedback nonetheless –giving you an inside look into your target audience’s mind, highlighting what you’ve done well, and what you could improve upon. If you’d like to scale your business, this intel is like gold dust. It doesn’t really get much better than that.

7. Use Them for Keyword Inspiration

Finally, one other thing that you can use reviews for is keyword inspiration. By analyzing how your customers are describing your products or services, you can get ideas about the type of keywords and phrases that other prospective customers may be using in their searches as well. This could help you to rank higher on Google –or Amazon, enabling more people to find you.

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Tips for Generating Reviews

Reviews matter. So let’s take a quick look at some tips for generating reviews now.

Set up your business Facebook page and other social profiles, and make sure you enable reviews so you’re actually able to receive them.

Next, be sure to prompt your customers to leave reviews. One great way to do this is to set up automated emails that go out to your customers after a purchase. MailChimp makes this a fast and easy process.

Here’s a technique that I find works well. Often, when running a campaign, I’ll include some code in my email to act as a type of filter for reviews. If it’s a four or five star review, it’ll publish straight to the review site. But if it’s less than four stars, it’ll go to me first. This gives me a chance to respond –before it’s posted.

Another good technique that works sometimes is to respond to a review, either good or bad, with a follow-up question. It’s a good idea to do this especially for social channels, where engagement is important.

And lest you think your customers will be annoyed if you request reviews from them, don’t worry, that’s unlikely to happen. As long as you don’t inundate them with requests, they should be absolutely fine.

After all, “By asking for feedback, you’re showing customers that you care what they think and that you want them to have the best experience possible,” MailChimp states.

It shows that you’re interested in their experience, and value their feedback.

What About Bad Reviews?

As we’ve seen already, bad reviews have their place as well.

In the e-commerce world, good or bad, online reviews are something to be taken seriously, because even if you aren’t listening –your customers are! Instead of ignoring what is being said, it’s important to get ahead of your reviews and encourage customers to leave honest feedback. After all, if you don’t respond, you’re likely to lose a customer –and increase the chance of them taking to multiple social media platforms to complain.

So always take the time to respond to reviews –especially those that are negative. Responding not only helps take the sting away from a bad purchase, it can also help salvage your reputation for future customers who are browsing the reviews. You might not be able to please everyone, but taking the time to respond can go a long way towards proving that you stand by your reputation, and strive to make things right. Just make sure you respond in a helpful and positive way. Avoid getting caught up in the temptation to react harshly to a customer who’s saying unpleasant things.

Just as a side note, ironically, Yelp itself hasn’t really done that well in terms of reviews, at least not on Trustpilot. The review portal itself only received one star out of a possible five. They would do well to respond to those reviews; engaging with their customers and addressing their concerns.

Interestingly though, in some cases, less-than-stellar reviews may actually help your company as well. This is because customers tend to be a bit skeptical of companies that only have five-star reviews, with 68% claiming that they trust brands more when they can see both good and bad reviews.

“Some believe that buyers who seek out bad reviews are highly engaged with their pre-purchase research, and much more likely to convert,” says Joei Chan, Content Marketer at Mention.

“Whether or not negative reviews increase conversions, you can train your sales team to look at them as objections and improve their objection handling techniques for future customers,” Chan continues. “The more your sales reps know about potential deal breakers, the higher chance they’ll have in closing more deals.”

Now, if you’re consistently receiving one or two-star reviews, then yes, that should be a cause for concern. However, if the majority of your reviews are great, then chances are your customers won’t be dissuaded by the odd negative response.

Your online reviews are extremely important to your e-commerce business, so make sure you’re getting the most out of them. With the above tips you’ll soon be able to ensure that you’re using your reviews to their full potential, and reaping the rewards for your business.

Whether you’d like to install a plugin that’ll allow your reviews to appear on your blog, or set up an email campaign, that task is something that can easily be outsourced. At Sidekicks, our goal is to help you work as efficiently –and profitably as possible. See how easy it is to work with our VAs today!

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