Consumers are becoming savvier when it comes to marketing and advertising online. As found by Smart Insights, the global click-through rate of paid adverts across all platforms and formats was 0.05% last year. This is why differentiation through brand and customer reviews have become a brilliant way of enticing potential customers to visit your site and buy your offer. Let's dive straight into how you can leverage travel customer reviews to improve your click-through rates.
Anybody online can voice their opinion or experience of a company through a review platform – this is why they are so important to you. In the eyes of potential customers, reviews are impartial opinions of a brand and deter or entice would-be customers to visit your site. As found by Invesp, 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting the business. Therefore, if nine out of 10 potential site visitors want to read a review about your travel site and you don't have reviews incorporated into your marketing strategy, you can say goodbye to them visiting you site.
But don't worry – we're going to show you ways to leverage customer reviews to improve your travel site's click-through rate.
Using reviews on your key pages is a great way to have your users experience with your travel brand visible to first time visitors. Now, although not technically going to improve click-through rates of your site on the search engine results page (SERP), it will increase the chances of the visitor staying on your site. They act as votes of confidence and approval from existing customers and according to BrightLocal, 84% of consumers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation. They show transparency to potential customers and can give them the nudge they need to trust your brand and engage with the rest of your site.
The above example is from the Villa Plus homepage, and it uses Trustpilot (an independent review site) and quotes from happy customers. Both of these customer reviews confirm to potential customers that your site is the one they would like to buy from. We'd also advise you using reviews from TripAdvisor as it's a travel-specific review site – you're a travel brand, so leverage specialist review platforms!
The second way travel brands can leverage customer reviews to improve click-through rates is by using reviews on SERPs. As seen below, you can have reviews pinned to your rich snippet result on the SERP as Google pulls through reviews 'from reputable sources that aggregate business reviews' called Google Seller Ratings.
The search above for package holiday website brought back two websites that have reviews pulled through for them. There are three pieces of review information for users to see – the orange stars, the rating and the number of reviews. These three pieces of information can help you stand out from the competition and build trust early in the sales funnel – and entice them to click through to your site instead of a competitor. For example, Loveholidays can be perceived as more trustworthy as its four-and-a-half star review comes from 11,930 people as opposed to Jet2Holidays 2,233.
With the growing popularity in social media, people are turning to the platform for customer reviews and insights into people's experiences with brands. For example, Forbes found that one in four people follow brands on social media they might buy from. So, sharing customers experiences on your social-media business profiles is a great way to entice users to engage with your brand. Furthermore, they can also increase the click-through rate to your site as your business URL is normally visible on your business profile.
See the example of Royal Caribbean's Facebook business profile below.
Giving people the opportunity to submit their own opinion and experiences can often lead to negative customer reviews. They're part of leveraging customer reviews and one every now and then will pop up – although try your best to not let one do so. The key thing to remember is that your response is going to be visible to everyone, so don't respond in a negative way. One bad response to a review can have a detrimental affect to your perceived trust from consumers. Follow the tips below to ensure you handle negative reviews successfully:
Customer reviews are now a crucial part of content marketing and marketing in general. According to Vendasta, 92% of consumers read online reviews when making a purchase decision. By leveraging your customer reviews, you're building trust with existing and potential customers – and increasing the chances people will click through to your website.