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The power is in your customers’ hands, or is it?

We have an important update for our eCommerce readers out there. Google has just released a new algorithm update that will reflect on how well your brand’s products perform in the eyes of consumers. But the announcement of their Product Reviews update is about more than selling good products, getting great  online reviews, and receiving a boost in Google rank as a result. Like with any new update they make, there’s more to it. If you want to capitalize and get ahead of the competition, keep reading.

Everything Online Sellers Need to Know About Google’s April 2021 Product Reviews Algorithm Update

Why You Should Focus on Getting Great Reviews

It goes without saying that the heart of this Google update lies with the manufacturing and provision of great  goods. If a business sells junk, consumers will figure it out fast and blast them with bad reviews, which will now have an even greater impact on an online seller’s ability to rank. For the sake of this article, we’ll assume that you sell goods that people need and want, and that you’re meeting or exceeding their expectations about a given purchase. Theoretically the rest should unfold organically, as happy customers hop online and leave great reviews. In a perfect world this would happen, but in reality only 5-10% of consumers write reviews after making a purchase. However, studies show that 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked. That’s huge!

With this month’s update, Google is allotting more ranking power to products that have reviews. To leverage this Google update to improve your product positioning on Google search, you must be more proactive in securing reviews from customers. Typically, they leave these on Facebook and Google, but for product reviews to give your website a ranking boost they must also occur on your website. This requires the installation of a robust product review plugin. These are available in the app stores for Shopify, WeCommerce,  SquareSpace, and other seller platforms. If you use an open source eCommerce platform such as Magento you will need to purchase a review extension and have a developer integrate it. The investment is small compared to the potential boost in rank and subsequent traffic. However, this is just step one – as reviews alone are not enough to accommodate this Google update.

Depth of Review Content is Extremely Important

Having a great product and receiving positive reviews from consumers is one thing, but it’s not enough to fully capitalize on this month’s Google update. Content creation still leads the way. Google has stated that they will now place more weight on product reviews that share in-depth feedback, rather than a group of 4 or 5-star reviews to correspond with list of products sold in your eStore.

But how are you to control this when it’s your customers leaving the reviews? Ask them. Email a post-purchase survey that requests feedback about product features and its uses. You may absolutely incentivize purchasers with offers that activate upon completion of the survey. By having customers complete the survey prior to leaving their review on the product page of your website, they will be more likely to write those details in their review. This provides Google with the content-depth their new algorithm update is looking for.

Google has provided a list of what they want your product reviews to cover. They have explicitly asked that your reviews consider key questions. Namely, do they…

  • Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?

  • Show what the product is like physically, or how it is used, with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer?

  • Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?

  • Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors?

  • Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?

  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research into it?

  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision?

  • Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.

  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?

The questions above will vary by product and industry, but it most certainly helps you create post-purchase surveys. You’ll be surprised to find how much feedback customers are willing to provide if simply asked.

This is one update that your eCommerce businesses cannot afford to ignore. That said, updating the product pages of your website, crafting post-purchase questionnaires, and creating email campaigns to effectively deliver them can be a lot of work. Pass these critical marketing tasks to a digital marketing expert so that you can focus on providing great products. Contact Strategis Consulting Group today for a consultation.