Analysing Competitor Reviews to Improve Conversion Rates

Despite what you might have heard, conversion rate optimisation is rarely about changing the colour of your checkout buttons. In most cases the way to improve conversion rates is by making sites more user friendly to remove customer pain points as well as figuring out potential reasons why customers might not buy a product from you and making sure that all those reasons are addressed on the site.

For example if a customer is worried that a product might not arrive in time for an occasion you would have a detailed delivery page explaining what options are available. If you offer free next day delivery that should stop anybody being worried about delivery speed – if you only offer delivery in 3-5 working days this will mean people who are in a hurry might go elsewhere.

Understanding what your customers want requires gathering data via a few different methods. You could use a survey tool like Qualaroo to ask your visitors what they want but we find that the best way is to analyse your competitors customers opinions by checking out their online reviews.

If you just look at your own reviews you get a good indication of how users see your site but if you look at all your competitors then you understand why their customers love them and also why they might hate them. By making sure you cover all the problems people are having with your competitors and incorporate all the things people love into your business too then you will have a lot of happy customers.

It’s easy to see user reviews via a host of review sites – Trust Pilot is big at the moment and if you use a screen scraping tool such as Mozenda you can scrape the review text and plug it into Wordle to generate a nice tag cloud of your competitors reviews. If you combine this with actually reading all the reviews then you will have a really detailed understanding of what people love and what people hate about every site in your industry and can build FAQ’s and content to show people that your site is the best to buy from.

The tag clouds below are for Comet and John Lewis and it’s clear that issues such as delivery, stock, faults and cancelled orders exist for both however Comet clearly has the worst reviews as you might expect for a company in trouble.

By Patrick Altoft. at 10:45PM on Thursday, 07 Feb 2013

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

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