How Important Are Online Reviews For Your Business?Phillip Mandel
An astounding 98 percent of consumers say they read online reviews at least occasionally, and 77 percent read them “frequently” or “always.”
Does your business get a lot of positive online attention? Would you like more positive reviews to share with potential customers? If so, you’re in the right place.
In this article, the digital marketing and media experts at Bower Web Solutions are going to discuss reputation management, and why it matters so much these days. You will learn more about the importance of online reviews, how to get more positive ones, and how to handle negative ones appropriately.
Why Online Reviews Matter
If you don’t have many (or any) positive online reviews of your business, you’re missing out on a lot of potential benefits. Here are some of the top reasons why online reviews matter:
Reason #1: Reviews Provide Social Proof
Surveys show that up to 84 percent of consumers see reviews as essential to their purchasing decisions.
People want to hear from other customers or clients before spending their hard-earned money on a new-to-them business.
Reviews provide valuable social proof and help to validate a particular business. The more reviews a brand has, the more likely people will buy what they’re selling.
Reason #2: Reviews Build Trust
If a business doesn’t have any reviews online (or has very few), many potential buyers view that as a red flag. They’re especially likely to do this if that business has been around for a while.
People might wonder why nobody seems to have anything positive to say about the brand, and they might think twice about spending their own money on the brand’s products or services.
Reason #3: Reviews Increase Your Reach
Collecting more online reviews can also help you increase your business’s online reach. Your business gains more relevance on review sites as you gather more positive feedback.
As a result of increased online relevance, it’s easier for people to learn about the products or services you sell. If your business’s name consistently comes up and has lots of positive reviews attached to it, people will be more inclined to shop with you.
Where Do Reviews Matter Most?
You can see why online reviews matter. However, you might be wondering which review sites you should focus on most. The following are some of the most important review sites for business owners to prioritize:
- Google: This is the first place many people look when they want to learn more about a business. See our post on How to Create a Link to the Review Page in Google My Business.
- Facebook: 78 percent of consumers discover new products through Facebook
- Industry-specific Sites: These sites are more likely to attract potential customers who want to learn more about products or services like yours
After concentrating on these three review platforms, you can start branching out to other options, including third-party sites like Yelp.
How to Get More Positive Reviews
As a business owner, you know that it can be tricky to figure out how to convince customers or clients to leave positive reviews. If you want to increase the number of online reviews you currently have, here are some tips that can help:
Tactic #1: Showcase Positive Reviews on Your Website
People are often more inclined to leave positive reviews if they see others posted prominently on your website.
Showcasing positive reviews next to specific products or on a dedicated Review/Testimonial page adds credibility to your brand. It also encourages website visitors to take the next step and invest in your products or services and can convince them to leave their own positive reviews (since they know you’ll put them on display).
Tactic #2: Follow Up with Your Customers/Clients
Sometimes, people need an extra nudge to leave a favorable business review.
After someone has purchased a product or service from you, reach out and ask them about their experience. Encourage them to leave a review on specific platforms if they enjoyed their product or service, too.
Consider sharing links to the review sites in your emails or other marketing messages to make it even easier for customers to leave reviews.
Tactic #3: Contests or Giveaways
If it’s been a while since you received positive online reviews for your business, it’s temping to consider running a contest or giveaway.
But be very careful. Nearly every major review site penalizes for paid reviews. So posting that you’ll pay for reviews is asking for trouble. But asking for a review when you do a customer a favor like staying open a little late or making a minor change is a good way to get a review doing something you would have done anyway. After all (see the next tactic).
Tactic #4: Run a Business Worth Reviewing
We can’t run your business for you, but we can offer some advice that people will sometimes not want to hear: ensure you’re running a business that people want to review. Prioritize good customer service, a streamlined online shopping process, and high-quality products or services.
What to Do About Poor Reviews?
Okay, now, sometimes you’ll get a poor review. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to stop people from sometimes taking out their problems on you in a nasty way online. But the number one rule for handling negative reviews is to respond promptly, politely, and professionally.
Don’t ignore negative reviews. That can make it seem like you don’t care about your customers or clients, which of course is not true. Respond as soon as you can to get in front of the issue.
But when you do respond, don’t be angry or defensive. Make your message as polite and professional as possible. No matter how harsh the review is, responding rudely just makes your business look bad. And then, be honest with yourself and reflect on your business: was there anything you could’ve done to make that customer or client’s experience better?
Need More Marketing Advice?
Positive online reviews help grow your audience, improve your reputation, and increase sales. Follow the tips discussed above to start collecting more positive online reviews today.
Do you need more help improving your business’s online presence? If so, we here at Bower Web Solutions are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services.