Online Customer Reviews Can Do Wonders For Your Business
Written by Stephen Scammell on Jan. 3rd 2021
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Having easy access to the web has radically changed the way people shop for almost everything today. From mobile phones and dog food to dental services, it’s rare to blindly make a purchase decision without reading through several online reviews. This means that whatever your industry, having a positive online presence gives you several key advantages, which is why reviews are a key part of your online presence.
Reviews build your brand reputation, bring a lot of credibility to your company, and provide the kind of social proof needed to influence consumer behaviour. Each review posted online by a customer is a form of advertising for your business. Your name and product are exposed to readers, increasing their awareness of who you are and what you do. In a world where almost everything can be found online now, people often look to reviews to know if a business is actually credible or not.
A recent survey in the US found the following:
> 4 in 5 American consumers read reviews before making a purchase decision.
> 83 percent of shoppers discover new products every month through online customer reviews.
> 79 percent do so to make sure the product or service is good, 61 percent read reviews to make sure the product or service works, and 53 percent read reviews to make sure that they don’t get ripped off.
> 69 percent of consumers believe that only reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant.
Research firm e-Marketer adds that 7 percent of consumers need to read at least 20 reviews before they put enough trust in a business.
In addition, reviews are one of the biggest factors in your local search visibility. Reviews can also influence internet search engine results. Search engines such as Google take into account how many times your business name is mentioned in reviews. If you're mentioned a lot of times, you're likely to appear higher in the search results for a particular type of business than one that isn't reviewed very often. Also a business’ review signals such as review count, ratings, and review text are factored into organic and local search rankings. Which means: more reviews will help you rank higher in search results.
Research shows that consumers generally trust peer recommendations more than they trust advertising. Consumers are most likely to trust recommendations from people they know, but many also consider online sources to be credible. Every online review that recommends your business is a powerful form of marketing.
Some online reviews may raise concerns or suggest improvements related to your business. This can be a good opportunity to resolve a customer's problem and/or improve business practices. Being transparent and open to feedback allows your business to improve and flourish as you will have the direct feedback from people who care about your business.
From this perspective, it simply makes business sense to have a steady stream of new and better reviews. And when you’re already delivering experiences that customers love, they won’t hesitate to vouch for you. All you have to do is ask. Often, this is the best way to get reviews.
If you ever need more information or help with setting this up, then connect with me.