In the digital and tech-driven age, online reviews have become highly influential. Most brands and businesses understand that online reviews area key indicator that paints a clear picture of their establishment.
A positive product or service review can help a business garner more market attention and accelerate growth. Conversely, a negative review can tarnish the reputation of a business. If there are fake online reviews involved, a business can suffer irreparable damage.
Today, over 90% of consumers believe online reviews directly impact their purchase decision. In fact, more than 80% of consumers concur that they check online reviews before making a purchase decision. A study also shows that customers are willing to pay 22% more money for products if it has a solid online reputation.
Online reviews have the power to influence the purchase decisions of consumers. A product with five-star reviews is proven to sell more than a product or service without five-star reviews. Progressive brands understand that they have to develop and maintain a positive digital footprint to drive consistent business growth.
Top Reasons that Make Online Reviews Important for Businesses
Here are the main reasons that highlight the importance of online reviews:
Online reviews give businesses a chance to improve their local SEO. Businesses have to be aware of new SEO practices to fine-tune their SEO strategy. With local SEO, local businesses can improve their targeted approach and stand out in the market.
Google considers relevance, prominence, and distance parameters to improve local SEO. Also, updating your business hours, responding to online reviews via Google Business Profile, and verifying locations make your listing more visible in search results. Failure to respond and engage with customers online leaves businesses cold.
So, optimize your Google Maps listing and business website for local search engine optimization. Ensure details like business address, phone number, and name are consistent and accurate on online platforms and directories. You can use positive online reviews to build credibility and create content for the local audience to earn links, press mentions, and social media following to boost local visibility.
You can leverage online reviews to rank higher and get better ratings on industry-specific websites. A higher Facebook and Google ranking means more room for strategic business growth. Many established businesses have a strategy to handle online reviews to hit higher rankings and ratings. Businesses should learn to spot industry-specific online review websites. After that, businesses can direct their customers to fill out positive reviews on sites.
Online reviews area numbers game. So, alleviate the impact of fake or negative reviews that can increase five-star rated reviews and influence purchase decisions. On top of quantity, make sure your online reviews are diverse enough to attract potential customers.
Naturally, you don’t want to confuse potential customers with higher quantity and low-quality reviews. You can land online reviews by reflecting on your business performance. Industry-specific online review websites serve as excellent resources for businesses to conduct a targeted search. Industry-specific online review sites also allow businesses to create added value in front of potential customers.
Online reviews on industry-specific niche sites can always pop up on the Google search engine results page. The trick is to have a clear understanding of how you will approach online reviews to maximize exposure to diverse customers and get more potential customers to purchase your products or services.
If you collect information daily, one of the perks of online reviews is gathering feedback in real time. You can use this information to improve business processes and employee performance. With real-time feedback, businesses can better identify key strengths and weaknesses and remediate issues before they spiral out of control.
No business entity is safe from negative reviews. Broadminded businesses and brands see negative reviews as opportunities. When you respond to negative reviews with delays, listen to customers’ concerns, and provide constructive feedback, it can help you turn negative reviews into positive ones.
Negative reviews help you see the good and the bad points about your product or service. When you respond to reviews without delay, it allows you to maintain transparent and seamless business operations. An extensive study by Harvard Business School shows that improvement in one star or a Yelp score leads to a 9% revenue increase. Whether you receive negative or positive online reviews, try to improve the perception of your business, and propel consumers to buy your products or services.
You can respond to negative reviews in more than one way. For instance, your response can be apologetic. Of course, admitting that you did something wrong is not easy. But it is crucial to acknowledge when there is a wrongdoing. You can also respond in a calm manner.
When you’re calm, it allows you to dissect a problem more wisely. Once your head is cool, reason will prevail and allow you to steer the conversation in the right direction. When responding to an online review, offer a realistic and proactive solution. It is not enough to take responsibility – you have to resolve your customers’ concerns. Demonstrate an attitude that shows you’ve thought about the issue and want to offer a solution.
After apologizing, taking responsibility, and offering a solution – give the customer a way to reach out to your business for a follow-up. Instead of triggering a flight response– provide customers with additional contract information to contact your customer support service or office manager.
With online reviews, businesses and brands can create loyal customers and build long-term trust with targeted customers. On the surface, you may find it odd that online reviews left by strangers carry so much weight.
Fortunately, most consumers are likely to trust businesses when there are plenty of positive reviews. So, create authenticity across your online reviews. Instead of focusing on generic reviews, compile online reviews from real customers that give you an objective viewpoint about your products or services.
It is a fast-paced eCommerce landscape – one look at Google reviews, and potential customers figure out whether or not they will buy the product. To build trust and drive loyalty, encourage the happiest customers to post online reviews. Research shows that satisfied customers leave positive online reviews to guide other customers.
To earn the trust and loyalty of your customers, you will need to spend resources and time upfront and actively encourage satisfied customers to share their honest thoughts about your product or service. You’d be surprised how much revenue you can generate through this tactic.
Remember, up to 80% of consumers trust online reviews like personal recommendations. When loyal and satisfied customers leave positive online reviews, it translates into brand advocacy that helps you generate more revenue and drive unprecedented growth.
You can better understand what makes your potential customers tick through online reviews. Oftentimes, the simple solution is the best solution. You can leverage online reviews to learn the objective viewpoint about your business and what changes you can make to improve the customer journey and customer experience.
Online reviews help businesses get the pulse of customers and what they think about their brand. You can extract valuable insights and improve customer experience with positive online reviews. Within online reviews, there is a good chance you already possess anecdotal data. The question is, “how” do you use these insights to attract more potential customers?
Once you take online customer reviews seriously, you can validate business processes to improve customer experience. Now, don’t expect the customer experience to transform overnight. The more valuable insights you gain – the more opportunities you will get to improve customer experience.
Small businesses often find themselves in a challenging position that makes it harder to collect insightful information and improve customer experience. Many small businesses don’t have the resources and time to survey their consumers and gain valuable feedback. But businesses of all sizes need to see online reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and Google as an opportunity to gain insights.
Besides, online reviews offer more resourceful, updated, and insightful feedback than traditional customer satisfaction surveys. Whether it’s, Yelp, Facebook, or Google reviews, understand the reasoning behind feedback instead of taking comments and ratings at face value.
Online reviews are valuable and help businesses attract new customers. Whether it’s deciding where to go, what to buy, or where to eat, people now use Google reviews, Yelp reviews, and Facebook reviews to make their decisions. If one of your first online Google reviews has lower than a four-star rating, it will discourage 57% of your customers from overlooking the rest of your reviews.
Customers who see 5-star ratings are 75% more likely to try your product or service. Think of the customer’s buying decision as a degree of willingness to get your product or service offering. Now, you don’t want to hound your customers to leave an online review on Google or Facebook.
Instead, use subtle and indirect ways to ask your consumers to leave an online review on Google or another site. If you collect top-rated positive online reviews faster than your close competitors, you will be able to stand out.
Word of mouth generated via online reviews can become the best friend of your business. It is an effective online marketing tactic that allows satisfied users to leave glorious product or service reviews.
Online reviews are digital word-of-mouth marketing that builds customers’ trust and works as recommendations. When customers make their recommendations through Facebook, all their friends can see the online review, and it becomes a personal recommendation.
You cannot overlook negative reviews if your business believes in providing an exceptional customer experience. Not every online review is positive, but negative reviews in the form of criticism can help businesses address critical business issues.
You don’t necessarily have to see a negative review in a bad light. As mentioned earlier, see it as a chance to address and resolve business issues. You can even use negative reviews to propel customers who left negative reviews to return. It may sound unfathomable but responding to customers is often all it takes to change their perceptions.
When you’re addressing a business problem via negative reviews, you’re not leaving anything to chance. Get at the forefront of the issue and get more online reviews by asking more customers. You can use social media channels or email as reminders for customers to leave an online review.
Beyond trust, use online customer reviews to create personalized messages, identify the most relevant keywords, and speed up product development efforts. One of the easiest ways to get more online reviews is to ask customers directly and make sure to make the process easier.
To cut out friction, create new touchpoints and fields, give customers prompt answers, and reduce technical issues. In a traditional sense, you may be thinking about offering discounts, promotional offers, and loyalty points on different purchases. But there are certain strings attached and consequences on these elements now. Still, you can incentivize online shoppers by coming across as honest and transparent. Honesty equals an improved reputation that helps businesses win the trust of customers and achieve long-term success.
Before you collect online reviews:
- Check out FTC guidelines.
- Make sure not to limit online customer review requests or ask for fake reviews from third-party individuals.
- Don’t offer incentives for leaving Google reviews.
Potential customers want to see a healthy mixture of online reviews, and having glowing online reviews shows the positive experience of other customers. But when there are negative reviews, it rings like a red alarm bell for potential customers.
There is no shortcut – give the shoppers a unique experience from their perspective so that they can make informed decisions. Once you understand your target customers’ needs, you can share their perspectives and roll out your product or service offering based on these insights.
Online reviews have become a new standard for businesses to survive and thrive in a competitive market. When it comes to online marketing, businesses often draw the attention of potential customers through positive online reviews.
Consumers can now check online reviews on Google Maps and make instant purchase decisions. Online reviews have become quintessential to achieve long-term success. Most consumers check online reviews to make purchase decisions. You can also interpret online reviews as a manifested quality of your products and customer experience.
When fake or negative online reviews pop up, it dissuades potential customers to engage with a business. It is the main reason positive online reviews impact businesses’ bottom line and revenue. The goal of businesses should be to leverage positive online reviews and dive into more lucrative business opportunities.
In retrospect, online reviews tie together with customer purchase decisions. Businesses should collect and showcase accurate information. Once businesses secure a high number of positive online reviews on their site, social media channels, or Google, it allows them to form trust with customers, boost sales, improve their online reputation, and create satisfied customers.