Online reviews are one of the most important areas you need to pay attention to when running a business. While some companies think they don’t matter, research shows they DO matter! In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews prior to visiting a business. Furthermore, 88% of consumers will trust online reviews as much as a referral or recommendation from a trusted friend, family member, or co-worker.
No matter what industry you are in, you must focus on building your online reputation. Online reviews are just one element that you must follow to ensure you are meeting customer expectations and maintaining a positive reputation in your industry. Here are some of the reasons why online reviews will have a direct impact on your business.
Online Reputation Increases Product Sales
Consider what you do when you are buying a product online. Take a look at some of the most popular shopping platforms, like Amazon. Almost every single product on their website will have a review. Certain companies have seen a drastic increase in sales due to the overwhelming number of positive reviews the product receives. Positive feedback leads to social-proof trust, which people consider as they browse through multiple products and companies before making a buying decision. If you find yourself reading reviews and trusting those five-star reviews more than a product with a two-star review, it’s evident how much you trust online reviews as well!
What does the online review provide in this instance? The company has done a great job listing all the information about the product, trying to give the customer as much information as they could possibly need about the product. However, the actual customers are the ones giving feedback people want, such as, “How heavy is it to push the lawnmower? How long does it take to charge the lawnmower? Does the battery last long enough to do a quarter-acre yard? How clean does the cut look when it’s finished?” Understanding that extra “human element” to a review makes it easier for the customer to trust other people, instead of relying solely on the information from the brand.
Reviews Increase Your Website Ranking
When you have a strong online reputation, it will improve the overall visibility of your brand. Your website ranking will increase, and more customers will be exposed to your brand. Each website offering reviews will have different methods in the way they rank the content on their own site, but Google grabs the information as well. Google treats the reviews as fresh content for your brand and it is one of the ranking factors they use in the search engine algorithms.
Build Your Brand with Online Reviews
Another reason why you need positive online reviews is to help improve your brand image. If you continue to receive a credible stream of online reviews, it can help to strengthen your reputation and online identity. Here are some industry stats that provide insight into the importance of online reviews:
- 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has a 4-star rating
- 40% of consumers only read reviews written in the last 2 weeks
- Consumers read an average of 10 reviews prior to trusting a local business
- 86% of consumers use online reviews as a deciding factor to deal with a local business
- 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews
Online reviews have a huge factor in decision-making for consumers. When you have a steady stream of fresh online reviews, it will start expanding your brand’s reach. When a customer is happy, they are likely to refer your brand to others, and many of them will also turn to additional review websites to post additional reviews. Each source for an online review is picked up by Google, so it is imperative to manage your online reviews.
Capture the Customers’ Opinion
Consumers today want to have direct access to the companies they work with. Companies are feeling the pressure to respond in a timely manner to social media comments, online reviews, and postings. The various ways consumers have access to directly influence a brand is one of their top concerns. Brands are finding that quickly responding to reviews and consumer comments has generated a higher website ranking, and many of them have started seeing more social mentions and trending topics thanks to proper online review management.
How to Manage Online Reviews
With a plethora of online review websites to work with, it can be challenging to manage your reputation. Should you automate online reviews with software? Should you pay someone else to speak for you? Finding the right balance comes down to what you want your brand to achieve. There are some free tools you can use to manage online reviews, but the majority of them still require several hours of work. Performance Driven Marketing uses a unique program to help track and manage your online reputation, and our in-house team will work directly with you to ensure all company responses are taken care of in a professional manner.
Having a friendly, open voice with the customers does help to enhance your brand image and will encourage positivity within your industry. Contact our marketing firm in Ogden today to get started on managing your online reviews and business reputation!