In the age of the Internet, customer reviews have become integral to the business of online marketplaces and even who we are as consumers. It may seem odd, but people trust the opinion of total strangers before deciding where to eat, what to watch, and even when making significant purchases. In fact 8/10 consumers conduct online research about products before making a purchase. This shows how highly influential online reviews are and its massive impact on how well businesses perform or not.
It is not enough for a business to just build a website, include customer testimonials, have social media profiles. You also need to be aware of all the instances in which your business appears online, including industry specific review sites and on various other platforms such as Google, Facebook, online catalogs, comments on your business blog and social media posts, and have a business strategy for managing reviews to build your online reputation. It’s great if your business is already on the ball, if not, here is why you need to get with the program.
The Power Of Online Reviews
90% of consumers do read online reviews, and 88% of buyers trust online reviews when making a purchase.
91% of searchers do not look past the first page of search results when considering a business.
Even a one-star improvement in your business rating can result in a 9% increase in revenue!
Consumer reviews are trusted by 12 times more trusted by other people than product description, no matter how good they are.
Why Are Online Reviews Important For Your SEO?
Online reviews are having a growing impact on search engine results mainly because consumers love reviews and search engines like to give people the information they want. Visibility on customer review sites can determine your search engine placement, especially search placement in local listings. If you go by the 2017 MOZ local ranking signals, reviews make up 13% of how Google and other search engine algorithms decide to rank results. It is evident that reviews along with on-page signals, and link signals are important for your SEO!
Having positive reviews on different sites like Facebook, Google+, and Yelp adds to your brand’s rankings on search results. But even first-party customer reviews also increase the click-through rate to your website (by 153%) and are used to reinforce your geographic listing, thereby increasing the local search placement for your brand. Search engines, just like people, prefer current reviews rather than old ones, so always request customers to leave a review for your business. It makes current customers feel more engaged and will also help prospective customers make better decisions.
How Can Online Reviews Impact Your Conversion Rate?
The conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of visits. And conversion can mean what you want users to do when they land on your page, such as download, a sign in, a subscription or purchase. For conversions to happen, customers should be able to trust your brand and products. People won’t buy from you, if they don’t trust your business. And when people want to know if they can trust your business, they turn to online reviews. To increase your conversion rates and sales for your business, you must be attentive to what your online reviews say. Positive online reviews can remove any doubts potential customers may have about your product or service, which will only strengthen your business’ reputation online and increase conversions.
How Can Online Reviews Help You Win Customers?
Customers now have the power to search and to read reviews on pretty much anything. Only then do consumers decide who they are going to do business with. Based on a 2017 survey conducted by BrightLocal, 97% of consumers admit to reading online reviews for local businesses and 85% confirm that they trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. When reading a review, potential customers are looking for reassurance from fellow shoppers about the product they are interested in. They want to know whether it has lived up to expectations. And approval from actual customers convinces new customers to trust you and can improve the value of your business. Positive opinions on your site and across social media channels about your company, product/ services can amplify the positive feeling in consumers when making the purchase and they are therefore more likely to continue.
What About Negative Online Reviews?
Did you know an overwhelming 86% of consumers will decide against buying from you if they read negative online reviews about you? But lucky for businesses, an average consumer will read at least 11 online reviews before making a purchasing decision. So, every honest review from loyal customers count.
No business likes a bad review, but often miscommunications and mistakes do happen, and you are likely to face a negative online review. It certainly isn’t the end of the world, if you know how to respond to negative reviews. They are not ideal, but you can control the damage they incur and on occasions even benefit from them, by ensuring a thorough follow up to all negative online reviews.
There you have it, with the increasing number of websites, social media channels and directories, it is important to monitor and manage what people are saying about you online. To put your best foot forward online, get in touch with Directive Group. We can help your business build its reputation and customer base through prevention, maintenance and response tactics to your online reviews.