The Power of Good Online Reviews
You might have wondered: Do online reviews generate new website traffic and sales leads? In short, yes. Online reviews have dramatically changed how people shop and make decisions about their purchases. By 2016, 90% of shoppers reported they read at least one online review before patronizing a business. Online reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook have become as influential as word-of-mouth exchanges in generating new sales leads and starting the buyer’s journey. Read on to discover the power of good online reviews for your business to direct potential customers to your site.
The Case for the Power of Good Online Reviews
Research has shown that online reviews are authoritative. Nearly all — 90% of consumers — read online reviews before visiting a business. And the majority of consumers, 88%, trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Overall, customers report that positive reviews lead them to trust a business more, while negative reviews lead them to avoid businesses. Customers hesitate to trust companies with lower than a four-star rating.
3 Reasons Good Online Reviews are Indispensable for Your Brand
Here are five reasons good online reviews are valuable:
1. They provide social proof.
People are social creatures by nature, and other peoples’ decisions influence ours. We’re more likely to frequent a restaurant, use a service, or make a purchase, if others around us agree it’s a good decision — even if the people agreeing with us are strangers. Online reviews reinforce potential clients’ decision making.
2. Online reviews make your brand more visible.
Most consumers employ search engines such as Google and Bing when shopping. All search engines emphasize fresh content when indexing and surfacing content. Online reviews keep your brand’s content fresh, and thus bring it to the attention of search engines. Additionally, expanding your brand’s reach to other sites, such as Yelp, enhances your search result rankings. Google scans these sites as well, and positive reviews there can help your brand surface higher. The higher your brand is ranked in search results, the more likely customers are to see your business as an authority.
3. Online reviews are essential to customers’ decision making.
Nearly two-thirds of customers believe online reviews are an important part of their decision-making process. Customers say they’re more likely to consult online review than their friends and family. So, having a stream of — hopefully! — good online reviews flowing in about your brand will ensure potential customers have the information they need to make a buying decision.
How to Harness the Power of Good Online Reviews
Because good online reviews are paramount, it’s important you inspire your customers to provide them. And what’s more, you’ll need many reviews. Customers often read more than one review; 74% of consumers read between two and 10 reviews before moving forward with their decision making. Most reviews appear on the top four review sites. Google is still the most popular one, followed by Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor.
Let’s start with — perhaps — the most important tip for getting good online reviews: Do good work. Providing excellent customer service, a quality product, and a seamless shopping experience will earn your business positive reviews. Unfortunately, customers are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones, so you may have to encourage them to share. Here’s how to do it:
1. Highlight your reviews.
If you’re proud of your reviews — and you want to inspire your customers to provide more of them — highlight them prominently on your website and social media.
2. Contact customers.
After a customer makes a purchase, reach out to that customer via email asking for a review. You’re more likely to get a review shortly after the customer buys a product or service, so don’t wait to contact them. Make it easy for them to respond by linking to review sites. If you’re short on reviews, you can also create an email campaign asking all customers to submit reviews. For businesses with physical locations, you may also consider “asking” them for reviews in your space by posting stickers, signs, or issuing a message at the bottom of receipts.
3. Set up and claim your profiles.
Setting up and claiming your profiles on online review sites will enable you to make sure information posted about your brand (such as phone, address, and website) are correct. This will also allow the results to show up when someone looks for your brand on search engines. It will also allow you to take the next step to encourage online reviews.
4. Interact with customers.
Plan to reply to every online review. You’ll likely be eager to thank customers for positive feedback, but you may receive negative reviews, too. If you receive one, don’t ignore it. Responding to reviews of all types will show customers you’re engaged and attentive to their needs.
5. Share good reviews.
When people see positive reviews, they’re more likely to provide good reviews themselves.
How LuckyTamm Digital Marketing Can Help
Our team members can help you tap into the power of good online reviews. If you’re a small-to-medium-sized business that relies on word-of-mouth marketing and wants to expand, we can help. Connect with us, today!