The Importance of Online Reviews
It seems like everyone on the internet these days has an opinion about something– and they’re more than happy to tell you all about it! When their opinions are in regards to your business, however, exactly how important are those comments to you?
According to Search Engine Land, those opinions are actually quite important to consumers. When it comes to online reviews of your business, 88% of consumers trust those reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation from a friend, family member or co-worker. A study conducted on consumer usage and attitudes towards online reviews was done in 2014, and of those surveyed, only 12% said they do not read any online reviews before making a purchasing decision.
This reflects the upward trend that has remained steady over the last four years, clearly showing that more and more, people are regularly reading reviews to determine the quality of a local business. 72% of consumers surveyed said that the more positive reviews a company had, the more likely they were to trust that company’s reputation. The internet today makes it more possible than ever to seek out online reviews of services and products from companies all around the globe.
Quality reviews are extremely beneficial in creating “social buzz” about your business, and can even have a positive impact on your current SEO and digital efforts. However, it’s also important to note that you shouldn’t ignore those negative reviews, either. When dealing with a negative review, make sure you remain professional, even when the review may seem unfair. Respond in a timely fashion, and ask to take the conversation offline if possible in order to properly resolve it.
How can a business go about getting more positive reviews? First of all, make it clear to your customers that you appreciate their business, and that you respect and want to hear their opinions. If they had a good experience, make it easy for them to share that online.
One way to go about making it easier on your customers to leave online reviews involves incorporating a program through a vendor like Trustpilot. Trustpilot was founded back in 2007 as an online review platform for ecommerce sites, making it easy for consumers to share their experiences with a company. They differ from other review platforms who tend to require multiple steps for a user; steps like creating an account, a password, verifying the account, logging in, and then finally leaving the review. This extensive process could deter users from leaving a positive review, making those negative reviews out there more prominently displayed online.
Trustpilot not only makes it easier for consumer to leave reviews, but also for these reviews to be shared via social media or the business’s website. Companies can hand select the reviews they’d like displayed on their pages. By simplifying the review process, businesses are seeing an 85% increase in reviews at the 5 star maximum!
It’s important to leverage the power of a good review throughout your digital efforts, including SEO, PPC campaigns, and social media campaigns. You’ll eventually be able to reach beyond a smaller, local customer base by keeping that positive buzz about your business new, fresh and available for all to see.