Let’s face it, everyone is connected digitally to the world around them and most people keep their smartphones on them at all times. For business owners, this means it’s incredibly important for you to have a strong online presence and manage your brand’s reputation, no matter how large or small your organization is.
When people discover positive online reviews for your business, they gain a sense of trust in your business and are therefore more likely to become a customer. This is just one of the many reasons you should be trying to acquire online reviews.
Here are 6 additional reasons you should incorporate reviews into your brand’s advertising and marketing.
1. Boosts Sales
The primary reason businesses need online reviews is that they help increase sales by giving consumers the information they need to make a purchase decision. When potential customers are unsure about a product or service, they look to reviews from others who have already made the purchase. This helps them gain insights into the quality and value of what you offer, thereby influencing their purchasing decisions.
2. Enhances SEO
Search engines love fresh user-generated content, and online reviews are an excellent source. Regularly receiving online reviews can help your business rank higher in search engine results. This is particularly beneficial for local SEO as Google takes into account the number and score of reviews when determining local search rankings.
3. Builds Trust and Credibility
In an era where consumers are often skeptical, online reviews can lend credibility to your business. A good mix of reviews, both positive and negative, can show that your reviews are genuine and not manipulated. Positive reviews build trust with potential customers while responding professionally to negative ones demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction.
One of our clients, a tax service in Sacramento, unfortunately, had a few negative reviews come through. We encouraged the business owner to respond to the reviews right away in a professional and courteous manner. This quick response sometimes leads to reviewers changing their ratings. And at the very least, it shows future customers that you respond to feedback quickly.
4. Provides Valuable Feedback
Online reviews are a source of direct feedback from your customers. They can highlight areas of your business that are doing well and those that may need improvement. This feedback is invaluable as it can help you better understand your customers’ needs and expectations, allowing you to make necessary changes to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
For another client of mine, a teen therapist in Denver, they use feedback from Psychology Today to improve their processes.
5. Influences Buying Decisions
Today’s consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Online reviews can sway a consumer’s buying decision in your favor. A wealth of positive reviews shows that many people are satisfied with your offerings, encouraging others to choose your business over competitors.
One of my partners, a web developer in Denver, includes review information on his website and in proposals for future clients. As long as you have positive reviews, show them off where you can so buyers feel that much more confident.
6. Encourages Customer Engagement
Lastly, online reviews encourage interaction between your business and customers. By responding to reviews, you demonstrate that you value your customer’s opinions and are committed to improving their experiences. This level of engagement can lead to a strong relationship with your customers, fostering loyalty and encouraging repeat business.
Don’t be mistaken; online reviews are not just a digital trend. They have become a critical aspect of business operations, especially for small businesses serving a regional area. They provide potential customers with the reassurance they need to choose your business over others. They also offer valuable insights that can drive improvement and growth. So, if you haven’t already, start encouraging your customers to leave online reviews and reap the benefits they offer.