As a business owner, you’ve probably wondered: Does my business have any online reviews? What are my customers saying about my business? And you that’s because deep down you know reviews are important -- even if they seem like a hassle to manage.
Every business understands the struggle of online reviews -- we have all been there. Whether it’s battling an unfair negative review or simply not having enough reviews, it can be challenging. But what every business owner doesn't know is that online reviews also come with a myriad of benefits -- benefits you can’t afford to ignore.
Ninety-three percent of local consumers use reviews to determine if a local business is good or bad. Seventy-two percent of customers don't take action until they have read reviews. Clearly, reviews matter a lot.
Don’t let the few bad experiences discourage you because there are dozens of other happy customers who are just waiting to write glowing reviews. So let’s talk about reviews, in particular the benefits of online reviews and what they can do for your business.
Key Benefits of Online Reviews
Aside from how great it feels hearing customers praise your business, there are real tangible benefits that online reviews have that will help your business thrive. Here are some of the major ones.
Reviews Act As Social Proof (To Drive Purchases)
The average consumer reads 10 online reviews before making a purchase decision. Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations. And that’s because we all want some sort of social proof. That’s where reviews come into play.
Online reviews are essentially customer recommendations (or warnings) that consumers read to validate their buying decisions. It also helps them build trust with your brand and gives credibility to your business from actual customers.
Improve Your Ranking On Search Engine Results
A lot of reviews and good ratings help a business improve its ranking on search engines like Google. Online reviews can help a website rank higher in the Google 3 Pack and organic local search results. Experts believe that online reviews make up over 13 percent of how Google and other search engines rank local search results.
Reviews are an easy way to improve your SEO and boost your online visibility for free, which in turn will attract more customers and increase brand awareness. So, if you are looking for your business to rank higher on Google, start asking your customers for those reviews.
Reviews Increase Click-Through Rates
Every business strives to get more people to click their link and drive more traffic to their website. But that doesn’t always happen -- especially not for businesses with poor ratings. For example, going from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating gets a business 25 percent more clicks from Google Local Pack. That’s a lot of clicks.
By having more online reviews, you can make your brand look more appealing to searchers and actually increase the digital traffic to your website and your click-through rates. In other words, fewer and negative ratings tend to reduce clicks, whereas an abundance of positive ratings will increase clicks.
Positive Reviews Build Trust With Prospective Customers
Of course, you think your business is great -- consumers expect that. However, when customers also publicly praise your business for no other reason than your exceptionality, that builds trust. Seventy-six percent of consumers are more likely to trust content shared by their peers rather than content shared by brands.
Almost 9 out of 10 consumers determine whether or not they can trust a business after reading 10 reviews. Consumers trust other customer’s experiences and in turn, will develop trust for your brand -- if they like what they see.
You Have the Opportunity to Win Back Customers
It’s a common misconception that once you lose a customer they’re gone forever. Of course, that’s true sometimes, but if they take the time to write a review for your business, chances are they want to engage with you. Take advantage of this opportunity to rectify the situation and win back your customers.
If you handle the situation appropriately, the customer might even modify their review and replace the negative one with a positive review. Your customer is happy and your reputation doesn't have to suffer either -- it’s a win-win.
Reviews Can Help Improve Your Business Operations
Finding out what you customers like -- and don’t like -- is paramount to the success of your business. Your customers are providing you with this valuable insight for free when they leave reviews for your business. It’s your responsibility to listen to what they say, hear their constructive criticism and suggestions, and implement changes.
It’s important to understand that both positive and negative reviews play a role in improving your business. When you receive a negative review, it may uncover a previously unknown issue with your business, operations, or even with an employee that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. When your customers provide feedback, it's your job to listen.
Reap the Benefits of Online Reviews
In order to successfully reap all of the benefits online reviews have to offer, you have to come up with a way to build, manage, and protect your online reputation. That’s where GoSite comes into play.
GoSite’s Review tool does all the above plus it will help you turn searchers into buyers and get you the reputation you deserve. With GoSite, you can become the best business of choice over your local competitors in searches for your category.
So, what do you say? Are you willing to give online reviews one more chance? If you do, your business will thank you.