Listing platforms like Google and Yelp are the first place where consumers look for businesses they can trust. 92% of consumers read online reviews and 85% of people trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Now more than ever authentic customer reviews are important for businesses.

Why all the fuss about online reviews?

As a business owner if you are wondering why online reviews are important? Put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers; imagine your favorite dish, a nice outfit for that party you’re invited to, or even that new car you wanted. When you wanted these and went after them, your experiences could have gone anyway in the past. It’s only the bad results that you voiced most of the time. This negative feedback shadows the good experiences that others might have had with the exact same business.

The listing platforms help a business to showcase a mix of both good and bad reviews. Reviews are very fundamental for any business to build a sense of online trust and social proof. They also help increase visibility across search engine results and allow new customers to find them.

5 Reasons why every business should secure recent reviews.

Social Proof Drives Purchases

Consumers are likely to make a faster purchase decision with local businesses when they see recent and consistent reviews. A roofing company with multiple reviews in the past week or month is much more likely to attract new customers than their competitors. The reviews and feedback they gathered acted as social proof which would encourage other homeowners to choose them.

Online Reviews Impact SEO

95% of customers are much more likely to interact with a business appearing on the top-3 search results ( Map-Pack results). Reviews can help a business get into the Map-Pack quite easily and maintain that. Like customers, search engines find reviews important. Reviews are user-generated unique content which play a substantial role in the 200 + factors that are involved in ranking a business. Specifically, as a business owner here are the important aspect to focus with respect to reviews

  • Average star rating from reviews.
  • Number of reviews
  • When was your most recent review
  • How frequently do you get reviews
  • Have you collected reviews on multiple sites

Search engines are looking for constant content in order to learn more about a business. Reviews are a great way to generate authentic content that feeds into the learning aspect of a search engine.

Reviews are Great Marketing Assets

Most businesses have a combined SEO / SEM strategy in order to get an edge over their competitors. What they miss out on; is leveraging the power of reviews. Incorporating reviews into marketing collaterals, and the website is a great way to show what customers are saying about their experience. Authentic reviews speak volumes and are much more valuable compared to any marketing campaign.

A quick way to incorporate reviews is to use widgets to embed reviews into your websites. Reviews actually reduce bounce rates, help in improved conversion rates, and infuse authenticity of the services offered.

Reviews Make Businesses Trustworthy

A business can build credibility when they are able to gather a steady stream of positive reviews. Reviews are extremely powerful to help grow an online identity. Customers hardly interact with businesses less than a 4.1 rating, while a rating more than 4.2 inadvertently sees visitors converted into actual paying customers. This is because consumers are able to see a similar positive footprint across multiple review sites that a business is listed on.

Reviews Help Businesses Improve 

Businesses are constantly looking for ways in order to improve themselves and grow. Reviews provide an excellent opportunity to understand what a consumer is really expecting from a business like theirs. By paying attention to feedback businesses can quickly change their internal process and expand their current suite of offerings. Most businesses are wary of 1-2-3 star reviews, whereas these are reviews that inadvertently help a company to improve.

Here is a quick checklist which a business can follow when they receive a low rating. 

  • Respond to it within 24 hours with a neutral reaction.
  • Thank the customer for their valuable feedback and offer to resolve the issue on a private communication channel.
  • Provide a solution – outline the steps in order to solve the problem and indicate the same to your customer. Follow up with them in case they have not responded in the first place.

How can you as a business owner get customer reviews?

The easiest way would be to ask your customers to leave you a review. The more people you ask a large number of them would definitely leave you a review. Ask your customers when they are still on-site or immediately after delivering a service to leave you a review. Your customers should be able to leave reviews seamlessly and quickly.

A review management tool helps to streamline the process of asking for reviews quickly. A great tool should also help a business handle low ratings quickly and easily. Freshreview would definitely be beneficial for a business owner to be on top of their review management process.