REVIEWS & REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Having good online customer reviews is critical to your reputation management strategy. Reviews and ratings can make or break your brand, but with the right approach, you can improve local rank in the search engines and encourage more new customers to try out what you have to offer.
RATINGS AND REVIEWS BY THE NUMBERS
Love them or hate them, ratings and reviews are here to stay. Here are some sobering thoughts to consider:
- Statistics show that 86 percent of consumers read online reviews before they buy.
- On average, consumers need to read ten reviews before they trust a business enough to purchase from them.
- When the reviews were posted counts too. Whereas in 2017, 18 percent of consumers cited recent reviews as a factor that contributed to their buying decision, in 2018, that number rose to 40 percent.
- The vast majority of people (57 percent or more) will only patronize a business or service if it has a four-star or better rating.
- 91 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 trust online reviews over personal recommendations from people they know.
- Lastly, 89 percent of consumers will read and consider a business' response to their online reviews.
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Here's an example
In this scenario, which one would you choose?
Think about it. If you were searching for, let's say, a local hair and nail salon. You type or speak in your search query: "hair and nail salons near me." What comes up will determine what happens next.
The search engine will deliver the top three results in the local three-pack based on your location and the salon's proximity to you. The closest salon has two stars. The next closest one has five.
Out of curiosity, you click on the closer one to read the reviews and determine why their rating is so low. You notice that the review is four years old and there's been nothing posted since. At this point, most people would wonder if the place is still in business. You might decide to visit their website to have a look … oops! No website, just a Facebook page, and a Yellow Pages listing. In the end, probably not a good bet, despite how conveniently located they are.
The second hit, while a couple of miles out of your way, has dozens of positive, glowing reviews. Better yet, the salon owner has taken the time to respond to each and every review showing that she is in touch with her clientele and that she genuinely values their business.
Even the negative reviews receive a nice and thoughtful response; worded simply, showing gratitude and professionalism, the owner thanks the reviewer for their insight and lets them know that their comments will help them improve.
HOW ONLINE REVIEWS HELP
Knowing what you now know about online reviews and ratings, it's easy to see why they are important. Think of it this way: if people are searching the web for a business, especially if it's a local business, they are generally ready to buy. If you can capture their attention with great reviews and a stellar online reputation, you will have an excellent chance of winning their business.
To summarize, online reviews have the following benefits:
- They give new customers confidence in your brand
- They help to establish trust
- Businesses with good reviews attract more customers
- Consumers will spend more on a business or service with excellent reviews
- Consumers will prefer your brand if you have a four-star or better rating
- Most consumers will only take action if there is a four-star-or-better average
- Good reviews and responses demonstrate reliability, professionalism, and expertise
- 86 percent of consumers will probably not purchase from a company with a lot of negative online reviews
Of course, there are many more stats, numbers, and examples that illustrate the point, but even the broad strokes speak volumes about consumer behavior and attitudes. The bottom line (if it's not already plain to see), is that managing your reviews and ratings is an essential part of maintaining a good online reputation.
HOW WE CAN HELP
As Google certified partners of ReviewLead, we have long known the value of nurturing a positive online reputation as it contributes positively to your rank.
We also know that, as busy business owners, you may be stretched to your limit in terms of your workload. Our goal is to make this task as easy for you as possible, leveraging what you're already doing right and polishing it up, so it shines.
WHAT REVIEW SITES MATTER MOST?
While there are several ratings and reviews sites that matter more than others, it's important to note that there are probably more you have not considered.
The major players are Yelp, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook, but depending on your industry, there may be others that rise to the fore. For instance, if you are in hospitality, Trip Advisor is a key player. If you are a contractor or provide homeowner services, Angie's List and Houzz can be advantageous. If you run a medical or dental office, you will want to pay attention to RateMDs or HealthGrades. For attorneys, there's LegalZoom. And the list goes on.
We approach the development of your online reputation strategy from a systematic standpoint. We first look at what people are saying about you on the web and where they are saying it. We then claim your online listings and accounts so that we may have better control over how your reviews are managed.
If there are any apparent issues, such as unhappy customers or bad reviews, we try to address them the best we can. In some cases, it's not possible to remove bad reviews, but we can always mitigate the damage by encouraging lots of good reviews. This means asking your happy customers to post positive reviews on the platform of their choice.
We will work closely with you to help you establish or elevate your online reputation, giving you the strategies and support you need to stay on top. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help your business with reviews and reputation management.