Just How Important Are Online Reviews?
There are a lot of different ways to promote your business online. Through channels such as social media, search engine optimization, digital advertising, and more, businesses of all sizes can carve out their own space in the digital world. With so many different pieces needed to create a cohesive digital presence, it can be all too easy to overlook elements that don’t seem to have a major impact.
One element that is often overlooked is a business’s online reputation. Many business owners assume all they can do is wait for reviews to trickle in, and hope that they are positive. And, with so many other things to focus on, managing online reviews might not seem as worthwhile. However, your business’s online reputation is an incredibly important component of your digital presence, and there are even ways to take control of your reputation and use it to promote your business.
Why do online reviews matter?
It’s tempting to think that a great website or strong social media presence are enough to create a favorable impression of your business. Even if your content explains exactly why you’re such a great business, not every prospect is going to simply take your word for it. The number of customers who use online reviews to make decisions may surprise you. Online reviews have been shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions. If your business doesn’t have a positive presence on key review platforms, you may be missing out.
Beyond making a favorable impression on prospective customers, a strong online reputation can also have a positive impact on your SEO. Ultimately, search engines are designed to provide users with helpful results, and reviews are very helpful for users. Lots of positive reviews also signal to search engines that your business is legitimate and provides a quality customer experience. With a robust collection of positive reviews, your business is much more likely to appear when a potential customer performs a relevant search such as “best roofing company near me.”
Customers want Quality and Quantity
Collecting a small handful of 5-star reviews might seem like “enough.” After all, that leaves you with a perfect overall rating and nothing but glowing statements about your business. However, potential customers are incredibly savvy and may grow suspicious if they don’t see a higher volume of realistic-sounding reviews. Prospective customers want to see an average of 40 online reviews before they trust that a business’s star rating is accurate.
To meet the expectations of your prospective customers, make sure your business is collecting as many authentic customer reviews as possible. It may be tempting to recruit friends and family to give you some 5-star reviews, but if a potential customer spots an inauthentic review it can cause them to distrust your business.
Building Your Online Reputation
If you’re just starting to establish your business’s online reputation, or you’re trying to repair the damage caused by previous negative reviews, figuring out where to get started may seem difficult. Fortunately, the best way to improve your online reputation also happens to be the simplest way; take the time to ask your customers to leave a review for your business. Automated emails are probably one of the easiest ways to ask for online reviews; after a transaction has been completed, customers can automatically receive an email prompting them to leave a review.
As you start to collect more reviews for your business, it’s important to remember that you’re bound to face some negative reviews. For tips on dealing with negative reviews, check out our blog “How To Collect More Customer Reviews (And Use Them To Your Advantage).”
If you’d prefer to resolve negative feedback privately, versus on public-facing review platforms, we can help! Our online review software makes it easy to automatically remind your customers to leave a review of your business, and even channels negative feedback directly to you so you can address the issue quickly, before it is published online.
To learn more about how our team can build a stronger digital presence for your business, contact us for a free Digital Marketing Plan! Your Blueprint will include an in-depth analysis of your current digital presence, as well as our recommendations to help you reach more customers online.