Do online reviews matter? The answer is absolutely, they are a must have.
Online reviews, such as Facebook, Google, and Yelp are the most powerful form of word-of-mouth marketing. Before we had online reviews, local businesses relied on family and friends sharing their business with their loved ones. Friends and family are still making those recommendations. They are just doing it on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Yelp, where they are available for everyone to see.
Customers Trust Reviews Just Like A Personal Recommendation
Customers trust the opinions of other customers, just like a recommendation from a family member. After all, a hundred 5-star reviews seem a lot more genuine than an advertisement where a business claims to be the best in the area. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine that you are proud of your business, but it’s the consumers opinions that matter.
The U.S. Bureau of Statistics’ data states that 93% of consumers regularly read online reviews, 85% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and 40% form an opinion after reading just one to three reviews. That’s a large factor when determining how you are going to rank on a consumer query for a product or service. And having positive word-of-mouth marketing is just the tip of the iceberg to having an effective digital strategy.
When consumers can quickly and easily share their best and worst experiences, they actually want you connect and engage with them, it has become an expectation. Online reviews matter, and are one of the most important ways to connect with potential customers.
Do Reviews Actually Help with Local SEO Rankings
Online reviews also give your business an opportunity to rank higher in relevant search results. According to research, reviews are the third-biggest factor determining search rankings. Remember, Google aims to give users the best results for their queries, whether it’s “best BBQ in my area?” or “best chiropractors in my area”. Reviews show Google and other search engines that your customers value your services and they are more than happy to share that feedback.
How Can I Leverage Reviews to Increase Conversions?
If you want to start leveraging online reviews to grow your business, start sending review requests to your customers. Once you start getting a steady stream of online reviews, don’t be bashful, make sure to share them on your social media accounts and your website. If you want more information on how you can start collecting and leveraging reviews, let’s chat. We’ve have some solutions available that are very budget friendly and when you see the results you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this the entire time.
From the largest to the smallest companies, especially local businesses, everyone needs reviews. If you think that reviews about your business don’t impact your revenue, keep an eye on your competitors as they continue to rank higher.
I know as business owners we are all wondering when do I have the time to ask customers for reviews? I have a business to run, well, this is where we give you a demo of our fully automated system. The only thing you have to do is watch the positive customer reviews coming in!
As always, drop me a line if you have questions and be on the lookout for our next blog.