If you’ve ever made an online purchase, and you probably have, you’ve encountered online reviews. Whether you’ve relied on guest reviews on TripAdvisor when booking a hotel or found yourself consumed in rants on Yelp, we can’t deny the fact that reviews are an important part of today’s consumer culture.
Why Are Online Reviews Significant to a Business?
Customer reviews are your online word-of-mouth marketing. 90% of customers read online reviews and 85% of those trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
In addition to building trust with consumers, online reviews can have a favorable impact on your organic search rankings on search engines like Google. How? If you’re receiving a significant number of positive reviews on multiple review platforms, you stand a better chance of being found (clicked on) in local search results.
While positive online reviews can have an immediate, beneficial impact on your business, it’s important to note that a whopping 86% of consumers will decide against buying a product or enlist in a service if they read negative reviews. Negative reviews are inevitable, but if you respond quickly and efficiently, and resolve the issue, a negative review can turn into a potentially positive experience.
Online Review Management Strategy
- Claim your page on all review sites relevant to your business and ensure the content is interesting and pertinent to your customers.
- Track reviews by signing up for notifications and/or Google Alerts.
- Encourage positive reviews with a link on your website, an email marketing campaign, via social media, or simply ask your customers!
- Respond to every review and be proactive in engaging with customers. Treat every review as an opportunity.
- Don’t be afraid of the negative. Leverage these reviews for a clearer understanding of the customer experience and solve the issues noted.
The reality for brands is this: word of mouth happens online and by encouraging positive conversation about your brand, you can effectively improve your marketing efforts.