Why Does Your Business Need Customer Reviews & Ratings?
Back in the day, years before the internet truly took off, business reviews were only found in official publications, written by professional reviewers from which we would form our own opinion.
Now, for the majority of businesses, the first point of contact between them and a customer is a Google review. Today, the vast majority of people get their information from the internet, and as a result, rely on services such as Google Reviews as a way to decide where to take their business.
People generally research products or services online before they make a purchasing decision and will choose to be a customer of a business based on positive reviews, and decide to avoid a company altogether because of negative ones. This means that they will look up whatever reviews that they can. If your reviews are overwhelmingly negative, is this likely to lose you business? For small companies, it has never been more important to have positive reviews on these services than ever before.
How do Reviews Increase Conversions?
Ratings and reviews are a huge conversion factor, more influential for getting users to click through and make a purchase than business citations or most other elements of local SEO. According to Google, “On average, ads with Seller Ratings get a 17% higher CTR than the same ads without ratings”.*
Besides increasing users’ trust, recent search innovations have created new reasons that SEO-minded local businesses need reviews and ratings. Who hasn’t searched online & chosen a restaurant based on reviews?
These days every single consumer has a voice and an opinion that matters. They can leave reviews for your business on numerous websites online. You need to take these reviews seriously.
There is complete anonymity in online reviews, that means there is a real possibility that competitors will leave fake reviews to try to hurt your business. It is definitely frustrating, due to the high level of accessibility. However, no-one is immune, but it is just as important to respond to the good reviews as it is to respond to the bad ones. With approximately 90 percent of shoppers choosing businesses using reviews and rankings as a determining factor, monitoring the number and quality of reviews, as well as responding to reviews (both positive and negative) is going to be key.
So, is it important to respond to reviews to show your customers that you value their opinions, appreciate positive reviews, and want to address any concerns voiced in negative reviews? Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.
There is not much that can be done other than responding to negative claims but in most cases, the damage has already been done to your rating so continuing to get more reviews to reduce the effect of the fake review has on your average rating would be the way forward.
Why are Online Reviews Essential to your Business?
1. Attract More Customers
This is the most obvious reason. Good reviews help bring in more customers & more reviews do too. The more reviews you have, the more people will end up reading the reviews. For example, a restaurant with a couple hundred reviews will get more views than a restaurant that only has a dozen or so reviews. This is because the average score of a couple hundred reviews is going to reflect more closely to how good the products or services are then a handful of reviews. Simply put, by having more reviews online for your company, the easier it will be for customers in your area to find you. There are consumers who may have never heard of your business but are in need of your product or service. When they search for products and services within their area online, they’ll find you if you have a substantial amount of reviews and they will come to your business or go to your website if those reviews are mostly positive.
2. Improve SEO
Essentially, more positive reviews can help to improve your search ranking. Google has begun to take notice of user business reviews. They take social signals into account when determining the web ranking of websites. This means that if you have many high-quality reviews on various websites that allow user reviews you’ll have a considerably better chance at a higher web ranking. It is believed that online reviews make up roughly 10 percent of how search engines such as Google decide to rank search results. Google has even begun to show ratings for businesses on its Google Map feature, thereby allowing users to now only find businesses nearby, but letting them see user feedback immediately in order to make a quick decision.
3. Obtain Feedback
Your online business reviews are actually a fantastic way to obtain feedback about your products, services or business overall. By reading your own reviews, what better way to get a sense of what the customer was looking for, what the strengths and weaknesses of your products, services or business were? You should also seek out the negative reviews on major review sites, which actually allow to you respond. Communicate with the customer that left the poor review and find out if there is anything you can do to rectify their poor experience. Not only does this show other consumers that are reading your reviews that you care about your customers, but also it could lead to the original reviewer amending their review in order to reflect the positive action you took. So not only are you getting great feedback, it’s a great way to provide good customer service.
About Digital NRG Reviews & Ratings
In partnership with eKomi, we provide a review platform to enable collection of reviews & ratings from genuine customers via SMS, email, tablet or pop-up. With our product, you can carefully select who you invite to review your business, ensuring validity and positive reviews. The reviews can be shown on natural Google search results and paid Google adverts as well as client web pages.
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