Your online reviews are no longer just a nice bonus. According to research from Search Engine Land, the majority of customers (a whopping 87%) won’t consider buying from a brand with low ratings. Your positive online reviews end up becoming valuable endorsements for your brand and provide social proof for your business from real individuals. Since mobile device use has made it easy for consumers to instantly check reviews and make buying decisions on the spot, it is more important than ever to monitor your online reviews and use them to your advantage.
7 Ways your Online Reviews Help your Business Grow
Online Reviews Build Trust
Reviews on sites like Yelp! are seen as more trustworthy than testimonials you place on your own site. Since review sites are third parties, reviews simply carry more weight, for better or for worst. Your online reviews also act as social proof of your claims and of just how great you are to work with. These uncensored reviews provide valuable insight into your business and can be leveraged to your advantage – even the negative ones matter.
Online Reviews Boost SEO
When you claim your listings on sites like Yelp, Yahoo, and Angie’s List, you boost your SEO; these listings create valuable, organic backlinks that make your site more visible online.
A Chance to Respond
Your online reviews not only give customers a chance to rave about your service or air their grievances, you also have the chance to showcase your amazing customer service skills when you respond. When you publicly thank a customer for their business, it shows your level of engagement – and when you go out of your way to make something right and resolve a negative complaint, it shows just how great you are to deal with.
Driving Conversions with Reviews
Your online reviews play a big role in the decision-making process—90% of all customers say they make decisions based on online reviews. Since most of us now have smart mobile devices, these decisions can be made in an instant, right at the point of purchase. Customers can literally read your reviews and make the decision to buy, whether they are in your place of business or visiting your site.
Online Reviews Provide Feedback
What are you doing right – and what could you improve upon? A quick read through of your online reviews could reveal both your strengths and the things you need to work on. If everyone raves about your food but mentions service could be better, it could be time to look into your server training and procedures. Looking at your reviews can help you spot potential issues and identify what you do best, too.
Online Reviews Make for Great UGC
User Generated Content (UGC) can boost your content marketing campaign efforts considerable. The users who take the time to post about your business are actually creating marketing content you can use in many ways, whether you display it on your own site or share it on your social media channels.
Lead Generation via Review
Sites like Yelp and Angie’s List not only help consumers do research, they are powerful resources for lead generation. When Angie’s List removed their paywall in 2016, the site became far more accessible for users – and turned into a lead generating machine for service providers. By carefully tracking your online reviews and responding, you can use these consumer sites to feed your sales funnel, too.
Make the Most of Your Online Reviews
You can put your online reviews to work for you in many ways – but getting a sneak preview of what those reviews will look like ensures you’re fully prepared for anything a customer has to say. A point-of-purchase customer feedback app like QuickTapSurvey will allow you to gather real-time feedback at the point of sale or experience and act on it immediately to avoid the dreaded negative online review.