It’s Time to Review Your Online Reviews
Years ago, when looking for advice about potential big purchases, I would think to myself “who can I talk to?” or “who can I call?” as I contemplated my decision. I would go to my family and friends to see if they had purchased the same product, or if they had heard of anyone who could recommend it. Yet with the growing influence of the Internet, online reviews have become a major part of the buying cycle. So now, instead of asking people I personally know about products, I follow the same pattern as 93% of today’s customers and seek out online reviews to help inform my purchasing decisions.
Widespread consumer-reliance on online reviews means that monitoring and responding to reviews should become an essential component of managing your online presence. This trend is only expected to strengthen as Millennials (Gen Y) and Digital Natives (Gen Z) increasingly make up a greater share of your consumers. A massive 91% of 18-34 year-olds trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. Even a single one-star review from just one customer who had a bad experience can tarnish your company’s reputation for a large and growing segment of your buyers.
It’s also important to keep in mind that reviews can also affect your SEO scores. Search engines want to provide their users with quality results, so they utilize online reviews to see how to rank businesses. Green Industry Pros recently described how reviews can negatively affect:
- Your website’s search engine ranking
- Your website’s performance in local search engines
- Which search results get displayed
Clearly, online reviews are a significant aspect of your online presence, which can influence consumer purchase decisions, impact your reputation, and affect your SEO scores. So what can you do to make sure online reviews work for you, and not against you? As a first step, simply ask customers who have had positive experiences with your business to leave reviews. This is an easy way to show prospective clients that you’re dedicated to helping them find the best product. Not only will these reviews help those interested in working with your business, but will also help customers you’ve worked within the past continue to choose your business.
Don’t let all of these good reviews sit though. Use them to share how great you are! Publish your best reviews on your social media sites or post them to a dedicated page on your website. This makes it easy for potential customers searching for you to see how your other customers feel about your business. Sharing your reviews will help take your online reputation to the next level.
Online reviews are surely becoming one of the easiest ways to gain new customers. If you’re having trouble getting started, don’t fret! We have an online review management solution on the horizon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we want to hear from you – What are some of the best ways you’ve utilized your online reviews? Share what you’re doing now with us in the comments below!