Online reviews are an authentic way for consumers to relay their experience with your brand, and help to build trust amongst potential customers. It's vital to your business that you monitor and manage these reviews — it's the best way to maximize their value and ensure your brand is accurately represented.
Do you know all the ways that reviews are impacting your business?
Here are the top three reasons why you should care about your business's online reviews
1. Customers make decisions based on online reviews.
Customers use reviews everyday to decide where they are going to do business, and where they are not. In a 2017 survey conducted by BrightLocal, 97% of consumers claimed to read online reviews for local businesses and 85% said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Ultimately, your reviews drive revenue — even a one-star increase can lead to as much as a 9% increase in revenue.
However, when looking at your rating, context matters. Consumers are likely seeing you and your competitors in the same search results. If all your competitors have 2.5 stars and you have 3.5 stars, your rating looks great. But what if all your competitors have 4.5 stars? You need to be aware of the averages for your industry, geography, and competitors, so you can understand how you stack up (and so you can predict who's going to win more business).
2. Customers are the most authentic source of feedback for your business.
Customers aren't the only ones who should care what reviewers are saying about you. Your reviews are a vital source of feedback about how your business is performing. They can give you a strong idea of where you are meeting your customers' needs, and where you are falling short. By monitoring and analyzing your reviews, you can discover business insights that will improve your customers' experiences, and ultimately, their reviews.
Don't be afraid to engage with customers who leave you negative reviews. Replying to reviews makes customers 16% more likely to recommend your business in the future — and has been shown to increase star ratings by a quarter star.
If you saw that a business received a low review, but responded thoughtfully and reasonably, would you consider it?
3. Reviews helps with SEO and conversion rates.
Businesses often focus on reviews that appear on third-party sites, like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. While those sites are important, generating reviews for your own website is an often overlooked area of reviews management. It's first-party reviews that allow your brand to get stars in search engine results — these can increase click-through-rates by 153%.*
On top of this, 70% of consumers say they would leave a review if a business simply asked them to, so ask away! Requests for reviews that will go on your website will give your existing customers an opportunity to feel more engaged, and will help you — and future customers — make better decisions.
*Yext, September 2016