How Online Reviews Can Increase Sales
Customer Reviews Are Vital for Online Marketing Bottom Line
All of us have purchased things online or eaten at a restaurant and posted a review of our meal, but have you ever thought just how important that online review was to the business? Some businesses may scoff at this fact, but an online review is something that can make or break your business and it’s vital to ensure that part of your online strategy is being aimed at getting good online reviews of your business.
Customer Reviews Significant, Important to Businesses
You see your customer’s rankings and ratings on your website and some are very thorough while others may not hold much substance. However, all of them together are like a map to whether or not other potential customers want to use your business or buy your products. So, this makes online reviews very significant and important.
Statistics have shown that online rankings are not mere numbers. For instance, Uber drivers with a lower ranking of 4.6 stars often end up with deactivated accounts. If a product on Amazon gets less than three stars, it likely isn’t going to be sold there for long. And if someone posts a review for your restaurant complaining of poor service and cold food, you are likely going to lose a few customers.
All Reviews Matter, Banning Bad Reviews Doesn’t Help
Surveys show that at least two-thirds of potential customers read the reviews of a product or place of business before putting down money for it. If a business can routinely get good ratings, it’s been shown their business can improve by more than 100 percent. In fact, in one case a business with a two-star rating went up to a four-star rating and their conversion rate soared more than 500 percent.
You are bound to get customers that leave a negative review no matter how good your business may be. However, trying to ban bad reviews or deleting them off your social media page or website is not only dishonest, it’s also illegal. The Consumer Review Fairness Act protects customers that leave a negative review from any retribution from the company.
Customers Trust Online Reviews More Than Ever
More and more online customers are reading online reviews and their trust in them is going up. A survey by Bright Local said that 88 percent of them trusted an online review as much as a personal review from a friend. So, if you think you can ignore the intensity and meaning of the power of online customer reviews, think again! Refusing to have an outlet for your customers on your website and on your social media pages is the same thing as telling nearly 90 percent of your potential and existing patrons that you don’t care about their feelings or their opinions.
In fact, the more reviews your business has, the better your conversion rate tends to be. And believe it or not, that doesn’t mean just good reviews. A mix of good and bad reviews is seen as more credible and honest because it’s just not feasible for 100 percent of your customers to love your product or service. So, as long as your business has a good mix with mostly high reviews and just a few neutral or bad ones, you should be seeing more customers deciding to give your product or service a try!
Customers Aren’t the Only Ones that Rate Reviews
Having customer reviews on your social media or website page can also help you rank higher in Google and the other search engines. It helps with the site’s organic rating, as it adds unique content to your site. Google sees this as your site being more relevant and therefore your site has a higher authority rating than your competition that isn’t allowing for customer reviews on their sites.
In fact, if desired, you can get the reviews indexed directly and then Google uses them for answering queries. This is a Google process that puts your business on top of other search results for questions on that type of product or service. It makes your business or product more visible to your customers, and that for sure is a way to up your profits.
Off-site Rating Results Are Even Better to Get
While it’s great to get positive online reviews on your own social media and website pages, it’s even better to get them on off-site or other people’s pages. Google has a local search algorithm that incorporates data received from several third-party directories, as well as sites like Yelp or Trip Advisor.
So, the more online reviews received on those types of sites, the better the chances of ranking at the top of the search engine pages in Google and other search engines. This is extremely valuable for your business to get both local and national attention, especially if you are a company that sells items online.
All Social Media Sites Count Towards Your Overall Rating
It really doesn’t matter which social media site you get rated on, or which rating website, as they are all well read by potential customers. However, it’s best to try to get rated on all of the major ones if your customers are happy, such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Amazon, and Pinterest. Each of these has a star type of rating system and all businesses strive for that five-star rating from their customers.
Be Sure to Ask For, Monitor Your Reviews
So, how to get online reviews? Besides supplying a place on your website or social media pages for reviews, you simply should be asking for them. When you, for instance, introduce a new product or service, ask your customers to post a review of it. If possible, try to get a few video reviews of customers telling their testimonials, as these are even more valuable than written reviews.
Then, be sure to monitor your reviews, don’t just pat yourself on the back and let it happen. You want to be aware of the type of reviews you are getting. If they are positive or negative and be interreacting with your customers at the same time. Be sure to comment back on a review, thanking your customer for the review and if necessary, answering their questions or fixing any negative issues quickly. This makes your company more than just a name to your customers and makes them like you and trust your business even more.
So, the bottom line is that online reviews are vital to your business and are an asset to you, not just a gut reaction from your patrons. Reviews can be used to enhance your marketing strategy. They aren’t just something that you need to react to and be on the defensive about. Used correctly, online customer reviews can be the difference between profit and loss, so be sure that you are using them to your advantage, while at the same time using them to build both your brand and your customer’s trust.
We know asking and reminding your customers to leave you a review is a job in of itself. Also monitoring your online reputation can also be a task.