Online reviews have mixed (eh) reviews. Most people would admit to having criticised this phenomenon where everyone weighs in with their thoughts online — if you’ve ever read a thread on YouTube, you are bound to belong to this group –, but conversely, a great majority of us (91% of 18-34-year-olds) trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Love ’em or hate ’em, the online review has power.
Most people will see online reviews on Google or Facebook when looking up businesses they are considering engaging. The majority of consumers looking for reviews (60%) will go to Google, followed by TripAdvisor and Facebook. These consumers are the norm, quick online searches take them straight to business listing and thus a short scroll to the reviews, even when they aren’t aware that’s what they’re looking for. Savvier consumers will hunt them down, and there are a wealth of other sites, designed specifically for sharing and searching reviews.
With 94% of consumers agreeing that a negative review would see them take their business elsewhere, it is time (right now!) for businesses to take online reviews seriously.
4 reasons why reviews are so valuable to your business
Now that we’ve got everyone a little scared, let’s focus on the positives.
1. Drive sales
If negative reviews drive customers away, positive reviews drive them straight to your cash register. Positive reviews are the peer recommendations that customers need to purchase with confidence. This alone drives great results for businesses, but for those willing to invest extra in their online reviews the results increase significantly. Studies show that customers are inclined to spend an extra 31% with businesses that have “excellent” reviews.
2. Increases brand visibility
All conversations about a brand will increase visibility online, whether good or bad. If businesses want sales, they will want this chatter to be positive. Encouraging consumers to review your business online increases the chatter online and thus increases curiosity, visitors and sales. Whether it is Google, Facebook or TripAdvisor, businesses should be asking customers, either in-store or online to give them reviews.
3. Help businesses get in touch with customers
Many businesses don’t want to open themselves up to the critique of consumers for fear of what might be said. However, just as good reviews are valuable, so too are negative ones. Reading and replying to reviews, positive and negative, helps organisations to learn about their customers. Listening to reviews opens up opportunities; things to ditch, and things to improve. Replying to negative reviews with a positive tone and genuine appreciation for the consumers’ view can be just as powerful to consumers as a positive review.
4. Makes businesses look trustworthy
Having no reviews is just as bad as having only negative reviews. Businesses with 100s of reviews are favoured above those with fewer. The more peers weighing in, the more trustworthy a business appears. Another way that businesses can take some control and present themselves as trustworthy is by replying to all reviews; good and bad. This shows consumers that the business cares. Seeing a thoughtful response to a negative review can be all it takes to nullify the negative review for good.
Reviews can make or break a business, but they are a necessary part of the online world. Investing in generating positive online reviews is a must for anyone who wants a positive online footprint, which should be everyone. Google My Business optimisation is a good place to start. From there businesses should learn which review sites are relevant to their industry and tailor strategies for these, too.
If you need a helping hand with Google My Business Optimisation or any other Digital Marketing in Sydney, AdVisible can help. We have the know-how and collective experience to drive brand visibility, engagement and sales. Contact us today.