Online reviews help your business to be found
If you want to rank higher for relevant search queries, then the more online reviews your business gets, the better chance you will have to rank higher. Google has one job when it comes to searches, and that is to show the most relevant content based on the question entered. Therefore, if you have lots of reviews and done the right things with your website, such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and added content around the topic, then Google will see that you’re a trustworthy source. The bottom line is that reviews will boost your search ranking and help your business to be found and chosen.
Online reviews demonstrate social proof
Can you think about the last significant purchase you made? Did you research it? Did you ask friends or family their thoughts on it? Of course, you did at least one, if not all of them! Very few people are willing to spend their hard-earned money on a product they know nothing about. People will often search online, and they might look at the services you offer or the features of a product. Then they start to seek out reviews.
According to Bright Local, "90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business." Users will seek reviews across many different channels, be it online and offline.
79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family. These days, word of mouth can come from outside a consumer’s social circle, with an online review having a ripple outside of a happy (or unhappy!) customer’s peers.
As you can see, online customer reviews are extremely important and powerful! They can say a lot about your business. From genuine testimonies by other customers will help to humanize your business. Prospects feel that they can trust the reviews because they are coming from an unbiased source. The newer the reviews, the more of a boost you can get in the rankings.
Online reviews play a key role in decision-making
All that stands between your small business and a competitor is a quick online search. People often compare similar products or services before making a decision to meet their needs. Online reviews have a massive impact on this decision-making.
How online reviews influence sales
If past clients have left you great reviews, this will persuade prospects to make the order or select you as their trusted provider. Reviews have can and will have a direct impact on your bottom line. Take a look at these statistics to see how reviews can influence your business’s revenue.
- 9 out of 10 customers are afraid to buy from a company that has no ratings at all (BrightLocal)
- Displaying reviews can increase conversions up to 270% (Spiegel Research Center)
- 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates (Econsultancy)
- Businesses who reply to reviews at least 25% of the time have an average of 35% more revenue (G2)
The bottom line is that if you are not investing a little time and resources into gathering and managing your reviews, you may be walking away from more sales for your business. People are more willing to trust a product more when they see lots of positive online feedback, while negative reviews have the opposite impact.
The value of negative online reviews
You have undoubtedly heard or even said, “you can’t please everybody all the time.” Truer words have never been spoken! Between the spammers and people who like to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, you will get a negative review at some point. However, don’t fret, as negative reviews are a valuable asset to your business.
We speak with clients all the time who are upset because they got a negative review or less than 5-stars. Our advice is to look at what the review said, learn and correct any mistakes you or your staff might have made. These reviews will help you gauge what you and your staff are doing right and show you the areas that need improvement.
Another benefit of a negative review is that people are hesitant to trust perfect ratings. According to a study by PowerReviews and Northwestern University’s Spiegel Digital and Database Research Center (PDF File), purchase likelihood peaks when the average star rating of a product is between 4.2 and 4.5 stars on a 5-star scale. The reason a product with a 4.2-star rating sells better than a 5-star is that our brains are wired to resist being sold to. It's a defense mechanism, or in other words, nothing is perfect.
Online reviews set you apart from the competition.
Our world has become hyper-competitive, and it's essential to do whatever you can to stand out. Getting online reviews is one way to stand out from the rivals.
Online reviews affect your bottom line
According to a Harvard Business School study, Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com, “a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue.” Traditional thought-forms of reputation are being replaced and can have a considerable effect on your business’s bottom line.
The top two online review sites
There are numerous online review sites that your business can get new reviews on and be chosen by customers. The two main ones you should be most concerned with regardless of your industry that help with visibility are:
Facebook is the second-largest review platform and is an excellent way for your business to gain visibility. Its broad reach makes it easier for your small business to be easily discovered. Use your Facebook business page and utilize it to start collecting more reviews or, as they call them, recommendations for your business.
Google is the most popular search engine both worldwide and in the United States. With it being the most popular search engine, it only makes sense that it is also the most popular review site, the Google My Business listing service. In the Bright Local’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2020, it states that “Consumers are most likely to look at Google My Business for local business reviews.” ReviewTrackers’ 2018 Online Reviews Stats and Survey said that “63.6% of consumers check reviews on Google before visiting a business,” which is more than any other review site.
Why are Google reviews so important?
Google reviews are so important for one simple reason: your customers trust them. Studies show that 92% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. While all reviews sites are important, Google reviews have the most impact because people turn to Google more than any other search engine or review site.
Will Google reviews help with my search rankings?
In short, yes, Google reviews help can and will help you rank higher in search results in two different ways:
People trust Google for searches, and Google trusts your peoples’ reviews
One of the reasons Google is so popular with internet users is that they are fantastic at helping people find relevant information related to their search. Reviews happen to be part of this as Google trusts user reviews. In the mind of Google, reviews are an authentic opinion of your clientele. If people are willing to give your business a review and if it happens to be a 5-star review, then the chances are that you did something right.
More reviews mean more information for Google to consume
Google uses one of the most sophisticated and complex algorithms to help users find the most relevant information possible. The more you can “feed” it, the better off you are. Therefore the more reviews you have, the more data Google can consume and learn about who you are and what you do. If a reviewer leaves a review that contains relevant keywords about your small business (“DunderMifflin has the best customer service around!”), that will assist Google in better understanding the products and services you provide. Moz's 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors report found that review signals make up 15.44% of your local search ranking.
Harness the power of Google behind every review
Are you looking to get more reviews on Google? We have partnered with BirdEye and their direct integration with Google's API to provide a robust software platform that helps you quickly get more Google Reviews.
What review factors lead to a better search ranking?
While it would be nice to know that overall star rating was a major deciding factor in determining your search ranking, it is more complicated than that. While a high overall star rating shows that people value your business, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Think about this your competitor might have all 5-star ratings but only three total reviews. Those three reviews might be outliers, so it’s impossible to tell if this business provides quality services.
That is why it is vital to concentrate on collecting more reviews. Keep in mind that Google uses reviews to understand and determine the quality of your services. The greater the number of ratings you have, the more likely your average ranking is a true reflection of your consumer service.
- Top-ranking local businesses have an average of 47 Google Reviews
- 92% of customers consult online reviews before making a purchasing decision
- 44% of customers consider reviews older than a month irrelevant
Having some arbitrary number of reviews isn’t enough. Small businesses’ new reviews on a consistent and constant basis. In Bright Local’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2020, they found that “86% of consumers say they only look at reviews from the past three months, while a huge 73% say customer reviews must be from the last month to influence their choice to use a local business.”
How Google reviews impact your clickthrough rate
If Google users search for something like “chiropractor near me,” they’ll see something that looks like this.
This is what the industry refers to as the local map pack or three-pack. Frequently businesses with a higher overall star rating tend to see upwards of a 35% higher click-through rate. The bottom line is that you have a significant chance to get more traffic to your website, more attention from potential customers, more phone calls, and most visits to your business.
Online Reputation Management
As you make more of an effort and request reviews from your clientele, there will be a greater need to monitor and respond to feedback to provide excellent customer service. Always be mindful of the comments you're receiving while managing your online reputation.
Assume you are a contractor, and one of your clients left a negative review stating that your technician left a mess when they completed the work. This is something you would want to know about immediately and attempt to address so you can correct the situation. Similarly, if a client has a great experience with your company and wrote a glowing review for your technician, you would want to thank them for their time and business. Not to mention you might want to let your technician know as well.
In today’s competitive business climate, it is critical to monitor your reviews and track your feedback so that you can respond appropriately. A good online reputation software platform can help you effortlessly manage your reviews by:
- Send automatic review requests right after a customer interaction or transaction.
- Allow you to get notified when you receive a negative review so that you can respond quickly.
- Track your reviews over time and identifying trends to know what your business is doing well and where you need to improve.
Harness the power of Review Management & automate requests with Birdeye
Running a small business can be work, and finding the time to actually grow it might seem impossible. Good news getting new clients just got a whole lot easier!
We can help your small business connect with your clients via text, email, and collect quality feedback, all in one easy-to-use platform called BirdEye.