Why Are Online Reviews Important?

When someone is searching for a product or service, it is common to head straight online and read reviews before making a final decision. These reviews can make all the difference with one study suggesting that 97% of consumers check online reviews before buying a product and another study stating 75% of people online trust a business after seeing a positive review. So, why are online reviews important? This is what we are going to explore further in this article.

Builds Trust

We are starting with one of the big reasons why reviews are important and something all businesses should take seriously. In order for a consumer to purchase a product or service, they need to ensure they trust the company they are working with. This can be done by collecting reviews. Businesses that people have not heard of before will automatically need more persuading and the lack of brand awareness combined with bad reviews or no reviews at all can quickly turn people off from buying. Having great reviews, on the other hand, can help show that your products and services work, are of good quality and that customers have enjoyed their experience. Knowing these things will help the potential customer have more trust in you.

Increases sales

Reviews may be affecting your sales more than you are aware of. As the statistics we have mentioned in this article suggest, people take reviews seriously and they can impact their final buying decisions greatly. Many studies show a direct correlation between the amount of negative reviews and lower sales. Even if the bad review is only putting off one person, that is a potential sale you will now not get .

Social Proof

It is not only important to have lots of high rating reviews, it is important who these reviews are coming from. Whilst quotes from yourself and partnered businesses about the quality of your product or services are vital, they do not have the same impact as reviews from ordinary customers. Customers seek genuine reviews from people who are not affiliated with the company in order to find out a true opinion on the brand as it is these people that have more credibility. In fact, one study showed that consumers trust customer reviews 12 times more than manufacturer reviews.

Brings in new customers

We mentioned earlier that reviews can help people make a decision of whether or not to buy, especially if they have not heard of the business before. Looking at reviews is often one of the first things a potential buyer does as part of their initial research so your star rating needs to make a good impression. As reviews can be a great way to attract new custom, you need to ensure reviews are easy to find. There is no point collecting amazing feedback from clients if no one else can see this. So, ensure the reviews are going on your site and on Google. Using third party reviews sites such as Trustist can help you keep all your reviews in one place.

Helps with Search Engine Results

Google’s algorithm is made up of a myriad of factors, many of which they do not publicly share. One we do know however, is that businesses that appear higher on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) tend to have more reviews. On the majority of SERPs, the first three results usually get the most clicks, so these are the positions to aim for. If reviews can help you achieve that, its definitely something to add to your marketing plan. In essence, successfully using your star rating can act as a form of free SEO for your company that you should be leveraging.

Improved customer service

Negative reviews can be a business’ worst nightmare and whilst they are never something you want to have, they can be used to highlight problems in the company and bring about positive change. Even if you make a lot of effort to get glowing reviews, you will inevitable at some point get some bad ones. The key here is to not ignore them. You should still respond to them to show you care about what your customers think and will actively take onboard their feedback and fix any issues. If there are problems in your business, it is important you find out and hearing from your end consumer is a great way for these customer service issues to be fixed. If you are fast at making these changes, it is also possible for consumers to go onto the review platform and change their review rating. Now that you understand why online reviews are so important, the next step is to ensure you have a consistent reviews process in place. You need to encourage reviews throughout the customer journey, reply to reviews (both good and bad) and check your reviews on a regular basis. Not sure where to start? Read our article on how to get more reviews for your business

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