It is well known that online reviews are important. In this digital age, consumers are able to search your business and find reviews usually in under a couple of minutes. These days’ people don’t want to risk having a bad experience with a business (they have enough on their plate already) so they base their decision off the online reviews. Research has found that over 80% of customers think of online reviews in the same regard as a personal recommendation. Consumers are significantly influenced by the reviews of a business and there are now more platforms than ever for consumers to write and find reviews.
Reviews are so important because businesses are unable to control them and therefore consumers have a higher level of trust as there is no influence from the business. How you deal with the reviews is also just as important as the actual review. Don’t only reply to the positive reviews, you have to try and engage with the negative ones as well. Trying to rectify a negative experience that a consumer has by publically replying to their review shows other potential consumers that you actually care about fixing the situation. You can see many large businesses doing this on their Facebook reviews, for example, Woolworths and Cadbury.
Online reviews are also an important driver of SEO. They will improve your search engine ranking through a few areas. Firstly, the quality of review, this looks at the detail of which the reviews are written. Long and detailed reviews help SEO. Secondly, the quantity, this is the actual amount of different reviews. The more people who have written reviews make your business more trustworthy. Thirdly, the range of platforms, this looks at where are the reviews are coming from. It is important to have reviews coming from a range of different platforms which can include third party websites.
If your business doesn’t actually have any (or many) online reviews this can deter consumers from engaging with your business because they are unaware the potential business experience. You are able to have reviews on social media platforms like Facebook and you should also have a page on your website dedicated to reviews (where consumers can write and read reviews). You should also sign up/ use third party review sites as this can improve the trustworthiness your business. Increasing the platforms of reviews can be difficult because it means there are more areas and reviews that you need to keep tabs on. It is important not to ignore any platform of review and try to reply to all reviews made by consumers.
Actually encouraging consumers to review your business will hopefully help increase reviews. If your business has a physical shop you should put stickers on the window and on at the counter encouraging consumers to review.
If you operate entirely online, ensure that consumers are aware from your website that you would like them to review the business and/ or product.
Don’t forget to review our business here.
Kieran is the Social Media Manager and SEO Expert at SEO Shark. He is an expert in Social Media, link building, PPC and of course SEO. In his time off work Kieran enjoys reading and playing rugby, as well as following all kinds of sports! You can read some more of his articles here.