The reputation of your business can go a long way in defining its success, and any successful business owner knows that having a solid reputation online is key to growing your business. This is why online reviews are so crucial.
Obtaining online reviews for your business can provide long-lasting benefits that go beyond rating your service or products. Reviews can help reflect trustworthiness and reliability, as well as give you valuable insight into the needs and expectations of your customers.
Want to know how online reviews can help grow your business? Keep reading to find out!
Online Reviews Build Credibility
The perception your customers have of your business, brand, services, or products is hugely influential in their buying journey. Mistrust and a lack of credibility can turn potential clients away before they have even engaged with your business!
Reviews facilitate previous customer experiences, good and bad, and provide insight into your business’s offering. Almost as much as 90% of online consumers trust online reviews – just as much as they trust personal recommendations. Reviews also tend to be seen as more authentic than anything you might say about your own business, and potential customers will likely trust the opinion of a stranger that has dealt with your business, before dealing with it themselves.
Know What Your Customers Are Thinking
Have you ever wished you knew what your customers were thinking to provide a better experience? Reviews provide the perfect opportunity to do just that!
Customers that leave reviews have nothing to gain or lose by doing so, which makes the feedback they provide authentic and valuable – to both your business and other customers. Paying attention to the reviews people leave for your business, products or services can give you helpful insight into the expectations and needs of your customers.
Although negative reviews can sting, they are just as valuable as good reviews. They indicate common problems that customers may experience or help you identify major issues that could be affecting new customers. A negative review also gives you a chance to rectify the issue raised, which can turn a bad review into a positive one and demonstrates that your business cares about its customers.
Word of Mouth Marketing Isn’t Dead
Official review platforms, which we discuss below, are certainly the ideal manner of collecting customer reviews to display online. However, reviews also tend to initiate word-of-mouth marketing, which can have a significant impact on the perception of your business online.
Today, this form of ‘native’ marketing takes place online, and commonly on social media platforms. People who are familiar, or who have had a good experience, with your business may recommend it to others who have requested recommendations based on a need they have.
Although word of mouth tends to take place over time, as more and more people become familiar with your brand, today, a single good experience may be enough motivation for a customer to recommend your business – even after only dealing with you once!
Reviews Help Your Business Get Found Online
If you are implementing search engine optimisation for your website (and you should be!), reviews can bolster your efforts and increase your online exposure.
Google continuously updates its algorithms and ranking in its search results is far more complex today than it used to be. What is clear is that review signals matter, and that they influence Google’s ranking algorithm.
Collecting online reviews for your business helps build credibility with your customers, but also with Google. With proper implementation, online reviews can send your website surging to the top of the search results – and the top of local listings.
The Importance of Local Search
If you are a small business owner, the easiest way to obtain clients is by reaching out to your local community. Ranking well locally in the search results of Google or Bing will help potential customers familiarize themselves with your brand, as well as help your website appear for searches that are related to your service or product offering.
Reviews can also help you identify keywords that customers are using to find your business. These keywords can further boost your marketing efforts and help generate inquiries and leads online, through your website.
Which Online Review Platform is Right For Your Business?
The right platform for your business depends on the nature of your business, products and services. Despite the large variety available, it’s important to implement a reviews tool that is going to be beneficial for your business, rather than a hindrance.
Google My Business and Google Reviews
Google My Business is a phenomenal, entirely free tool provided by Google that allows you to facilitate a virtual representation of your business online. It also connects your business to a physical, verified location, bolstering your local search rankings and helping customers in your area find you.
Review.io is another great review platform that allows you to collect and display your customer reviews on your website. It integrates with a number of popular platforms, allowing you to implement it simply within existing platforms and marketing tools.
This review platform is well known and well trusted, by companies and customers alike. It is diverse and pairable with almost any type of business, anywhere!
Podium is very popular with businesses that use an eCommerce website – or websites with online stores. It facilitates reviews on products from customers, and provides users with a number of other useful tools like payment collection.
Start Collecting and Showcasing Customer Reviews
When taking your business online, it’s important to ensure that the first impression it makes on potential customers is a good one. Reviews can help you showcase positive engagements with customers that can build credibility with potential new customers, and with Google, which can bolster your online presence and help you reach new customers that much faster.
As a professional marketing agency, our experienced team can work with you and your business to implement strategic, proven methods that will help grow your business online! Get in touch with us for a one-on-one strategy session today.