Online reviews can be tricky. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they can seem very different to different people. Even the most ardent of fans of online reviews might wonder how they can use them to their advantage.
Anyone who has done business online knows that it’s easier than ever before to get your message out there, and with over 400 billion searches made every year, you have a high chance of someone finding your listing if you market your site well. But is that enough? Should everyone just give up?
Maybe not. The benefits of having good online reviews are plenty — from helping customers find you more easily to boosting your brand recognition and increasing trust in your business — so what’s the harm in giving them a try? Read more for 6 reasons why you should be paying attention to reviews on your website.
How Online Reviews Become the New Trend
Online reviews have been around for a while — and all but faded away in the mid-2000s — but they’ve come back with a vengeance in recent years. This is partly due to the rise of online shopping on sites like Amazon and eBay, but it’s also because more and more consumers are turning to websites to review products and services.
Online reviews span a huge range of types and qualities and can be very influential on purchasing decisions. They can help you stay relevant in the minds of your audience, and they can also serve as a great source of brand awareness. For any business, these benefits of online reviews are significant — and why so many are now taking online reviews seriously.
Why do Online Reviews Matter?
1. It Helps You Stay Relevant
Online reviews are a great way to show consumers who you are and what you do. The best brands build a relationship with their customers and give them a voice by engaging with them on social media.
Put yourself in the shoes of the person reviewing your business — are they looking for a local service or a national brand? Do they need a plumber on-hand for emergency repairs or an expert for regular maintenance? Your online reviews can help you define your value to your customers, and stay relevant as a brand.
2. It Shows You Are Accomplished
You’ve got a business, but where are the online reviews? They can help boost your brand recognition and increase trust in your business. Online reviews also help you stay relevant as a business. You can use reviews to give potential customers a better idea of what you offer so they can make an informed decision about whether or not your company is right for them.
These reviews can also give you more credibility with potential customers who read them, which can be especially helpful for more established businesses that are trying to increase their brand recognition.
3. It Defines Your Credibility
Online reviews are a great way to cement your reputation with your customers. While it may sound obvious, you need to be able to show that you are who you say you are and can do what needs to be done. Online reviews can help you do just that.
They can also show your customers that you are a trustworthy brand that can be relied upon. Whether it’s a positive or negative review, it will give your customers insight into your business and help them decide if they can trust you with their project or job.
4. It Can Be Used To Showcase Recent Improvements
Online reviews are a great way to showcase recent improvements to your business. Perhaps you’ve recently renovated your workshop or added new technology to help your workflow more efficiently.
Perhaps you’ve added a new team member, or have started a brand new project. Whatever the case may be, you have something new to show off. With online reviews, you can showcase this new work and boost your brand recognition at the same time.
5. It Boosts Brand Recognition
Online reviews can boost your brand recognition by helping potential customers find you more easily. If a potential customer is searching for a service or product like yours in their area, then a review on your website can help them find your listing.
Giving a quick overview of your business, and any key details you’d like customers to know about can go a long way towards helping customers find you.
6. It Increases Trust In Your Business
Online reviews are a great tool for showing potential customers that you are trustworthy. You’ve got decades of experience in your industry, and high-quality service to show for it.
The best online reviews will come from happy customers who have used your services and are happy to recommend your business. You can use these reviews to boost your trustworthiness as a brand, helping to establish your reputation as a reliable and valuable company.
How To Get More Online Reviews?
Getting a lot of online reviews can seem like an impossible task — but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few things you can do to make sure you get as many reviews as possible.
Be Available on Multiple Sites
You might be surprised to learn that nearly 50% of all online reviews are left anonymously. While the majority of these are genuine and helpful, there are also a lot of fake comments out there. To avoid the latter, many review sites allow you to choose which posts you want to appear on your page, so you can choose to only include verified reviews.
If you’ve ever Googled for a local business, you’ve no doubt seen a bunch of their reviews on sites like Yelp and Google. This is especially true if you’ve done business with a business before. If you’ve made a few good friends with local service providers in your area, chances are they’ve helped out other customers with their problems as well.
Review sites, like Google and Yelp, have privacy restrictions that prevent you from seeing who has left a review, while others, like Trustpilot, allow you to view the reviews and choose to remove or approve them.
Answer Questions Quickly
When it comes to online reviews, you don’t have a ton of time to mess around. Consumers are busy and they’re likely swamped with other things to do, so you need to make your online reviews as easy as possible for your readers. That means: Be as clear as possible.
Don’t waste your readers’ time by leaving out important information or confusing them with jargon. Be honest and positive. Consumers are busy and they don’t want to read about how terrible your service has been. Be brief. There’s no reason for your online reviews to be longer than a couple of sentences.
Respond To All Reviews
A lot of online review sites allow you to communicate with customers and respond to their reviews with a “Yes, I’ve received this review.” or “No, I haven’t received this review.” message. This is a great way to show that you’re paying attention to reviews and reassure customers that you have read and addressed their concerns. It’s a simple way to boost your brand recognition and keep your business looking professional.
While most online review sites disallow offering money or gifts as an incentive for reviews, you can still choose to offer tons of other incentives, like discounts on future services or freebies for future events. You can also choose to add a “Leave A Review” button to your page and make it easy for potential customers to leave you feedback.
The Future of Online Reviews
Right now, online reviews are still relatively new. In the U.S., most people don’t have online reviews on their business listings, and the availability of online reviews is determined by the state of your respective online marketing strategy — anyone who isn’t actively trying to get reviews and is relying on organic results has no way to know if they’re even welcome.
But the more you focus on the future, the more likely you’ll be to put some serious effort into getting your business listed online. With the rise of smartphones, tablets, and smart home devices, more and more consumers expect to find businesses they know and trust when they’re looking for them. And a well-written, accurate review can help you stand out as a trusted resource.
Online reviews can be tricky, but they can also be powerful tools if you make the most of them. They can help you boost your brand recognition and boost your sales, and they can even help you find new customers.
The more time you spend trying to improve your online reviews, the more they will help you out. The best way to get good online reviews is by being consistent and available on multiple sites like Google/Yelp/Facebook.
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