These days it’s not good enough to “just” have a website. If you want your business to thrive online, you’ve got to have a solid web reputation.
But why are customer reviews so important?
1. Because people want to know what you’re all about
It’s estimated that 97% of customers go online to do some research before they buy a particular product or give their money to a particular business. Online reviews give those people a chance to see what you’re really like beyond the fancy website and the sizzling sales copy. Sure, those things may look impressive at first glance, but what people really want to know is whether or not they can trust you.
If people see you’ve gotten a thumbs-up from other customers (people who don’t have anything to do with your company, and therefore have no reason to give you their kudos unless you really deserve it), they’ll feel like they’re taking less of a risk doing business with you. In fact, several studies have shown that most people consider online reviews to be as trustworthy as personal recommendations!
2. Because they can give you an SEO boost
The higher you come up in the local search results, the more customers you’re going to get. Luckily, online reviews will naturally incorporate those all-important local keywords (like “pizza in Chicago” or “repair shop in San Francisco”). Even if the reviews aren’t actually on your website, the search engines learn to associate your website with those keywords. And, if the reviews are on your website, each one that gets posted will count as “fresh content” – something the search engines love!
The quantity and quality of your reviews also impacts your ranking on sites like Google Plus Local (the map listings that show up for local searches).
3. Because they give you valuable information
Inevitably, you’re going to wind up with at least a few less-than-favorable reviews. However, those reviews may alert you to an issue that you never would have known about otherwise. This gives you the opportunity to make it better for future customers. Without those changes, you might have done irreversible damage to your reputation!
4. Because each one makes you look good
You may not think there’s any way to look good after a bad review. However, that’s not the case! If you respond to a bad review professionally, with a solid solution, you actually end up looking great!
5. Because they generate more reviews
The more people you have talking about you online, the better. So, if people see other customers describing the experiences they had with you, they’ll be more likely to share their own. Before you know it, you could have tons of reviews – and it doesn’t get any better than word-of-mouth advertising! Best of all, you won’t have to spend a dime to get all of that exposure!