4 Reasons why your business should care about online reviews
The inability to physically see or touch a product can make the decision whether or not to click ‘buy’ just that extra bit harder. With the amount of choice for online shopping ever expanding, customers are having to rely on factors other than just price to make their decision. This leads us into the first reason why businesses should be investing time to monitor and manage online reviews on their website as well as across social channels and review sites:
1. They control the purchasing decision
With only 12% of consumers claiming they don’t read reviews at all before making a purchasing decision, seeing what others have to say about products and brands is now built-in to the buying process. Obviously, this does makes sense; if people have positive things to say about a product you’ll be more likely to buy it than if people weren’t pleased with it (or no one had commented on it at all).
Not all brands include reviews at all on their website which could be a serious mistake when it comes to revenue. A conversion optimisation study by KISSmetrics found that FigLeaves increased the likelihood of purchases by 35% by introducing product reviews.
2. They can help build brand trust
Gaining multiple positive comments creates an image that your business is building a strong community of happy customers who want to recommend the products and/or services to others. This can be invaluable in bringing in new visitors as it shows you’re taking care of your existing customers and they like what you have to offer.
In fact, almost 90% of consumers claim that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This suggests that a positive online review can be as good as your bff recommending a brand to you – worth it, no?
3. You can turn negatives into positives
Remember: ALL reviews hold value. The aim is obviously to gain as many positive reviews as possible, as negative reviews ca
n put people off but you’ll never be able to have 100% happy customers; you just can’t please everyone. This is mind, ignoring negative feedback and hoping it will disappear amongst the better ones is not the answer.
By monitoring negative brand mentions and comments, you can assess what aspect of your business needs attention. If you’re getting a lot of feedback about bad customer service, then it tells you that it’s something you need to invest in to improve.
It’s important to have both negative and positive reviews, not just for the purpose of growth and learnings, but to prove to the user that the feedback is unbiased and genuine. If 100% of reviews were positive, you’d likely be sceptical – and rightly so.
4. There are SEO benefits
Although ratings and reviews are very unlikely to possess any influence when it comes to Google’s organic search algorithm, they can still have an impact on search results in Google Maps, Carousel positions, and Google Now for mobile.
Having presence on online review sites can also provide SEO advantages, not just by providing backlinks to your site but will be picked up by Google as positive or negative brand mentions. Some of the biggest review sites nurture large communities that are looking for trustworthy opinions of other consumers; as well as developing a strong domain authority as well as other quality site metrics (e.g. Yelp).
Do you care now?
If you didn’t care about online reviews before, hopefully this has opened your eyes to their importance. In case you’re not quite convinced we have a bonus reason for you:
A customer who posts a positive review can be engaged with and turned into a brand advocate. By engaging with those who mention your brand and developing relationships with them, you can create a community that will give you free PR and build loyal customers.
Here’s your challenge: next time you find a negative review/mention about your brand, use it as an opportunity to engage with the individual and see how they can help you improve your business.