If you’ve been on the internet recently, you’ve probably come across at least one online review. Online reviews are wildly diverse, including anything from one star ratings for horrible customer service to elaborately written, glowing reviews for oil change services. Though online reviews vary in terms of things like comprehensibility and thoroughness, they are a uniquely powerful, effective way for individuals to tell other people what they think about specific brands.
These days, many business owners are realizing that online reviews now play an increasingly integral, important role in the digital marketing sector. Yet the question many corporate leaders have is, “How important are these reviews?” The question makes sense because if online reviews don’t play a central role in impacting a consumer’s purchasing behavior, time and attention likely shouldn’t be paid to this eCommerce factor. Yet research studies indicate that online reviews are indeed important. Read on to learn more about why this is the case and what your organization should do about it.
As many digital marketing experts know, part of the power of the online review is the increasing levels of trust that most people place in them. As noted in BrightLocal, 88% of customers think these reviews are just as credible as personal recommendations. This may seem odd given that the reviews are essentially created and posted by individuals the consumer doesn’t know. Nevertheless, the majority of people are now reading these reviews consistently. In fact, a mere 12% of individuals don’t read consumer product reviews regularly. This means that business owners who do not offer user reviews will alienate more than 80% of the buying population. The user review is important because it enables your audience to make more informed buyer decisions.
On-Site Ranking Benefits
Another reason that savvy business owners should place primacy on online reviews is that doing so enables them to attain excellent on-site ranking benefits. This is the case because every new review increases the volume of unique content your site has to offer for that product. Thus each review can contribute to the process of helping your brand acquire more relevance, higher authority, and page ranking.
Off-Site Vs. On-Site Reviews
Research indicates that the number of good reviews a business owner has on external websites may impact rankings more than the site reviews. This is because Google’s algorithm utilizes information from multiple review sites and third-party directories such as Google My Business, TripAdvisor and Yelp to determine rankings. Although it goes without questions that your Google My Business are a crucial component as they are prominently displayed on the actual results, making them an attractive reason to click.
Higher Conversion Rates
Having more reviews for one of your products typically translates into more substantive conversion rates. Interestingly, even the bad reviews can contribute to the conversion optimization process. Specifically, a blend of bad and good reviews demonstrates that you’re being transparent rather than manipulating data to make it appear that every customer falls head over heels in love with your product or service line. Think how problematic it might be for a savvy consumer to come across a brand that has hundreds of 5-star reviews and no neutral or negative commentary. This would likely seem suspicious and cause the consumer to question whether the reviews are even real. Ultimately, note that having a lot of reviews and having a mixture of positive and negative feedback can take your conversion rates to the next level.
Online Reviews: A Wonderful Way To Optimize User Engagement
Another reason that you should place primacy on attaining online reviews pertains to user engagement. Specifically, asking your customers to write reviews regarding your product or service line gets them engaged in your brand. And the more engaged people are with your brand, the more likely they are to take other courses of action that pertain to it. This could include anything from them making a purchase to sharing the product line with people in their social networks.
In addition to getting your customers actively involved with your brand, note that the online reviews can help improve your local SEO rankings. For example, a company based in Miami would benefit from having local residents see a ton of glowing reports about their brand when they start trying to locate specific products and services.
Summing It All Up
Online reviews are extremely important to any business. In addition to helping prospects develop an opinion about your brand, the reviews play a central role in determining how visible your organization will become in the organic search rankings. Luckily, the process of attaining online reviews doesn’t have to be difficult. To begin, you can incorporate a review function or simple link on your website to encourage reviews. Alternative you can take a more hands on approach of personally texting your clients to review your company. However, make sure that you develop a space for your brand on multiple local review sites. Of course if you want to spend your time focusing on your actual business it may be worth finding a high quality local SEO company to ensure that you’re attaining professional assistance with the process of securing and publishing reviews that will keep your business going and growing.