During COVID-19 times when more people are online than ever, online reviews are a vital form of marketing for businesses. Companies that have a thriving internet presence are busier than ever as many businesses must market online to stay profitable during a time when many people are staying inside.
Before the pandemic, over 82% of people read online reviews for businesses in their area and now studies are showing that even more people are reading reviews before purchasing online.
Why Are Online Reviews So Important?
- They are cost-effective. It often does not cost any money to ask a customer to review a business they love – an email, text, or in-person request is enough, along with a link to the appropriate review site. Businesses can spend their whole marketing budget on advertising, SEO, or public relations but often these efforts do not go as far as just asking happy customers for reviews that can be shared on social media or their website.
- They build trust, which leads to more revenue. Studies show that customers are willing to spend 31% more on a company with good reviews than one with negative reviews. In addition, a Harvard study found that a 1-star improvement in a business’ rating leads to an increase in revenue of 5%-9%.
- They can improve customer service with valuable feedback. Negative reviews often provide feedback that businesses can use to improve products or services to make more customers satisfied. Reviews can also be analyzed to quickly discover issues, patterns, or keep an eye on a business’ competition.
- They identify key areas that customers are passionate about. Along with feedback, reviews also highlight keywords or issues that are vital in describing a business’s products or services. These keywords can be used in future marketing materials, product positioning, or other content to improve the search engine optimization of a business website.
- Finally, reviews are important for search engine optimization. Online, many businesses consider SEO important as it determines how customers can find websites online by searching for keywords. Many positive reviews for a business correlate strongly with SEO, which also improves click-through rates and revenue.
Which Review Sites are Important?
- Google is arguably one of the most important review sites as they also control most of SEO due to being the largest search engine globally. Google reviews can help businesses’ rank on top of their search results; however, they are not the only review site that can help with rankings.
- Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites used, so it is important to also have a Facebook page and ask for Facebook reviews. Many people will already be on this site, so it is easy to ask for reviews.
- Yelp is a review site that is most known for restaurants, however, they have many other categories that people write and read reviews for.
- Niche review sites according to the industry are also important to keep in mind. Which sites will vary according to the industry your business is in, such as Houzz for home construction, Zocdoc for healthcare, and many more. Find which are important for your industry and make sure your business has a presence.
Now that you know how online business reviews work, why they are important and which review sites to pay attention to, you have the tools to improve business reputation. If you are wondering how to get more reviews, try reaching out to happy customers more often.
Golda Criddle is the Marketing Manager for ReviewInc, Reputation and Review Management Software that generates, monitors, and manages your online business reputation all in one dashboard, so you can focus on running your business. ReviewInc optimizes and improves your online reputation and is the undisputed price performance leader in the reputation management industry.