08 May The Power Of Online Reviews
Today, a businesses reputation is shaped significantly by its consumer’s online reviews. When you consider that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, it presents a strong case as to why business owners should utilize review platforms in conjunction with a reviews management service.
There are dozens of review sites for consumers to research businesses with. Currently, Yelp and Facebook are the most trusted review sites for consumers in the United States, with Google and BBB.org trailing closely. These sites enable millions of users to share their experiences from desktops and mobile devices with other users. As technology continues to advance, business models and consumer engagement evolves also.
Consumers no longer need to rely on directories or word of mouth to discover a business. According to the Pew Research Center, 9 out of 10 American adults use the Internet and 77% of adults in the United States have a smartphone. This makes accessing information and creating real-time reviews fast and easy. It also demonstrates that businesses cannot afford to neglect their online reputation.
As a result of the increase in connectivity the behavior of consumers has changed as well. In a study by BrightLocal, in 2017, 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses and 68% said that positive reviews made them more likely to use a business. Furthermore, 10% of consumers now contact a business after reading a positive review.
Traditional marketing media is no longer effective by itself. A consumer’s ability to access information on mobile devices makes the digital storefront key for a businesses success.
Attract Interested Users With Relevant Online Reviews
Traditional forms of advertising, like radio or television, are costly and work to persuade a consumer to act by presenting a product or service in the hope that it may be relevant to what the consumer is looking for. Unfortunately, it is never a certainty that the ad is relevant to the individual. Also, after being exposed to these medias for a period of time its quite possible that an interested consumer can forget about the advertisement and lose the sense of urgency to act. This is not the case with online consumer review sites. In fact, the desire or decision and the urgency to act are what motivate a consumer to seek out a business online. Online review sites help a user by presenting them with relevant and reviewed options. They are also fantastic tool for a business with a limited or no marketing budget.
Star Ratings Are Powerful For Small Businesses
It’s a common misconception that online reviews are typically negative and can only hurt a business. This is not true, especially when looking at Yelp. About 67% of the reviews on Yelp are four and five star reviews. This suggests that consumers taking the time to make a review are doing it in support of the business. Additionally, 54% of consumers consider the average star rating to be the most important factor when judging a local business. Therefore, star ratings are critical for small businesses.
Improving and protecting star ratings should be on every small businesses list of things to do. The best way to start improving a star rating is to simply ask customers if they would be willing to post a review to one of the popular review sites. More than half of customers asked will leave a review. Supporting reviews from customers also help to minimize the effect of negative reviews on a star rating.
In the event that a business receives a poor review, BirghtLocal’s study suggests for them to respond. 30% of consumers are placing importance on businesses responding to reviews in 2017. Using these occurrences as an opportunity to make the situation right will help your reputation. According to Inc., 56% to 70% of consumers will do business with your company again if the complaint is resolved.
Improving your online reviews and protecting your reputation is essential to retaining current customers and converting potential customers. If you are looking to strengthen your businesses reputation, take advantage of todays technology with consumer review sites. JHG Media specializes in review management services. Contact us today to discuss how our team can help your business become an authority.