Customers trust recommendations from their peers more than any marketing campaign you can put together. So, it’s important for your business to understand the impact of having positive online reviews.
When customers leave positive reviews on your pages, other customers will be influenced to do businesses with you. In this guide, we will cover those topics and much more.
So, keep reading to see how local business reviews can help you make more sales.
How Reviews Influence Your Customers
Every small business owner knows how difficult it is to obtain new, converting customers. So, it is especially frustrating when an unexpected event, like a bad online review throws a wrench in your plans.
A slew of positive reviews can help make your business a success while negative ones can truly cost you. After all, most customers base their sales off of reviews.
It’s important to understand how to use both good and bad reviews to your advantage because no small business can afford to ignore either type.
This is how both good and bad reviews influence consumers:
According to a study from Harvard, businesses can see an increase as much as 9% with each new star on their rating. And according to a 2017 survey, 49% of consumers refuse to do business with a company whose rating is less than four stars.
Real, positive customer reviews should be used in landing pages, email campaigns, and other forms of marketing. Doing so will significantly increase trust around your brand.
The same way good reviews can attract more customers, bad reviews can send them packing. Additionally, they damage your brand’s reputation and loyalty.
In some situations, the damage is easy to get over. Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding that you can easily address and resolve.
But if the negative reviews become more frequent, your business will definitely suffer.
In fact, after having read just one negative review, 22% of consumers say they won’t shop with a business. After three negative reviews, the percentage jumps to 59%, and if when there are four or more negative reviews, 70% of potential customers are turned off.
As long as a review doesn’t look fake, most people trust them. That’s because people gravitate toward input from their peers more than any fancy marketing campaign.
A company that doesn’t have any reviews at all can actually turn more customers away than those that only have negative reviews.
Of course, you won’t have tons of reviews (good or bad) if you’ve just opened the doors to your business. But don’t fret. We’ll help you generate some positive ones.
How to Get Positive Local Business Reviews
It isn’t always easy to get customers to leave online reviews. First of all, leaving a review is an additional step that busy customers have to take out of their days.
So, people usually don’t go out of their way leave reviews unless they’re angry and want everyone to know.
These are some strategies you can use in order to get more positive reviews from customers:
Give Your Customers a Reason to Say Something Good
If you want customers to feel good about your business, you have to take the initiative. This includes providing high-quality products and services while also using exceptional customer support practices.
Make the Reviewing Process Easy
People are more drawn to interrupt their day with tasks if they are actually easy to complete. So, make the reviewing process less dreadful for your customers.
An example is to include a review template in the emails you send to them. If a customer can enter their star rating by simply clicking on a link in an email, they are more likely to leave a review than if they were going to be directed to another website.
10 Reasons You Need Local Business Reviews
Now that you know all about the different types of reviews, let’s go over how they can help your local business. Below, you will find 10 ways positive online reviews can affect the growth of your business.
1. Free Advertising
Every single one of the positive reviews that are posted about your business online is a free ad. Reviews do more than tell potential customers that you have great products.
Positive reviews also increase awareness about your business and give customers insight about your products, company policies, and services. For a small business to gain the same benefits and exposure from traditional advertising campaigns, they will have to spend thousands of dollars.
Customer reviews, on the other hand, won’t break into your marketing budget at all.
2. They Help You Improve
Bad reviews are just as important for your business as good reviews are. Negative reviews help you to understand the places where your business is weak or needs improvement.
Whether you need to have more of a certain product on hand or your customer service team needs a bit more training, reviews put you in your customers’ shoes.
With this information, you can enhance your business in two different ways. To start, you will have the opportunity to address a complaint directly. This way, you can change that one person’s mind about you.
The second benefit is that since this type of interaction is that typically completed in a public space. Which means that instead of being turned off by the bad review, customers will see that you are willing to admit to your wrongs and correct them.
There are also reviews that aren’t necessarily negative, but they include suggestions from customers who have worked with you. Take the constructive criticism to heart and improve your business.
3. An Improved Search Engine Ranking
When it comes to ranking high on search engines, business owners tend to think more about things like keywords and building links than anything else. While these factors are important for your SEO, most people don’t know that having reviews written about your company can help your rankings too.
The more your business is mentioned in reviews, the higher your business is going to rank in Google searches.
4. Word of Mouth Marketing
In the past, people mainly relied on their friends and families for recommendations about products and services. This is called word of mouth marketing.
Today, word of mouth marketing is even more powerful, thanks to online reviews. In fact, 91% of people read online reviews regularly. While 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as they trust their friends’ opinions.
5. They Improve Your Click-Through Rates
The click-through rate (CTR) is an SEO metric that helps rank your website higher on search engines. If you don’t already know, CTR shows how many people clicked on one of your ads to find more information about your company.
If your CTR is high, that means a lot of people are interested in what you have available to offer. So, where do online reviews fit into this?
Well, because most people only click on businesses that have positive reviews, you can end up with a higher than normal CTR.
6. Better Landing Page Conversions
When you have positive reviews on certain landing pages like the home screen of your website or your product pages, it can increase your conversion rates. Even if your products are only available at your brick and mortar store and not your website, these practices can still bring customers who are ready to buy directly to your store.
7. Stronger Relationships with Customers
Social media helps businesses build relationships with their customers. This relationship building includes online reviews as well.
Just as we talked about responding to negative reviews to help turn them around, you should also respond to positive reviews. Doing so helps customers see the person behind the business which can make them even more loyal to your brand as a result.
8. Fewer Product Returns
Did you know that 23% of clothing gets returned or that 64% of consumers say that “incorrect fit” is the reason?
Reviews can help reduce the number of returns to your store. Let’s say, for example, you run a boutique in your town. There’s a customer reading reviews about a particular dress you’re carrying.
She notices that several customers have purchased the dress and said that it runs small, so they all sized up. This new customer will then know to purchase the dress in a size larger than she usually wears.
If she hadn’t read the reviews, she would have purchased the dress in her regular size, which would have been too small, forcing her to return it.
9. They Show Your Strengths
Just as negative reviews can show you parts of your business that need improvement, positive reviews can help you discover your strengths. In order to keep customers happy, you have to continue providing the types of products and customer service they appreciate.
The positive reviews you receive will bring these good doings to your attention which will certainly help with future marketing efforts and training new employees.
10. You Can Use Reviews in Your Content
Content marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools available, which is why most businesses have blogs on their websites now.
If you include some positive reviews and testimonials in your content, you are accomplishing a multitude of things. This includes having existing customers help you convert new customers and getting unique shareable content for your social media pages.
Local business reviews can take your organization from hardly making any sales to seeing your conversion rates skyrocket. Now that you’ve learned from this guide, check out the rest of our blog.
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