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Online Reviews: Best Practices & Benefits

Author : Brianna Harvey

You may not think you’ve paid very much attention to online reviews, but trust us, you have. If you have ever looked up a new restaurant, product, or service, chances are high that you have glanced at the ratings. And probably took it a step further by actually reading the comments to see what people had to say about the brand. No matter what, online reviews are incredibly useful for customers, even if they aren’t aware, they’re paying attention to them. So as business owners, it’s important to make sure your business has relevant online reviews that can accurately tell visitors about your brand or business. Reviews may be what sells your company to customers who are on the fence. No matter how small or large your company is, reviews help you to stay credible and attract new customers. But, if you’re just starting or not quite sure of how to get more people to leave reviews, don’t worry - there’s a solution.

 

This blog will outline:

  • The Definition of Online Reviews
  • The Importance of Online Reviews
  • Online Review Best Practices

What are Online Reviews?

Online reviews usually show up when you use search engines, like Google or Bing, to find a company. In most instances, they automatically appear as a series of star ratings, giving you the option to leave a review or read other reviews. They basically show a rating of your business and have comments from customers and clients who have used your product or service. These reviews give insight into your company on a more personal level because these comments come directly from clients and are usually more genuine than prompted surveys or client testimonials on your website. Sure, your website can promote its services as much as it wants in a positive light, but nothing will compare to someone who has genuinely used the service or product and wrote a well thought out review, typically on a third party review site. With online reviews, potential customers can get a truthful and unbiased opinion.

 

Why Do Online Reviews Matter and How Can They Benefit You?

Its 2020 and online reviews are essential to your business. The consumer’s tendency to gravitate online to find a product or service has ultimately created a modern online world that no longer depends on white pages or word of mouth to promote your business. Nowadays, your business is just a Google search, which is why it is so important to have a strong online presence, with a great online brand reputation – which is where reviews play a key role. For starters, without reviews, potential customers on the internet would not know if your business is credible or a scam. It would be up to them to figure it out and take that risk - which many people aren’t so willing to do. In fact, it is not uncommon for a customer or client to search or work with another company that has evidence of providing quality work or services. Having a good amount of online reviews will also push potential customers more towards your business. This shows people that you are an actual business and that you’ve done work with plenty of clients. It helps you build your consumer’s trust. Online reviews also show that a lot of people use your business, thus giving you the appearance of being a leader in your industry. There is some trust built when people see this.

 

The main benefits are:

  • Increased sales
  • Brand exposure
  • Increased trust built between customers and your brand. 5 Star Statistics (1)

 

On average, consumers read about ten reviews to know how they feel about your business, in fact 68% of consumers form an opinion about your company after only reading 1-6 of your listed reviews. Needless to say, without at least ten customers who vouch for your business, the average customer would be less likely to do business with you.

 

However, your online reviews should not stop at ten, you should always encourage your past customers, and current customers to leave reviews and testimonials about your business. Company reviews can also provide valuable feedback for you on the things you need to improve. Reading the feedback will let you know what people like about your product or service and what people dislike. From there, you can make improvements.

 

What are the Best Practices for Online Reviews?

Now that you know more about online reviews and their influence on consumer behaviors, you may be wondering how you can get customers to leave reviews. For starters, you want to make sure your customers or clients have a way to leave reviews that is both effective and easy to access. You’ll also want to make sure your testimonials and reviews are visible to other users so they can get the information they need to trust you!

 

There are a few online brand reputation software options in the market. For instance, TrustedReviews. This software works to streamline the review acquisition process and makes it as easy and painless for your reviewer as possible. You simply send a request for the review, via email or text and all the customer has to do is click the review request link. This will take them to a brief questionnaire, regarding your service or product, for them to complete. Once submitted, your company will have a review from the consumer and their location.

 

Closing Thoughts

Giving your customers the assurance and the confidence they need to trust your brand doesn’t have to be hard. And getting people to leave reviews that are both truthful and organic doesn’t have to be a task either. Contact Local Management to get started today with boosting your online brand reputation and if you like what you read feel free to also browse through the rest of our blog (how about checking out 9 SEO Techniques for More Organic Traffic) for more.

 

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