Updated as of July 2021.
Reviews used to be just a “nice-to-have,” but now they’re essential.
Reviews made their first appearance in 1999. At first, they were mostly contained to eCommerce websites like eBay. The first generation of reviews were product-focused. Now, those little stars are on everything, from hotel rooms, to plumbers, and even public park benches. Reviews are becoming a staple across the web, with most visible reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and TripAdvisor. As of 2021, reviews impact the customer journey more than ever. For 88% of consumers, reviews influenced discovering a local business.
How important are reviews?
93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. Customers are reading your reviews before ever deciding to visit your business. What they read there can make or break a sale.
Reviews increase exposure and local SEO
Having more online reviews means your website will rank higher in search. Google cares about 4 things when it comes to reviews: recency, frequency, quality and quantity. Moz estimates that 10% of Google’s algorithm is driven by review signals. Increasing your number of reviews is one of the quickest ways to start ranking higher in search results.
Reviews increase trust in your business
You know that your products and services are great, but why should your customers trust it when you say it? Positive reviews increase trust and brand loyalty for your business. Before customers even consider buying your products, they’re reading what the reviews have to say about you. Too many negative reviews and they’ll go to your competitor instead. Too few reviews and they can’t even form an opinion. Responding to reviews is important as well, 89% of consumers read business responses, and 56% say a business’s response changed their perspective on the business.
Reviews improve click-thru-rate to your website
It’s vital that potential customers actually click on your website. It’s great to show up in the top spots on Google, but if customers aren’t clicking your site, then what’s the point? Luckily, reviews increase the overall click-thru-rate to your website. And, the more clicks you receive, the higher you’ll climb in the rankings. It’s a win win in our book.
Reviews increase revenue
Reviews aren’t just great for new customers, they’re great for your bottom line. If a business has more than 9 current reviews, they earn 52% more revenue than average. Customers with trust in your brand are going to spend more and question less because reviews tell them what to expect from your business. In a study of identical product comparison, consumers were willing to spend more on the item with more reviews. Also, collection of reviews is a free or inexpensive form of marketing compared to other methods. A review generation campaign is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies you can employ, delivering maximum ROI.
So, how can you use customer reviews?
As a business owner, one of the best things you can do is listen to your customers. Hear what matters to them and see if there are possibilities to incorporate their feedback into your business plan. Customers, particularly those who have grown up with social media tools as a routine part of their lives, want to be heard and they expect you to engage with them. Take time to let them know you’re listening and thank them for their feedback. Having an open dialogue can go a long way toward building trust and starting a valuable relationship with the people who matter most to you— your customers.
How can I encourage reviews for my business?
If it’s difficult to leave a review for your business, most people aren’t going to do it. Only the extremely happy or the irate customers will make the effort to let the Internet know what they think. But what about all the everyday customers who use your services all the time?
Get more in-store reviews with QR codes: If you have a brick-and-mortar store, there’s never a better time to request a review than while the customer is still physically in your location. Strategically placing signs with your custom QR code in waiting rooms, restaurant tables, and checkout lines makes it easy for customers to give their feedback. Read case study here.
Request reviews easily with a link: Did you know Google gives you a custom web address that sends your customers right to the review box? Include this link in your social media posts, emails, and text it to your customers! You can find it in the home page of your Google MyBusiness account. Need help finding it?
Make the first move: make it a habit to review your customers’ businesses too. They’ll be much more likely to pass on the favor once you’ve shared the love.
Ready to start collecting more reviews? Our team is here to help from custom QR code creation, wide-scale review generation campaigns, or just finding that handy dandy Google review link. Reach out at [email protected] or contact us here.
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