How Online Reviews Can Grow Your Business

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In the past, praises for a job well done were typically shared by word of mouth. Occasionally, happy customers may have sent a handwritten letter or reached out via telephone to share their thanks. The same means of providing feedback can be said for unhappy customers, too.

Now, all of this consumer feedback is digital.  It’s never been easier for a customer to share their experience - good or bad - with the world. Reviews about your company and your products or services are at the fingertips of anyone seeking them out. Trust us, consumers are definitely seeking them out, too. Forbes reports that 90% of consumers look at online reviews before visiting a business.

That statistic alone should be a huge reason why receiving online reviews is so important. But there are quite a few other purposes online reviews have for your business. Let’s break them down.

Online reviews build credibility

Before, when businesses would receive a positive review, it wasn’t likely that potential customers would be privy to that information. Now, thanks to online reviews, they are.

Good thing, too. Customers are relying on reviews more than ever and 84% say they trust reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend. Therefore, the more positive reviews your business has, the more credible you become.

Consumers are more research-oriented than ever and their purchasing decisions are fueled by what they find online. Reviews can help you gain their trust from the very beginning.

Reviews help you get found online

You might already know that with a solid SEO strategy, you can improve where your business shows in up search results. But did you know that online reviews should be a key component of your SEO strategy?

It’s true. The more reviews you get can help improve your position when someone searches for a local business like yours. Popular search engines like Google, Facebook, and Yelp all operate on this algorithm in an effort to help people find the results that are more relevant to them.

Because Google knows what’s important to searchers, it even prioritizes local listings (where Google reviews appear) over other search results. Consider this another way you can appear as the number one result on the world’s largest search engine.

Online reviews drive sales

To recap, we know online reviews improve visibility and credibility. Wouldn’t the next logical step be to improve sales? Bingo!

Customers are likely to spend 31% more money with a business that has excellent reviews. This is an extremely cost-effective way to drive more revenue to your business. Assuming that you have little money invested in generating more reviews, letting your customers tell your brand story for you pays off in a big way.

Some businesses may be reluctant to encourage their customers to share reviews, but if you offer great products and services combined with outstanding customer service, it should be clear that the risk is worth the reward.

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