Online reviews have a direct correlation with your business’s online reputation and customers will look out for you online before making a purchase decision. To understand the power of customer reviews is therefore essential for all marketers and business owners alike. Consequently, managing, collecting, and reading reviews should be an integral part of your customer journey.
Google is currently the fastest-growing review platform and therefore reviews on Google have become more important than ever. Reviews directly impact the local SEO ranking at the same time as it is a powerful tool to convince a customer to purchase your product or service. The fact is that customers today expect to see reviews of the things they search on Google. Customer reviews work as testimonials for your company and build both trust and credibility. According to a study by Bright Local, an average consumer reads about 10 reviews about your company before she feels like she can trust the business.
Since reviews have an impact on the customer’s purchase decision and are a powerful tool to affect a customer, try to look for a way to highlight them and lift them up in your marketing.
Three main reasons why you should focus on getting more reviews on Google:
- Ranking on search
The effectiveness of your review strategy directly reflects your ranking on Google. The more reviews you have the better you rank among your competitors on Google. Getting reviews and being active by answering them will boost your local search rankings. The more reviews you have the more Google will reward you.
- A successful feedback loop
Reviews are a good source for optimizing your customer experience. By getting and reading reviews Google leaves on Google, you´ll be up to date with what your business is doing just right and where improvements could be done.
For when it comes to negative reviews, make sure you turn it into a positive one. It is extremely important to answer negative reviews in a polite and way where you apologize and try your best to resolve the issue. This is your opportunity to excel when it comes to customer service. To answer negative reviews is also an opportunity for your business to let the customer know that you are aware of their opinion and take responsibility for the shortcoming.
- Trust and credibility
A s mentioned, positive reviews make customers trust your business more. Reviews of your business build trust and credibility among potential customers, they are empowering and has a direct effect on the bottom line of your business. The study by Bright Local revealed that about 82% of customers read reviews before they make a purchase decision and that 52 % of 18 – 54-year-olds always read reviews. After reading a positive review customers continue with visiting the webpage, searching for more reviews, contacting the business, or visiting the actual location. To mention, 76% trust online reviews as recommendations from family and friends and this certainly has a positive influence on purchase decisions.
Getting reviews isn´t always easy
Getting customers to write reviews is on the other hand not always to easiest. However, stay away from buying reviews or collecting fake reviews. Google and your customers will simply spot them and certainly not like them. Proactively collect reviews from customers and stay to the old ethical way of just asking your customers in person. You can do this by sending your customers an email or text message after a purchase, add a link on your webpage or encourage through an ad to leave a review on Google. Just make sure that leaving a review is as easy as possible for the customer. This is also part of designing a smooth customer journey, and as we all know, a smooth customer journey is a strong competitive advantage in today’s digital world.