How Powerful Are Online Reviews?
In an age where virtually any information you want can be found with just a few clicks, businesses and brands are under more pressure than ever to perform admirably. Whether that be via good customer service, quality products or easy internet access to their offerings, the stress is real for many businesses.
Fueling this trend is the prevalence of online reviews, which are now more influential than ever in affecting consumers’ decision-making processes. Every business obviously wants to generate as many good reviews as possible, but why exactly is this the case?
Today, let’s look at the true power of online reviews, by highlighting why they are so influential.
Customers Insist on Reviews
Arguably the most powerful aspect of online reviews is the fact that customers insist on knowing about your brand before making a decision. Studies have shown that the vast majority of consumers first inspect reviews before making any online purchase, and the same is true for many who shop in brick and mortar establishments as well.
Pinging search engines and social media with high-quality reviews helps build a sense of trust and authority with your target demographics, letting them know that others are satisfied with your services and products. While it is possible to generate sales without online reviews, you’ll undoubtedly be leaving lots of potential profit on the table: seek to generate as many legitimate positive reviews through sites such as Google and Yelp whenever possible.
Search Engines Love Reviews
Just as much as potential customers want to find confidence in your brand before making a purchase, search engines feel similarly. While search engines have a primary goal of serving up content that is relevant to their users, they also strive to ensure the quality is of high-quality and trustworthy.
Because of this, it has been discovered that the number of positive online reviews can in fact have an influence on how prominently your pages rank in various search results. This is why so many brands push their customers to leave feedback and reviews via Google and other search engines, but independent platforms such as Yelp can also play a role in this situation as well.
Ultimately, many brands rely on organic traffic to drive customers to them: search engines can make or break this dynamic, so reviews from this perspective are a very powerful force.
Negative Reviews Can Hurt a Lot
Studies have shown that online reviews can be just as powerful as word of mouth: this means that for every bad experience somebody has with your business or brand, there are several others who will be turned off by the experience. Now imagine that these experiences are published for the world to see and never disappear.
Both in terms of pinging search engines and potential customers, even just a few negative reviews can harm your position within a given niche or industry. As such, it is important to have a proactive plan on how to respond to negative reviews – and also one for generating as many positive and legitimate reviews as possible to counter any such effects.
Online reviews are arguably the king-maker of online businesses today. They can make or break your reputation, drive qualified leads and business (or cause them to disappear), and boost or harm your visibility in search results. By taking this dynamic seriously, you can make plans to ensure you’re not on the wrong side of this powerful force.