Online Reviews are More Important in 2018 than Ever Before

In times gone by, a testimonial page on your website was a great way to showcase how trustworthy and great your business is. However, customers are much more sceptical and now want a more reliable way to check out your business credentials. After all, how can they check that the glowing review from ‘John in Liverpool’ is real?

Reviews and testimonials are still vital for engaging trust, creating leads and converting sales. However, your own stock of in-house comments is no longer enough. People want proof of your feedback which is why online reviews are more important now than ever before.

From Google to Facebook to Trustpilot and Feefo, 88% of consumers trust these online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. With your business being judged by its online reviews, is it time your company started focusing on this powerful reputation tool?

Why are online reviews so important?

For consumers, online reviews are often the first step of interaction with a business. For example, 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business. More worryingly, 70% of customers will avoid your business if they see four or more negative reviews about your business on Google. However, rest assured that if you have positive reviews, then they will help make 73% of consumers trust your business more.

Online reviews do not just help build trust with consumers; they can benefit your business in many other ways too. For example, a higher number of reviews can be vital for your SEO, helping you to climb search engine rankings. As well as this, reviews often lead to more reviews. By customers wanting to share their feedback via online forums such as Google and Facebook, you start to generate free marketing, which is always good for business.

Consider every positive review as free advertising for your business; this alone should make sure you deliver the best service possible thanks to the rewards and growth you could reap.

Furthermore, any negative feedback you do get should be seen as constructive. Reviews can be a way for customers to suggest improvements. You may feel offended at first, but actually customers may have a point that you may not have considered. What’s more, by addressing their comments and responding to their review shows them, and other customers that you care about improving your service to meet their needs.

Five steps to build online reviews

To make the most of this free advertising, great marketing and helpful feedback, you need to make sure your business is set up for online reviews. To make the most of online reviews you need to;

  1. Make sure your profile is complete on a range of review sites (Google, Yahoo, social media sites).
  2. Ask for reviews from customers with every purchase. You can automate the process, but people are likely to be more responsive if you add a personal
  3. Offer incentives. Remember this should be for honest feedback, not conditional for a good
  4. Respond to the reviews. This shows customers that you are listening to them.
  5. Add links to your email signature, newsletter campaigns and blogs.