Online reviews

Let’s face it — many online businesses and services drop out of competition against big brands because of their company’s reputation. When it comes to product sales, generating leads and attracting customers to their website, big brands outnumber small businesses by leaps and bounds.

Why? Because they rank well on search engines, have positive (and even some negative reviews that does not matter at all) and they are personally recommended by people who’ve tried their service or products.

Online reviews are one of the most important part of any business today. From gaining local organic search rankings to becoming word-of-mouth, online reviews create branding. If you are rarely mentioned anywhere on the web, how will it influence your customers?

Search Engine Land reports that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and this is where big brands out there make a difference. They invite their customers, and even competitors to leave feedback about their service and products which increases their “mentions”, ultimately leading to more exposure and driving more traffic.

There’s no denying that online reviews are very significant today, and not just that, they are part of any marketing campaigns today so that they can create a big impact in the industry and break sales. Check out the 7 best reasons why online reviews are important to your business.

1. Increase local search rankings

Customer reviews play a crucial role today for organic search rankings in search engines. In fact, enabling customer reviews will add credibility to your company while new reviews written is also going to add more amount of unique content to your site.

Increased amount of content that are relevant and unique will add a better chance to get ranked on search engines while the pages are also frequently crawled by search engine bots compared to others. Microformats of reviews when used on your site create higher chances of showing your results as “rich answers” on Google, putting you above the fold of normal search results.

All in all, reviews are very important to improve search visibility and drive more traffic to the site through search engines today.

2. Increase sales

People tend to read online reviews and trust them as much as they are recommended by their friends or families. BrightLocal’s survey reported that an astounding 88 percent people considered online reviews while choosing a product or service of their need.

Similarly, the survey also concluded that 12 percent of people did not follow reviews while picking a consumer product. This means that your business will be exposed to 88 percent of the buying population online and with the information that your customers put in your online reviews, your chances of generating leads and sales will increase automatically.

3. Improve off-site ranking

Having online reviews on an external website adds more credibility to your business rather than having reviews on your own site. Google’s local search algorithms include data from authority third-party directories and platforms like Yelp which reviews restaurants, TripAdvisor that reviews travel-related contents and CrowdReviews, which ranks technology products and services based on user reviews.

This is particularly because aggregate reviews from consumers, competitors and several users out there who have had experience with using the product or service. It has also disrupted the online review industry and because it is unbiased, community driven and transparent, Google rates the listing of several businesses into “search snippets” considering the reviews of any product or service from this platform.

Incorporating five ranking parameters including review strength, reviewer strength, profile strength, reputation strength and verified status, the platform’s unique algorithm ranks products and services and help businesses to pick products or services according to their needs.

4. Increase significance

Online reviews play an important part to add more flexibility to buying decisions of customers. With online reviews getting more credibility, local SEO algorithms consider the weight of such reviews in their visibility and rankings, adding more exposure to small and large businesses online.

Similarly, with different ways of reviewing products and services like videos, infographics and images, companies can expand their brands easily without needing to spend much on marketing. Similarly, people tend to share online reviews with their friends, making your products or services more common to the consumers.

5. Increase conversion

People seek for more and more information before spending on a product or service. Thus, the more reviews your product or service has and the more honest they are, the better conversion you are going to see. Getting 5-star reviews that are positive is also not a good thing every time. This is because it adds suspicion to your product and might make consumers feel something fishy about it.

So, a mix of good and even bad reviews is what will create a positive effect on the conversion rate. As long as the negative reviews don’t overwhelm the positive ones, you’re going to see an increased sale, ultimately taking your business in profit.

6. Help to understand customers

If your business does not include online reviews from your customers and there’s no way for your visitors to voice their opinion, you never will be able to analyze your market to make improvements. With online reviews, you get to know the good and the bad sides of your business and this helps to better serve your consumers in the future.

With online reviews enabled, your consumers can question about your products and services while they can also suggest the changes they’d want to see. This will help businesses to understand what they’ve been doing wrong and how they can incorporate changes to improve their service.

7. Add marketing opportunities

Online reviews are surely worth the deal and they offer a plethora of benefits to your business that most marketing campaigns fail to do. In fact, online reviews act as micro marketing campaigns that provide positive benefit to your potential customers, now and in the long run.

Having online reviews already is also going to encourage new customers to voice their opinion and leave their own feedback thereby increasing the “crowd behavior” of your business.

The bottom line: online reviews are just as important as any of your marketing campaigns if you are to secure online visibility in search engines and generate more leads to make a profit.

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