Are online reviews important to your business and brand? The simplest answer is an obvious yes. But just how important are they?
“A positive reputation is one of the most powerful marketing assets a business has to convince new customers to contact them. The social proof contained within reviews and star ratings helps consumers short cut their research and make decisions faster and with greater confidence than ever before.” – BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey, 2016
More findings from BrightLocal this year:
- 91% of consumers now read online reviews
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, while 60% say that negative reviews make them not want to use a business
- 9/10 consumers determine if they can trust a business or not after reading 10 or less reviews
So what do these stats mean for you? Well first off, when you get a review we suggest you:
Respond, respond, respond.
Whether it’s good, bad or ugly – make sure you respond!
Positive Reviews: Think of it this way, if you were to receive a compliment in person, would you respond? We’re assuming that answer is yes, and would go something like “thank you”. So why not treat your online compliments the same? And, by the way, this compliment is public – so how you respond tells your customers (current and future) a lot about your brand.
Negative Reviews: Unfortunately, ignoring a bad review until goes away is never an option, and usually makes matters worse. Again, keep in mind you are responding to everyone that reads the comment, (hello, future customers). This is also your chance to set things right and shows the world you take action to ensure your customers are taken care of.
SEO & Promoting Your Brand
Are you sick of hearing about SEO (search engine optimization) yet? Your visibility in online searches is key to gaining new business and staying relevant on the web. When answering a review you have the ability to improve your SEO ranking. Just think, every new review is new content on your site, which in turn increases the chances of your page getting a higher ranking.
So what how can you capitalize on good reviews, and how should you respond to a negative review? We’re glad you asked! Here are some quick tips.
How To Respond:
- Be detailed & specific. Be real, be you. Don’t just say “thank you”. Definitely say thank you, but make sure you address them by name and thank them for the positive things they had to say about your business or their experience.
- Use your business name and keywords. SEO remember? Here’s your chance to add in some marketing. An example might be, “We here at KartHost™ are so excited to hear how easy you are finding your EZWP Builder package. We just know you are going to continue to grow your business as you learn more.”
- Use a call to action. Something like, “Did you know we also have a newsletter where we offer ongoing tips & tricks to building your site/blog? We’d love to add you!”
- Be calm & courteous. Apologize and acknowledge the reviewer’s concerns. Even if you do not agree, a little bit of sympathy & sincerity will go a long way.
- Do not include your business name nor keywords. You do not want bad reviews showing up in your search results if you can help it. But you can still add some marketing to the response by including what your customers usually experience.
- Move the conversation offline. By providing your contact information you can handle the problem in a more private format and show potential customers issues are handled appropriately. BONUS: Once you have addressed their concerns directly offline, ask them if they would be willing to go back and delete or update their previous negative review.
For more fun facts about online reviews we suggest you check out: “50 Stats You Need to Know About Online Reviews”