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How Important Are Online Reviews?

Studies have shown that between 85-95% of consumers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Of those people, between 80-85% say they trust online reviews. Studies have also shown that customers will spend 31% more when doing business with someone who they have seen have numerous positive reviews. So, when you put it that way, reviews sound pretty important. Reviews are no doubt important, but a better way to think of them would be ‘full of potential’. When used and responded to correctly, online reviews can work wonders for your online authority, web traffic, and bottom line. Alternatively, if not handled correctly, negative reviews have the potential to really hurt your business.

Good reviews are obviously very helpful to a business. Not only because of the countless online visitors who will see the praise the reviewer gave you, but because good reviews can actually strengthen your online presence.

Enabling customers to leave reviews can have a positive effect on your business’s organic search rankings. Every time someone writes a review about your company or your products, it increases the amount of unique content on your website. This means you’ll be seen as being more relevant and as such have a better chance at getting your pages ranked.

Additionally, if you’re a digital marketing expert, there is a way for to microformat the reviews on your site, so Google can index them directly and use them for answers to other user’s inquiries. All of this leads to more pages pointing to your website and over time this can really help your rankings.

What about bad reviews?

Of course, no one wants to see their business get hit with bad reviews. And of course, we all take note when we read a bad review of a product or service we are considering. None the less, the bottom line is this, negative reviews aren’t as bad as you think.

When your company does receive negative reviews, it is important to respond to them quickly and correctly. Unfortunately, a lot of bad reviews come from angry and/or emotional customers. If it is polarized on the negative side and is just an upset consumer libeling your business, review sites typically allow you to flag reviews like this to get them removed. If the review has merit, respond to the reviewer, ask to continue the conversation in private, and offer to make restitution. When potential customers see this, a large chunk of the fear the got when they read that review goes away by your willingness to take care of the customer.

Additionally, according to Forbes having a couple bad reviews mixed in is actually helpful for your service or product. If you only had 5-star reviews, it would look fishy and customers would be suspicious. If fact, when there are a large number of reviews, the more honest they are, the higher conversion rate you are going to have, so long as the good reviews outweigh the bad.

How creditable are reviews anyways?

No matter what, it is important to remember two things when it comes to reviews: All reviews help even a little (so long as there are more good than bad) and just because it is in a review, doesn’t make it true. People know this and while we do allow reviews to influence our buying decision, one or two bad reviews doesn’t steer prospective buyers away from your business if the rest of your reviews are good. The majority of review readers look at a minimum of 5 reviews before making a decision about a product.

Additionally, studies show that only 1.5% of people actually write reviews. That is only 15 out of every 1000 people. Of that 1.5% Eric K. Clemons, a professor of information management at the University of Pennsylvania said: “First weed out the most polarized perspectives People are much more likely to write reviews if they have extreme emotions about something. This is why you see so many rave reviews and so many rancorous ones”

This is a good strategy because it helps us from being scared away from a good product by one angry and emotional customer.

At the end of the day, yes, reviews are very important. They have the potential to really help or really hurt your business. In all reality, if you have a good business and sell a good product, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about reviews. Your value of customer service will shine, and you will get good reviews, and you will get bad ones. But if you manage ALL your reviews correctly, they can really help your company.

Get educated on how you can use reviews to build your business. Learn how to make consumer reviews work for you and how to correct any damage that bad reviews are causing.

To fully optimize the reviews customers are leaving and to strengthen your online presence, contact us at Groove Marketers so we can begin to increase your web traffic and your bottom line. Contact us anytime so that you can finally start taking care of your business while we help you get your Groove online.