How often do you find yourself choosing to watch the Netflix shows with the highest ratings, or browsing Amazon for 5-star product listings?
Online reviews are surely changing the way that we utilize services and shop for products while on the web. Decision making has become a community-based and public endeavour, and positive reviews have the power to boost your sales and increase your professional regard.
Online reviews are publicly developed and generated opinions of a product or service through an online platform. There are various websites dedicated to the production and encouragement of customer reviews. You’ve probably heard of Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google + Local.
These review platforms allow a business to build trust with their public and increase their sales through inbound traffic and a positive rapport. After all, an online review can be a potential customer’s first point of interest on trust-building in understanding your service or product.
Online reviews are critically important. Google monitors online reviews on a multitude of different review sites and even hosts one of their own. It is a factor in SEO results, especially for brick and mortar business locations.
Companies stand to benefit greatly from online reviews – whether these are positive, or negative. Rave reviews are positive marketing in and of themselves. If a potential customer notices your company has a 5-star rating on Google or other search engines, they are more likely to feel more comfortable to consider buying from or working with you.
They are also predisposed to have a positive opinion, even before their personal experience with your team. People are results-driven and will take the route most likely to lead them to a positive outcome.
Negative reviews also have the potential to help your business develop and grow. You can learn a lot about what you could do better – whether it is in your marketing, the service you provide, or the product(s) you are selling. Negative reviews allow you to reflect on your business performance and make changes where necessary.
Or a negative review could be positive – “thought the brunch spot was kid-friendly, turns out we should have left the kids with the sitter.” isn’t saying anything was wrong with YOUR business, more like the impression the customer had and their experience did not match. And this type of review would be helpful to know for the brunch fans both with and without kids.
For more serious negative reviews, it’s not uncommon to have happy customers come to your defence if the review appears to be mean-spirited or based on bad information. If the poor review has legitimacy, you now have the chance to turn that experience around.
You have the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to your clients by handling a poor review with integrity and professionalism. There are ways to mitigate a poor review before it gets online, talk to us about the types of online review campaigns we run for clients and how we handle this situation.
There are multiple ethical and organic methods of generating online reviews to boost your business reputation both on and offline. Some genuine routes of grabbing positive online reviews are:
Since Google monitors many online review sites, boosting your rapport and number of reviews across a variety of sites increases the inbound traffic to your business’s website. Excellent reviews are what potential customers look for when using a search engine to find a service to fulfill their needs – and will most likely try and choose the best of the best.
To boost website traffic with online reviews, dedicate space in your marketing strategy to include gaining positive reviews and responding to all reviews that are placed. By being active in your online presence, you are building a trust amongst your growing community of clients and customers.
Jen Kelly is a marketing consultant in Toronto and CEO of New Initiatives Marketing Inc. (NIM) serving growing businesses in Canada and the USA. NIM is the team to call for marketing execution excellence. Contact us today for a no-obligation conversation about your company’s online reviews (aka: online reputation management).