5 reasons why you need to focus on online reviews now
You may have noticed that we’re focusing a lot of attention on online customer reviews. Why? Because there’s no question that reviews are having an ever-increasing impact on consumer buying decisions. Your customers are absolutely going online and checking out their options – you and your competitors – before deciding who they’re going to call.
Here are 5 stats that make it all too clear that online reviews and your online reputation must be a key part of your marketing plan…
- Your customers are looking for online reviews. A recent study in the Denver Post found that almost 50% of adult Americans actively search for someone before doing business with them. And what’s really scary – 45% of those searchers found something that made them choose NOT to contact that business.
- Your customers trust online reviews. Why should you care about online reviews? Here’s the easiest reason of all… because your customers sure do. A recent study involving Google and a number of their marketing partners showed that a whopping 84% of consumers indicated that they trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. Think about that… “as much as a personal recommendation.” Online reviews have truly become today’s word-of-mouth advertising.
- Positive reviews convince prospects to trust you. That same study showed that 73% of those surveyed say positive reviews make them trust a company more. When a prospect has a choice between you and someone else… of course they’re going to pick the business with the better reviews.
- Google likes online reviews. It goes without saying that the most important factor in getting found online is showing up higher in search results. When you have customer-generated content like reviews constantly updated in your social media, Google sees that as fresh content and identifies you as a “quality site,” and that can improve your search rankings. Not to mention the fact that Google will often include reviews in business results.
- The power of a single star. A 2016 Harvard research report stated that “a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5%-9% increase in revenue.” Think about that! One single star could impact your profit by almost 10%. That stat alone should be enough to convince you to turn your attention to your online reputation.
For all these reasons, and more, all of us at Hibu believe that small businesses across the country need to take control of their online reviews. Some things you can do on your own… but some things, honestly, you’ll probably need help with. Google yourself and take a look at what people are saying. If you want some help improving the reviews you see or maximizing the impact you can get from positive reviews, give us a call – or see all the ways Hibu Reviews can work for your small businesses.
Sources: Harvard consumer review study; Forbes, 20 online reputation statistics; BrightLocal Study 2017