It’s no secret that online marketing has taken over as the most effective vein for promoting your business. More traditional marketing methods have lost their appeal rendering these tools ineffective.
- Most people find telemarketing annoying and invasive. Due to this, the “Do Not Call” list has grown to over 200 million people.
- 91% of users unsubscribe to email advertising for similar reasons.
- Through the magic of technology, 86% of people skip TV commercials too!
- Old fashioned “snail mail” marketing has taken a hit as well. 44% of direct mail is never even opened. It’s a waste of paper, and your marketing efforts these days.
With 86% of online consumers claiming that they read online reviews when searching for a product or service, online reviews have become an essential tool in digital marketing. Here are a few of the ways that online reviews can help bolster your business!
Digital Word of Mouth
Your current customers are talking to your future customers, and your future customers want to know what they have to say!
- 93% of people search for businesses online, even before they go into a brick and mortar store.
- The vast majority of people shopping for goods and services online will also consult online reviews before making a decision and will not even consider selecting a product or service with a lower rating than 4 stars.
- Most consumers say that online peer reviews directly influence their decision making.
- The importance of reviews is clear, but most businesses struggle to get reviews.
Find a Strategy That Works for You
There are many ways to promote the growth of your online reputation. Many businesses offer incentives for their customers to leave reviews, such as a discount on their next purchase, which lends itself to repeat customers. Between wanting to share a positive interaction and getting a perk for doing so, more people than ever are writing reviews online, not just reading them. This is great for your visibility. If your business truly offers stellar service you are pretty likely to get reviews without asking. However 70% of consumers will leave a review when they are asked for one, so ask!
“4 out of 5 Dentists Agree…” – Trust in Your Business
Social proof is a huge factor in today’s market. People want to believe that they are getting the best of the best, and nothing tells them that they are quite like everyone else agreeing with them. Online reviews show consumers that they can trust in your business. If 9 out of 10 reviewers believe you are a 5-star business, it’s likely that the consumer consulting those reviews is going to give your product or service a chance as well. 91% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation so having a steady stream of great reviews is crucial to growing your customerbase.
A Couple Negative Reviews Won’t Kill You
While they are not pleasant to read, don’t be afraid of negative reviews either. A negative review (or a few!) can actually lend to the legitimacy of your business. It is impossible to please every person every single time. Unfortunately, sometimes you will just not be someone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay! However, it can also give you a great opportunity to connect with an unhappy customer and turn their experience around.
Reviews in the Right Places
There has been a massive increase in external review sites in the past few years, as online reviews gain popularity, and authority. Google itself is still the king of review sites, with Facebook coming in a close second. Google reviews carry the most weight when it comes to SEO ranking, but they pull information from other sources too. More industry specific review sites also contribute to your rankings, such as:
- Yelp which was once reserved for restaurants and hospitality but has become more universal
- Better Business Bureau (BBB) especially for local businesses
- TripAdvisor for tourism industry
- RateMDs for healthcare practitioners
- Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon) for restaurants
Increase Your Visibility
As well as sharing a review on your website, customers with very positive (or negative!) experiences are likely to share them on external websites as well, such as Facebook or Yelp. The more places a review is visible, the more people will see it, consider it, and hopefully leave a review for others to see after their interaction with your business.
A Pipeline of SEO Content
Perhaps the biggest benefit to online reviews is that they provide massive value to SEO content. 90% of consumers conducting online searches will choose a business on the first page of Google; 75% don’t even go to the second page. Positive reviews especially are jam packed with keywords that will help get you noticed by consumers and search engines alike. Satisfied customers are more likely to share their positive reviews on more than one platform, giving Google more places to collect information from and build your business ranking. Positive feedback makes your business seem like an authority in your industry, improving your visibility, your traffic, and ultimately your conversion rate.
Your Customers Do the Work
With online reviews, your customers are basically marketing for you! As prime SEO content is a very cost-effective marketing tool, it really does pay to have an effective online review strategy. This saves you money on advertising, while bringing new consumers to your site and increasing your return-on-investment.
Local SEO Content
More than 50% of searches conducted have local intent. This has caused “near me” Google searches to skyrocket by 500%. Capitalizing on the most relevant keywords ensures that your content ranks high with consumers who are further along the path to make a purchase. People who are looking for products or services close to them usually aren’t looking to have something shipped to them. They want their goods now! Reviews from local shoppers provide Google with fresh content specific to your locale. This drives customers right to your door, either to your physical business location, or to your website.
Harness the Power of the People
Positive online reviews are a very powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. They help connect people to your business, build trust in your brand, and establish your online presence. All it takes is a few satisfied customers sounding off to propel you forward with online reviews, and before you know it, you are a top a listing on your search engine.