Big and small businesses know online reviews are crucial to keeping loyal customers and bringing in new ones. Almost every consumer will check online reviews before deciding where to spend their money. This is especially important for small and local businesses; stats show that 92% of consumers will use a local business if it has a 4-star rating or higher. That’s some serious profits that you could be missing out on! 

Online reviews are an essential part of your business’s online presence, so it’s critical to understand just how important they are so that you can tailor a user’s experience to be as positive as possible. 

Let’s review just a few of the reasons that online reviews are so important: 

  • Drives Business. Like we’ve said, more people are likely to use your business if they read a positive review from a previous customer. 90% of customers read an online review before they visit a business, and 88% of customers will trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation! Those positive reviews clearly give potential customers a reason to shop with you. If you’re trying to encourage more people to write reviews, consider giving them a discount on products on services with proof of review.
  • Visibility. Content drives visibility, and online reviews can help keep your brand more visible during searches on search engines like Google, Bing, or even Facebook. Visibility improves your ranking on the algorithm, leading to more and more potential customers seeing your business online. 
  • Increases Credibility. Customers trust other customers. Once they read a positive review of your business, their trust in it increases. In turn, your brand as a whole gains even more credibility! Make sure that most of your reviews are positive; your credibility will only increase if your reviews are four stars and up. Lowe ratings could work against you and lead to more customers distrusting you. If you get a negative review, do your best to calmly and rationally reply to it and come to an understanding with the reviewer. 
  • Encourages More Reviews. Good reviews are contagious; the more you have, the more people want to review your business. So, the more people you have reviewing your business, the more people will want to try and review it. This is just another perk of how reviews can increase business and visibility!
  • Increases Communication. Online reviews offer a unique opportunity for direct communication between the customer and the business. With positive reviews, thank and reinforce reviewers to encourage others to review. You may also want to thank them with special events or promotions. Respond to negative reviewers and begin a conversation so you can remedy their experience and maybe even get some feedback!

Mountain South Media is a full-service digital marketing agency from The Smoky Mountain News and Smoky Mountain Living magazine. We focus on providing services to small businesses in our region, finding unique strategies and plans to give them the desired results. Services include social media, website development, Search Engine Optimization, and more. 

Your online marketing specialist is just one click away! Visit our website to schedule a FREE digital consultation, or call us at 828-452-4251 to get started! 

Sources: 

https://www.invespcro.com/blog/the-importance-of-online-customer-reviews-infographic/ 
https://mention.com/en/blog/online-reviews/ 
https://www.usdigitalpartners.com/why-are-online-reviews-important/