Online reviews are crucial to any business that wants to keep control of it’s online reputation. Reviewing has changed the face of online marketing since the Internet became a household convenience. It allows businesses to have active, positive participation from consumers and gives consumers a solid foundation to create a relationship with those businesses, so it pays to keep in control of it.
Online reviews have created a new form of marketing and communication that bridges the gap between simple word-of-mouth and a viral form of feedback that can move virtual mountains for a business. The importance of online reviews for businesses is truly mind boggling; from increase of brand awareness to an overall increase of profit in the long run.
1. Increased Sales – The biggest reason why online reviews are important to businesses is that ultimately it increases sales by giving consumers the information they need to make the decision to purchase a product or service from a business. People are always much more likely to purchase a product or service that has already been recommended by others.
2. Understand and Better Serve Your Consumers – Online reviews can tell you whether you are doing a good job or what you are doing wrong and how to improve your service. This allows you to better serve your consumers by quickly and efficiently resolving any issues consumers have, thereby creating a positive experience for the consumer that will only help your business in the future.
3. Improve Rankings – Online reviews do more than just create a better relationships between your business and your consumers, they work towards improving your websites ranking on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! and more. The more that is written about your business online, the more important a search engine consider you to be!
4. Allow Consumers to Have a Voice and Create Consumer Loyalty – Consumers who take the time to leave an online review for a business are far more likely to feel a certain loyalty to your business and keep coming back year after year. Through the act of leaving an online review and establishing a relationship with the business, it allows your consumers to feel like they have a voice and are able to provide feedback in a positive and meaningful way.
5. Create Consumer Engagement – Many times online review pages can become active social communities where consumers leave reviews and keep coming back to see if others have made comments on their reviews or to simply see what other consumers have to say about your product or service in general. This creates a social community of consumer engagement that allows consumers to form an attachment to both the business and the other consumers as well.
6. Let Consumers Do Your Marketing for You – A handful of positive online business reviews are worth a great deal and can offer your business benefits that a simple marketing campaign can’t. They are like micro marketing campaigns that keep working long after the online review has been posted, giving a constant positive image to potential consumers and creating a continual brand awareness that benefits the business for the short term and for the long term.
7. Reviews Breed More Reviews – When a business, product or service has already received reviews online it seems to encourage other visitors to leave their own feedback. Just the appearance of a number of reviews appears to be enough to give new visitors the confidence to add their own views on that particular product or service. It is a new form of online ‘crowd behavior’ that psychologists are still working on figuring out!