Why Are Customer Reviews Important for Your Business?
When you look up a business online, what’s the first thing that you see? It’s the reviews, right? Those little stars under a business’ name give you a snapshot of the business, its service quality, and, importantly, what others think of it.
There’s a concept in marketing psychology called social proof: humans seek conformity and want to do the things other people are doing, and go where they’re going. If they look at user reviews and see that they’re poor, they’re going to avoid this business, as other people are.
This means that reviews are of crucial importance for your business. This is far from the only reason why they are, though. In this guide, we’re going to explore the importance of customer reviews and look at what makes them such a potent part of your digital marketing strategy.
Are you ready to learn more? Then read on!
1. Social Proof Drives Business
What is your first reaction when you look at a business that has very few reviews? Is it trepidation, apprehension? If so, you’re not alone.
The aforementioned social proof is hardwired into us, so when you see a business that no one else seems to go to, it’s like entering a mysterious patch of forest or jungle. You have no idea what you’re going to find there (though, unlike your ancestors, it’s unlikely to be tigers, thankfully).
A wide selection of reviews shows that other people have been to the business and that it’s a known quantity. This drives business either towards or away from the business.
This is why reviews are so important. If you can choose between a four-star restaurant with thousands of reviews or a five-star one with two, what are you going to do? That’s why they matter.
2. More Reviews Can Help Your Search Ranking
What’s one of the cornerstones of modern digital marketing? That’s right, it’s SEO. The endlessly complicated art of getting to the top of the search results pages.
You may know about the importance of keywords and having the correct metadata, but you may not know that reviews matter for your SEO.
Google and other search engines want to give the very best results they can, which means that a company with better reviews is often the better choice than one that is barely reviewed.
While the precise workings of search engine algorithms aren’t known, trends are obvious, and this is one of them. If you want to rank better in searches, then you need to get more reviews and show Google that you’re a quality business.
3. They Spread Brand Awareness
Glowing reviews spread fast: social media sees to that. If you start getting amazing reviews, people will spread the reviews around on social media and start discussing their experiences with you.
Reading reviews on Yelp, Google, or Foursquare, also makes other people more likely to share their own experiences with you, which will be, hopefully, good for you.
The only negative part about this is that negative reviews spread just as fast as positive ones. If one person shares some particularly pertinent criticisms of your business, others may start to post their own criticisms of your business, leading to a sharp drop in your business’ reputation.
This is why giving your customers the very best experience possible ties into your online reputation and SEO strategy so acutely.
4. They Can Convert Prospective Buyers
Even one extra star can make a massive difference to your business’ online profile. Think of the difference between a three-star and a four-star hotel. If there was no price difference, you’d stay in the four-star one, wouldn’t you?
The same rule applies to prospective buyers who are fence-sitting about buying from you. They may go to check your reviews and see that you compare favorably to a competitor, then choose to buy from you.
Conversely, they may see that you compare unfavorably to a competitor and go shop there, instead.
One star difference can have a huge impact on your business. Don’t underestimate the importance of even small differences when it comes to choosing between your business and another one.
Trying to get the best customer reviews possible is well worth your time.
5. They Give You Another Way to Stay in Touch With Your Customers and Grow as a Business
Communication is of the utmost importance in business. If your customers can’t get in touch with you, they’re going to feel isolated from you, and they’ll see your business as cold and impersonal.
You can have an email address and a phone number but sometimes people will want to communicate with you via a review. They may pose a question to you, they may ask you how you’re going to improve, or they may congratulate you on the high quality of service that they experienced.
The point is, people are going to use reviews to talk to you. You need to be ready to talk back to them and discuss things with them, even apologize if they haven’t had the best experience they could have.
You need to see this as an opportunity, rather than a chore.
Look at what people are complaining about, even among otherwise glowing reviews. What are the common pain points that others are having with your business? Take this information and use it to grow for the better!
Customer Reviews Are Key to Everything You Do Online
Customer reviews are vital: they can help you boost your SEO, give you another way to grow your business and communicate, and they can convert customers who would otherwise shop elsewhere.
You need to take reviews seriously as part of a wider digital marketing strategy.
We’re experts at helping businesses build better online profiles and we can help your business, too. Why not get in contact with us today and see how we can help you?