If you are a business owner who provides goods or services, you already know the power of a favorable review.  What’s more, the internet makes it easy to see how your company measures up to others that are similar. Potential customers can find out just about anything they want with a click or a swipe, so you want to be certain the information out makes you look good.

All the more reason to be cognizant of the online profile your business presents to the outside world. Online reputation management can make or break a business. Knowing what others are saying about your business or organization at all times is essential for success.

Potential customers scan the internet to find out as much as they can before they open their wallets because it only takes minutes to see what others have posted about your business. 

According to Pew Research Center, 82 percent of U.S. adults say they at least read some online customer ratings or reviews before purchasing something for the first time, including 40 percent who say they always or almost always read online customer ratings. And the study also says that roughly two-thirds, or 67 percent, of weekly online shoppers say they nearly always read customer reviews before buying new items.

And when it comes to the tone of online reviews, more Americans report being influenced by highly negative reviews than are influenced by highly positive ones. Some 54 percent of Americans who read online reviews indicate that they pay more attention to extremely negative reviews when trying to make decisions, while 43 percent pay more attention to extremely positive ones, the Pew Research study said.

Social media has also become a popular venue for sharing information about purchases, with 39 percent of U.S. adults sharing their feelings or experiences about products on social media channels like Twitter or Facebook.

Why Online Reviews Add Value

Reviews can provide a company with valuable feedback that highlights what customers really want. Reviews can also provide valuable insights into overall customer satisfaction, which can provide companies with the knowledge they need to up their goods and services.

Building credibility through reviews is a sure-fire way to strengthen a company’s reputation. Reviews are a form of social proof that establishes a product’s acceptability or unacceptability. 

Business that do not have online reviews stand to lose out on business because many consumers who search products or services online make decisions based on reviews alone. A business that provides top notch goods and/or services may get overlooked if there are no reviews to consider. 

Positive reviews also enable newer businesses to level the playing field with established business with known reputations. Consumers are more likely to give a new business a chance if its services are backed by positive commentary from customers.

Customers Want to be Heard

Reviews are a tangible way that allows customers to be heard. Good, bad or indifferent, customers can post reviews and weigh in on the goods and services they received. Businesses that know they will be reviewed online are more likely to provide better quality customer service.

Customers also like to have a voice, which is why written reviews have such appeal. Customers are able to weigh in whether they are behind a desktop, a mobile phone or a tablet screen. According to Pew Research, approximately 65 percent of U.S. adults say they always or almost always read online ratings and reviews and that they are generally accurate.

Reviews Can Improve Rankings and Reputation

Reviews help ratings, plain and simple. In fact, some studies show that reviews alone are the single biggest factor that affects SEO rankings. The reason? People are more likely to visit your website or your business if they see good reviews. They are beneficial for search engine optimization. If Google sees that you have good reviews, your website will be ranked higher in search engine results because Google can see you are popular and offer customers a good experience.

Google ranks websites with reviews higher because Google puts value in word-of-mouth marketing. Rankings are affected by relevance distance and prominence. User generated content helps bring your site up higher in the search engines because it is fresh content for search engine crawlers.

Let Customers Do Your Marketing

Positive online reviews have a cascading effect. Reviews attract more reviews and serve as an unofficial marketing campaign that keeps renewing every time a new review is posted. New positive reviews shine a light on your company, creating continuous brand awareness that is beneficial for both the short and long term.

Don’t Wait

Studies show that online customer reviews are the most effective way to capture the attention of other consumers and boost sales. The longer you wait to start encouraging reviews, the more business and more revenue you stand to lose. Consumers also place great value in only. ne reviews which also help increase your visibility. 

Why are online reviews valuable?

Online reviews increase the amount spent by a customer and improve the level of trust with customers.

Why do people trust online reviews?

Online reviews allow customers to gain even more knowledge about a business and its products or services, especially when that   business isn’t very transparent.

Do people care about reviews?

Positive and negative reviews influence consumers. According to a 2021 report by PowerReviews, more than 99.9 percent of customers read reviews when they shop online. Furthermore, 96 percent of customers look for negative reviews specifically.

How do online reviews impact business?

Negative reviews can seriously impact your business. Every time a negative review pops up on Google searches, you have the potential to lose customers. Conversely, positive reviews can have the opposite effect.

Red Banyan‘s PR and reputation repair experts can help you get the results you want. Don’t wait  until your reputation is tarnished to consult with professionals.