Online reviews have grown in importance over the last few years. Today they have become an integral component for businesses if they want to be found online and get the sale.
Online reviews typically take the form of a written opinion of the product or service in question. Reviewers may also have the option of leaving a rating. This typically takes the form of the aggregated “star” rating.
The internet has given consumers a valuable tool for understanding whether a certain product or service has value. That tool is an online review.
Online reviews allow us to see if the product or service really works, or if it doesn’t fulfill its promise. The best part is, we get that information from those who have actually used it, other consumers like us!
Those opinions carry a great deal of weight today. In fact, Invespcro.com reports that 90% of consumers read online reviews before they ever enter a business and 88% trust those reviews as much as a they would a personal recommendation.
In addition, 72% reported that positive reviews help them trust a local business, while 86% say a negative review will keep them from buying.
There’s also data that supports the idea that some consumers will spend more with a business that has positive reviews. Thirty-one percent indicated that they would spend 31% more with a business that had excellent reviews!
Clearly, online reviews impact buying decisions.
If you have customer reviews on your website, they can also help your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. When a new review is written and posted on your site, it is considered new content. Google rewards websites that have new and current content with enhanced search rankings.
Positive reviews will also give you content for social media posts. That content will help create buzz about your product or service, and with a link strategy in place, move traffic back to your website.
Yes, positive online reviews can help your search rankings. Here’s how.
SearchEngineWatch.com reports that reviews account for 9.8% of the total ranking factors that Google assesses. That is a significant portion and, if you are managing your reviews, it that can help your search rankings.
Microformating the reviews on your website will allow Google to index them directly. That means when a user makes a search and your review helps to answer their question, that review will be displayed above the normal search results. That will influence online users to click through to your site.
Star Ratings are another way to move traffic. When your star ratings appear in the search rankings, they can influence online users. If those ratings are positive, they will trust your business and visit your website.
Finally, Google’s algorithm also considers websites that are associated with positive ratings and reviews. So make sure those on your site are positive. If you have some that are not, begin working to improve them.
Online reviews are an incredible opportunity for businesses to prove their social worth and authority. Knowing that Google wants to deliver quality search results to its users, it makes perfect sense that websites associated with positive reviews rank higher than those that don’t.
So if you want to be found online, begin implementing a review management strategy. Not sure where to start? Call us at 513-237-5530 for help.
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Bob Turner is an Online Marketing Consultant with Social Flair Marketing.
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