Online reviews are fast becoming a key driver for generating sales revenue for local businesses. The pandemic has only accelerated a growing trend for would-be buyers to search online before making a final purchasing decision. Discover why Google and Facebook reviews are vital for your local business.
1. Building Trust and a Good First Impression
The first point of contact potential customers have with a business is no longer word of mouth. Online reviews give power to the customers to tell their side of the buying story. Google and Facebook reviews are becoming the primary way people learn about customer experiences with a business and are trusted as much as personal recommendations.
Online reviews give power to the customers to tell their side of the buying story.
Poor reviews or a lack of reviews can be detrimental for a business owner as most people want to avoid a bad experience with a business and accept online reviews as unbiased opinions. Google and Facebook reviews can be incredibly powerful in shaping consumer behaviour but you can build trust quickly and make a good first impression if you actively manage your reviews online by responding quickly and working towards building your company’s online reputation.
2. Achieve Higher Organic Rankings
Online customer reviews are also important for developing your Google ranking since organic local searches are weighed more heavily. You’re missing out on a lot of sales revenue if your business is not up the top when buyers search online.
If search is how consumers find you, reviews are how they decide whether to buy from you.
Today, many businesses invest heavily in their digital marketing to ensure their business appears in the top rankings. For a local business, it’s important to know that Google monitors rating activity and businesses with a larger number of higher ratings are rewarded by Google with a higher ranking.
3. Most People Research Before they Buy
Consumers are more tech-savvy, especially digital natives who are used to researching as part of their pre-purchase shopping routine. While many businesses have invested in their websites over the years to help nurture their online presence, it’s actually reviews that perform better when driving customers to make a consumer decision.
92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review.
While consumer buying trends are continuously evolving, B2C buyers are no different, with Telstra Business Intelligence reporting that a majority of customers (81%) use online reviews to help them choose a business.
4. Your Reputation is on the Line
Trust is hard to gain and easy to lose following a bad experience.
Online reviews can make or break a small business reputation.
It’s easy to get defensive and argue that poor reviews for your business are inaccurate. But for potential customers searching online, there is no way they can discern a legitimate review from a fake one. Rather than getting caught up with inaccurate reviews, business owners should respond quickly to negative reviews when they occur as faster review response times indicate that you care about customers and their experiences with your business.
5. You are Losing Business to Those Who Rate Well
Whatever your industry, having a positive online presence gives you several key advantages, which is why it’s becoming a key part of branding.
A steady stream of positive reviews can expand your brand’s reach.
A study done by Harvard Business Review found that online reviews can demonstrably impact your bottom line. If your business is not rating as well as those in your industry, you will lose business. By increasing your ratings online, you can increase your conversion rates, order sizes and repeat order sizes, ultimately leading to a boost in sales revenue.