Today’s savvy consumers want to know how good a company is before they spend their money. So, when it comes to attracting new customers, a business’ good reputation can be worth its weight in gold. The key to generating new business, however, is getting that good reputation noticed by as many people as possible and in the digital age, the way to do that is through online ratings and reviews. Here, we’ll explain why your online business needs reviews.
The value of online reviews
Reviews are now an established part of the buying process. More than 9 out of 10 people say they make use of them and are influenced by them, whether they are buying for themselves or making a business purchase.
When those reviews are good, potential new customers with no experience of the company or its products and services feel more confident to buy. Of course, negative reviews can have the opposite effect. Over 9 out of 10 consumers say they avoid businesses with lots of poor reviews, especially if they have a rating below three stars.
While the fear of getting negative reviews might put you off, it shouldn’t. No company can expect to get 5-star reviews from every customer and if they do, people can get suspicious that the reviews are fake. If you do get several poor reviews, this won’t deter everyone and, importantly, it will give you feedback on where you can improve.
In today’s market, however, having no reviews at all can be a major issue. Firstly, it leaves potential customers completely in the dark about your company and this can remove any confidence to buy from you. Indeed, as most companies use reviews today, it can cause suspicion that your website is not that of a genuine business.
Reviews can also be good for SEO. Search engines want to provide their customers with the best results and this means putting good companies at the top of their search results pages. The algorithms used to do this will factor in a business’ reviews when ranking its website.
If your reviews are going to be of any value, they have to be ones that readers trust. This is why, as mentioned above, having nothing but glowing 5-star reviews can make your business look too perfect to be true. An overall rating somewhere between four and five stars can be much more convincing and even attract more customers.
What is vital, is that any reviews are completely independent. They have to be written by genuine customers. One of the best ways to show this and highlight that you have had no editorial control over what’s written and published is to use a third-party review service, like Google, Facebook, or Trustpilot. You can then embed your ratings on your site and have a link that takes customers to those external reviews to read for themselves. With Google, your ratings are often featured at the side of your listing in its results and this helps generate clickthroughs to your website.
How to get customers to leave reviews
While nearly everyone reads reviews these days, not everyone is inclined to leave one after purchase. There are, however, several things you can do to get more people to provide them.
If you have noticed ‘How did we do?’ emails in your inbox after a sale or delivery, this is the approach many companies take to get ratings and reviews. It also shows that you genuinely want customers’ feedback to provide a better service. Alternatively, you can ask for a review of how easy it was to buy from you straight after shoppers finish at the checkout.
Remember, you can ask for reviews of your business and for the individual products and services you sell. The latter is extremely helpful if you are an eCommerce company, as it gives your customers a better idea of what others think about individual products. It also shows that you are being transparent about them. Additionally, if a particular product gets a lot of negative reviews, it’s a clear sign that you should stop stocking it and find a better product for your customers.
As almost all online shoppers now seek out reviews and ratings before deciding to use a business or buy its products and services, getting those reviews is increasingly vital for your website’s success. Hopefully, from reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the importance of reviews, how they can help your business and how to get more of them.
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