Online Reviews: Pound for Pound, the Most Effective Online Tactic Right Now
“Online reviews.” Those two words are enough to make most business owners break into a cold sweat at the mere mention – and I’m guessing you, too.
Maybe they remind you of what one bad customer said about your business in the past, or perhaps you just don’t know how to go about getting them.
Or, maybe you’re on the flip side of that coin and simply think they’re a waste of time.
Whatever your preconceived notions may be, you should strike that negativity from your psyche right now, because it’s 100% holding your business back.
I’m here to tell you that getting more online reviews for your business will attract new leads, drive more revenue and create more long-term business.
And if you’re already aware of how incredibly beneficial online reviews can be – but simply don’t know where to start – this guide is for you, too!
The Importance of Online Reviews
Consumers are increasingly turning to online reviews to get a better picture of a business before visiting their website, contacting or purchasing.
Sensis reports that “over two in five (42%) Australians regularly read reviews (1-3 times per week).”
In a similar U.S.-based study conducted by BrightLocal, 50% of respondents were found to regularly read online reviews.
And if you’re not cashing in on this valuable opportunity to get in front of a bigger pool of high-quality leads – now’s your chance to start.
First, let’s talk about why online reviews can be so lucrative for your business.
The importance of online reviews can be broken down into two key areas: Visibility and Influence.
With popular third-party review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, Facebook reviews and Google My Business, opportunities to improve your online visibility are everywhere.
As online users read your reviews, they form opinions – positive or negative. So you should be playing an active role to ensure your customer reviews are having a positive influence on your business. This ultimately leads to increased conversions and revenue streams.
SearchEngineWatch, a leading SEO blog, highlights that “90% of consumers read reviews before visiting a business.”
With that considered, there’s one important question you should be asking yourself right now:
“What kind of reviews do customers see when they search for my business?”
Auditing Your Online Reviews
To find out what customers are seeing, open up your internet browser and Google your business.
If you’re using Chrome, open an incognito window so you get results with no influence from your own browsing history (you can do this by right-clicking the Chrome icon).
To the right of Google’s search results page – the Knowledge Graph – you should see your business name, photos and more. More importantly, you’ll notice your Google reviews and, in many instances, “Reviews from around the web.”
Be sure to check that the correct links are listed and see what reviewers are saying. Then, look back at the organic search results. Are there search results for your business via third-party websites such as TripAdvisor, YellowPages, Yelp, etc.? Click through and find out if there are any reviews Go to the full article.