Today, a businesses reputation is formed considerably by its consumer's online reviews. Whenever you consider that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, it presents a strong case as to why business owners should take advantage of review platforms in conjunction with a reviews management service.
There are a variety of review sites for individuals to research businesses with. Currently, Yelp and Facebook are among the most trusted review sites for consumers in the United States, with Google and BBB.org trailing closely. These websites make it possible for millions of users to discuss their experiences from desktops and mobile devices with other users. As technology continues to advance, business models and consumer engagement develops also.
Consumers no longer need to rely on directories or word of mouth to discover a business. According to the Pew Research Center, 9 out of 10 American adults use the Internet and 77% of adults in the U.S. have a smartphone. This makes accessing relevant information and generating real-time reviews fast and simple. It also proves that businesses cannot afford to neglect their online reputation.
Due to the increase in connectivity the behavior of consumers has transformed as well. In a research study by BrightLocal, in 2017, 97% of consumers searched online for local businesses and 68% said that positive reviews made them more likely to choose a business. Moreover, 10% of consumers now get in touch with a business after reading a positive review.
Traditional marketing media is no longer effective on its own. A consumer's capability to access information on mobile devices makes the digital storefront essential to a businesses success.
ATTRACT INTERESTED USERS WITH USEFUL ONLINE REVIEWS
Traditional types of advertising and marketing, like radio or television, are costly and work to persuade a consumer to act by offering a product or service in the chance that it may pertain to what the consumer is searching for. The fact is, it is never a surety that the ad is relevant to the person. Additionally, after being exposed to these medias for a period of time its very possible that an interested person can forget about the ad and lose the sense of urgency to act. This is not the case with online consumer review sites. In fact, the desire or decision and the urgency to act are what drive a consumer to seek out a business online. Online review sites help a user by providing them with relevant and reviewed options. They are also a fantastic tool for a business with a limited or no marketing budget.
STAR RATINGS ARE POWERFUL FOR BUSINESSES
It's a common misunderstanding that online reviews are usually negative and can only hurt a business. This is not true, especially when looking at Yelp. About 67% of the reviews on Yelp are four and five star reviews. This indicates that people taking the time to make a review are doing it in support of the business. Additionally, 54% of consumers consider the average star rating to be the most significant factor when reviewing a local business. Therefore, star ratings are vital for small businesses.
Improving and safeguarding star ratings should be on every small businesses list of things to do. The most effective way to start strengthening a star rating is to simply ask customers if they would agree to post a review to one of the preferred review sites. More than half of customers asked will make a review. Supporting reviews from customers also help to minimize the effect of negative reviews on a star rating.
In the event that a business receives a poor review, BirghtLocal's study advises for them to reply. 30% of consumers are placing importance on businesses responding to reviews in 2017. Taking advantage of these occurrences as an opportunity to make the situation right will help your online reputation. According to Inc., 56% to 70% of consumers will do business with your company again if the issue is resolved.
Improving your online reviews and protecting your online reputation is vital to retaining current customers and converting potential customers. If you are looking to strengthen your businesses online reputation, make the most of todays technology with consumer review sites. JHG Media specializes in review management services. Reach out to us today to discuss how our team can help your business become an authority.
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