Online reviews play a crucial role in a customer’s purchase decision. With so much competition today, reviews have become a key feature on search engines as people decide between the hundreds of similar services available. Many times, potential customers will look up services online, and choose the one that has the highest reviews. Sites with bad reviews are shown lower on results pages and people often won’t even look at them. If your company doesn’t have any reviews or just a few, people may overlook you as an inexperienced and unproven brand, whether it’s true or not. The importance of reviews is stressed now more than ever.
A recent study by BrightLocal shows that 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. That is a very high number, and it shows that people place significant weight on the online reviews featured on Google and other search engines. Big companies are utilizing these tools as well. E-commerce websites, such as Amazon, provide users the option to filter the results by average customer rating, and most customers consider it in their purchasing decision.
Click-Through Rates (From BrightLocal)
- Listings with 5 stars earned 69% of clicks from the local pack
- 4 stars earned 59% of clicks…
- 3 stars earned 44% of clicks…
- 1 or 2 stars earned less clicks than those with no stars
Conversion rates, not surprisingly, differ based on the company’s particular industry. For example, conversion rates on pool builders are expected to be lower than a smaller products like hair care or food products. But either way, a few extra clicks per day could potentially win you thousands of dollars in revenue in the long run. Provide great service to those people and your ratings—and conversions—will increase naturally.
Ways to Increase Reviews
If you own a local business, it’s highly recommended that you try to get as many positive reviews and testimonials as possible. Generally, you’ll know the clients who had a good experience with your company. You can send an email to your favorite customers asking them politely if they would review or provide a testimonial for your company. Studies show that 7 out of 10 customers will happily review a product or service if they are asked to. So do it right and they will gladly take the two minutes to help you out. Since very few businesses ask for reviews, the ones who do reap all the benefits.
Another effective and easy way to generate more positive reviews is to use a review widget. This is a small piece of code that sits on your website and allows people to easily evaluate your products and services and provide feedback. Displaying a review widget also shows a transparency that you aren’t afraid for any customer to assess you. People can be encouraged to engage with the easily accessible tool via a prominent button and visual aid. This gives you a quick and easy way to increase your review count without having to seek people out.
The bottom line is that good online reviews should mean a lot to any company and can help set your business above the competition. Your leads and conversions will both see dramatic increases if you set your mind to it and get those reviews up. If you need more, don’t be afraid to ask people to leave a review and/or consider setting up a review widget. If you need further help getting your name out there, why not try hiring an online marketing firm. Our team specializes in helping people grow their business. Let us start working for yours today!