Buying habits have changed considerably over the years and now most consumers start their search online when they’re looking to buy a product or service. In fact, a BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey found that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses.
The online reviews a search engine brings up can play a huge part in a potential customer buying from you. Increasingly, potential customers will read reviews before committing to buy or use your services.
Online reviews have a huge impact on businesses of all sizes in every sector. They can be a fantastic way to build your reputation and ultimately, grow your customer base and boost your bottom line. According to Harvard Business School, Reviews, Reputation and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com, every 1-Star rating in a Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue. If you’re still not convinced about how important they are, a BrightLocal Local Services Ads Click Study found that review ratings are the biggest driver of clicks in local Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
A BrightLocal, Online Reputation Management Survey found that marketers’ favourite local directories and review sites were:
Focusing your efforts on getting your products or services reviewed on these platforms is an excellent way to engage with your stakeholders and grow sales.
There are a number of tools that can help manage your reviews and ensure maximum impact. We can monitor, respond, analyse and support you in generating more reviews.
A BrightLocal survey found that consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business so having a process in place to make sure you manage your reviews effectively is essential.
An effective online review management system will help you get more reviews. We know that having a greater number of positive reviews will directly impact the likelihood of someone buying your product or service. According to Spiegel Research Centre, in their report on How Online Reviews Influence Sales, the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than a product with 0 reviews. Investing in effective management tools can reap rewards.
A recent Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal showed that 57% of consumers only used businesses with 4 or more review stars so it’s clear that getting more positive reviews can have a positive effect on your business. There are ways that you can encourage happy customers to share their experiences in a positive review on a credible platform. The difference between getting a 4-star and a 5-star review can be huge. A Harvard Business School study found that a one-star increase in a restaurant’s Yelp rating can result in as much as a 9 per cent increase in revenue. BrightLocal found that having a 5-star rating earns a business 39% more clicks from Google Local than having a 1-star rating.
Unfortunately, fake reviews can be difficult to spot and can have an influence on the buying decisions of consumers. There are measures being taken by the government and consumer groups to try and stop them being posted but they remain a problem for many businesses. The review could have been left by a disgruntled ex-employee, or competitor that wants to damage your brand. The key is not to ignore reviews like this. There are steps you can take if you are being targeted by fake reviews:
Bad reviews can persuade readers to avoid a business but if you do get the odd negative review, don’t panic. If the majority of the reviews people are leaving for you are positive then they are unlikely to have a detrimental effect. There are steps you can take to remove negative reviews if they contain content that is unfair or slanderous. There is no easy way to remove a review that is negative but factually correct, but there are tactics to limit the impact of such reviews.
We can manage your reviews on your behalf, responding to each in an appropriate manner and handling any negative or fake reviews you might encounter. We will put an effective process in place to encourage positive reviews on the platforms that will have the most impact on your brand. Online reviews are becoming increasing important when making purchase decisions and their importance cannot be underestimated. It has never been more important to make every review count.
I thought the problem would go away if I ignored it. It didn’t. I was reluctant to use you but can honestly say, your support and advice helped pull me back from the brink. Your patience, clarity of thought and advice were just what I needed to get me through the emotional roller coaster.
Your calm and steady approach was everything I needed when my business was being unfairly criticised in the national press. You stopped me from responding in haste, which I realise now, was the worst thing I could have done! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
My business was facing a torrent of unfair criticism on Facebook. It stemmed from one negative post by an ex-employee and escalated like wild fire. Your level-headed, practical advice helped get the negative comments removed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
One of my co-directors was found guilty of drink driving. I was concerned that if it got out, we’d suffer from negative press and loss of business. As it happened, there was no backlash but being able to contact you and have some pre-prepared statements and letters ready was reassuring.