What’s the first thing a potential customer sees when they search for your business on Google?
You might think it’s your business name, website, or products. But for modern-day consumers, it’s the gold stars that appear next to your business.
This symbol of trust is built on customer reviews. And it’s not the first thing consumers see because it stands out in search results; it’s the first thing consumers see because they’re looking for it.
92% of customers read online reviews to judge local businesses. And what they read in your reviews has a big impact on business.
But let’s break it down simply. Below are five clear reasons why your business really needs to get more reviews.
1. Reviews Are Powerful Social Proof
Reviews are social proof – the real-life endorsements of customers who have used your business. And their praise is more important than you might think.
The thing is, consumer skepticism has increased. The digital age has made information more accessible than ever, so traditional marketing isn’t as effective at driving sales as it used to be.
What’s most effective now is trust.
That’s why social proof is vital for businesses in today’s world. Consumers trust other consumers more than anything else, which means you need to leverage reviews to increase consumer trust around your business.
And since reviews are the raw, honest opinions of your customers posted online for all to see, they’re the most powerful form of social proof your business can leverage.
2. Reviews Boost Conversions At Every Stage
Consumers use the internet to search for businesses, products, or services when a need or desire is recognized. They’ll read information, weigh up different options, and then arrive at a purchase decision based on confidence.
This is the buyer decision process – and reviews happen to play an important role at each step.
Reviews can influence what consumers click on in search results. Reviews can provide vital information for consumers researching a business or product.
And reviews can help consumers compare different options to help decide which one will fulfill their needs.
So at each step, reviews can boost conversions, turning browsing customers into paying customers.
And the best thing is that you can leverage reviews to guide customers along this buyer’s journey. How?
By getting more reviews on high-ranking review sites, responding to reviews informatively, and displaying customer reviews on your website.
3. Reviews Create Organic User-Generated Content
User-generated content is online content shared about your business. It’s free word-of-mouth marketing that can also serve as social proof.
In fact, reviews are user-generated content. But what’s extra special here is that reviews can be used to create more organic user-generated content.
A good example of this is sharing reviews on social media, which can generate user engagement in the form of comments and shares.
Another example is how reviews can be used to collect website testimonials from your customers – another powerful form of user-generated content.
What you also need to know is that updated website content is one of Google’s ranking factors. And by embedding reviews on your website, you effectively check this box – provided your business consistently gets reviews.
4. Reviews Increase Search Visibility
Reviews increase your business’s search visibility in different ways.
Google reviews improve local SEO – how highly Google ranks your website in relevant search queries.
Getting reviews on high-traffic review sites, such as Yelp, can lead to more customers finding your business in the search results, since high-traffic websites often rank highly.
And review sites themselves, including Facebook and Tripadvisor, can lead customers to your business when they use the website’s internal search function.
Search engines and review sites want to give users the best content possible, so promoting top businesses and products makes sense.
But this still means that to be as visible as possible—and to outshine your competitors—you need to get more reviews – and not just on one review site, but multiple review sites.
5. Reviews Grow Your Online Reputation
Your online reputation is what customers think and feel about your business – in general, and by first impressions.
Most importantly, however, your online reputation determines whether or not customers can trust your business.
Earlier we mentioned the importance of reviews as the most trusted form of social proof. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that reviews are the single most important resource for building a trustworthy online reputation for your business.
Building a credible online reputation doesn’t happen overnight, needless to say.
But here’s the good news: collecting customer reviews is by far the fastest method. In fact, it’s one of the most important online reputation strategies your business needs, alongside responding to reviews and sharing reviews.
Businesses Need Reviews, But How Do You Get More Reviews?
The advantages of reviews go on and on. But we can’t shout about the benefits of reviews without letting you in on how to get more reviews.
The simple answer is to ask your customers for them.
The most common method is email, which might sound easy enough, but that’s until you factor in templates, email design, review site links, sending review requests to each customer that uses your business, and following up with them.
We’re not saying you can’t do that; what we’re saying is that it should be easier.
The better answer then, is to let ReputationStacker handle review requests for you. It’s a tool we designed to combine powerful automation with a communication strategy that works, resulting in more reviews.
It’s easier, but also more effective. And with more reviews across multiple platforms, you’ll take advantage of all the benefits of online reviews without having to lift a finger.
So why do the hard work? Get more reviews for your business using ReputationStacker.
There are several reasons why businesses may want to have more reviews. Reviews can serve as a form of social proof, helping to establish credibility and trust with potential customers. They can also provide valuable feedback for businesses, allowing them to improve their products or services. Reviews can also help businesses to improve their search engine optimization (SEO), making it more likely that potential customers will find them online. Additionally, reviews can help businesses to stand out from their competitors, especially in highly competitive markets. Overall, having more reviews can help businesses to attract more customers and increase their revenue.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.