Consumers often use online review websites to help them make purchasing decisions. They mostly use reviews to learn more about the quality of specific products and services. However, they also use online reviews to check how trustworthy a business is or to discover highly-rated businesses that are located nearby.
Many businesses have responded to this trend by encouraging their customers to leave reviews and employing reputation management services. But how important are online reviews and what benefits do they provide? Let’s take a closer look.
The importance of online reviews to consumers
Here are a few statistics to give you an idea of how much online reviews matter to consumers:
- It is estimated that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a businessand 97% of people read reviews for local businesses
- 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars on a rating website
- 80% of 18-34 year oldshave written online reviews
- Consumers need to read an average of 10 reviewsbefore feeling that a local business is trustworthy
It’s easy to see that online reviews have become extremely popular amongst consumers in the past few years. This trend is only expected to continue in the near future.
What are the benefits of online reviews for businesses?
Aside from helping customers learn more about your business and its offerings, there are several additional benefits gained from online reviews:
An improvement to search engine optimisation
Adding online reviews to your own website can have a dramatic impact on your business’ organic search rankings. Every time a review is added to your website for a specific product or service, it increases the amount of unique web content that your site has for that item. This increases the perceived relevance and authority of your website from the perspective of search engines.
It is also possible to format the reviews on your website so search engines use the content as answers for user queries. This will help you achieve rankings for additional long tail queries that are often in a question-answer format. Search engines like Google often rank content in this format above normal search results, which means reviews could help you dominate certain search engine queries.
The reviews that are placed on third party review websites also provide SEO benefits to your business’ web site. Google’s search algorithm uses data from third party review websites like Tripadvisor, Yelp, Trustpilot, Google MyBusiness, and Which? to determine the authority and relevancy of a business.
The more positive reviews you have on these review sites, the more likely it is that you will rank in , which are the businesses listed above standard search engine results. External reviews may also be included as relating to your business.
A great way to establish consumer trust
One of the most significant benefits of online reviews is that they help to establish trust between the consumer and a business. A survey from Brightlocal found that 91% of 18 to 34 year olds . If you have an overwhelming number of positive reviews available it can dramatically increase how many customers use your business.
Positive reviews encourage consumers to spend more money
In addition to being more likely to shop with a business that has positive reviews, informed consumers will also spend more money with that business. A survey from Invesp found that customers are willing to spend . This means your business will be able to maintain higher profit margins than your competitors if you have a positive online reputation.
Higher conversion rates
Multiple studies have found that the presence of reviews on a business’ website and third party websites can lead to an improvement in conversion rates. Interestingly — the reviews don’t even need to be positive ones.
A survey by social commerce company Reevoo found that . This occurs because the consumers that seek our bad reviews are typically highly engaged in pre-purchase research. They want to see both good and bad reviews before making a purchase. If there are very few or no reviews available at all, they may choose another business.
Reviews are a form of free advertising
Whenever a customer posts a review on a third party website, it acts like free advertising for your business. The name of your business and your products will be exposed to consumers, which increases their awareness of what you have to offer.
Reviews can be a useful source of criticism
Online reviews can be a useful source of feedback, constructive criticism and suggestions. They present an excellent opportunity for gaining insight into what consumers love, or hate, about your business. You can then take action to improve the way the business operates.
Customer complaints posted on third party websites are a particularly useful opportunity. You can engage with these upset clients to resolve their problems. Because you are helping these customers in a public venue, other consumers will see that you have excellent customer service and actually care about your customers.
Thanks for reading about the Benefits of Online Reviews. To make an inquiry about online reputation management, social media, or one of our other services, contact New Media Farm on 020 7998 4197.