When you want to go out for dinner but don’t know where to, I bet that the first thing you will do is grab your phone and type “restaurants near me” on Google. Then you scroll through them and click the link on those that have 5-star reviews. You won’t even bother to look at those with only 1 or 2 stars.
This just illustrates how powerful online reviews are and why reputation management as part of your digital marketing plan is important. For businesses, especially those with low to zero marketing budgets, it presents a great opportunity. How? Read on to find out.
Before the internet came to pass, word of mouth can make or break a business. Negative feedback from friends and family can significantly impact your purchasing decision. Nowadays, the game has changed.
Statistics shows that 90% of consumers will look up online reviews first before they make a decision to buy something. 88% of them claims to trust online reviews as much as personal ones. A study also suggests that 32% of customers will read at least 4-6 reviews before they trust a business.
This means that the more positive reviews you have, the greater your customer confidence is.
When you sign up for a TV, radio or newspaper ad, you will need a great sales pitch and a call to action. The problem with this there is no certainty that your audience needs your product or service. Therefore there is no guarantee that they’ll buy it or if they even have budgets for it.
Online reviews, however, works on a more targeted audience. You see, when people search for something online, it means they need or want it. So they have the money and that they’re willing to spend it. Now, all you have to do is convince them to choose your product over your competitors.
Even statistics back up how online reviews affect conversion rate. 72% of customers claim to take action only after reading a positive review.
If you’re struggling to get your SEO off the ground, then maybe you should start with your online reviews.
Though no one knows exactly how Google’s ranking algorithm works, experts agree that online reviews are part of the puzzle. In other words, Google tends to trust businesses with good reviews than those with negative ones or those with nothing at all.
As a result, it will show websites or pages for those businesses first. Thus the more positive reviews you get, the more visible you will be in the search results. Instead of spending thousands of dollars for your SEO, you can instead focus on getting positive reviews.
Reputation and Credibility
Do you know what makes businesses stand the test of time? Reputation and credibility. The more people trust your brand, the better your reputation is. This in turn improves your credibility.
Obviously, positive online reviews increase your trust ratings. Negative ones, on the other hand, does the exact opposite. So it goes without saying that if you want your business to be more credible, you should manage your reputation online.
Managing reviews online may seem easy at first. In truth, it’s a complicated job that involves the right mix of PR and digital marketing. So, if you want to do it right, you should seek help from a professional online reputation manager.
About The Author
Peter Heise is the president and founder of Correct Digital, Inc. He is experienced in SEO, Wordpress website design, digital advertising management, and wants to share his knowledge and experience for the benefit of online business owners.