How online reviews can make or break your business
Remember: What are online reviews?Online reviews are reviews by customers of a product or service that they’ve bought or used. These are normally posted on the original website and/or on specific review platforms.
Online reviews reassure customers that what they’re buying is right for them and also make your business look really good. However any hint of negativity in these reviews could damage your reputation. Online reviews really can work both ways, make or break your business and I reveal exactly how here.
1. Increases customer confidence in your business
I 100% trust you.
Like it or not, product/service reviews are read. Every customer wants reassurance that what they’re buying is worth it and there’s no better way than looking at what previous buyers are saying. These online reviews act as a feeling of security for potential buyers because knowing that others were satisfied with it means you’re selling a good product/service.
There are lots of review platforms available that you can integrate onto your site such as Trust Pilot. Or, if you want more control over what reviews are posted on your site, think about seeking testimonials from happy customers to post on one of your landing pages. This way future visitors remove any doubts they may have when they first land onto your site.
- Reviews allow prospects to see what customers are saying about the business
- Reviews act a feeling of security for users
- Integrate a review platform onto your website or seek positive testimonials
2. Increases your website ranking
Would I make it into your top 3?
Like all those with a website, you want to be ranking in the top three results of Google and to help achieve this you choose the right keywords, optimize your content and work on your site’s performance…but what you might not know is that online reviews are also a ranking factor!
Remember that Google loves to read! Every time a review of your product/service is added to your site, this acts as a new piece of content. A piece of content that (unintentionally) describes to Google how good your product/service is through your customers. This helps with your SEO because there is fresh content and keywords for Google to read, their robots get a better understanding of your website and it shows the search engine that people are interacting with your website. These reviews are a way of Google trusting you with the help of your happy customers .
My final point is that amazing reviews means more gold sparkly stars and most importantly more clicks onto your landing pages. If your website has a high click-through rate from organic searches this tells Google that you’re doing something right, and therefore will reward you by ranking your website higher. Think about it this way, would you click on a website with a 1-star review or a 4-star review? 🤔
- Online reviews are considered as a ranking factor
- Reviews tell Google that people are interacting with your site
- The more gold stars, the more likely Google will reward you with a higher ranking
3. Provides you with future business ideas
Your lightbulb moment.
Customer feedback for any business is so important as it helps understand what they see in your product/service. Online reviews allow customers to give their own opinion on their experience and therefore spark future ideas for you. Some of the ways that reviews can help you improve your product/service are:
- Find and fix bugs: customers tend to find bugs easily and express them in their reviews for future customers. My advice: get these fixed asap and let the customers know.
- Offer what they want: this could be a feature that your customers are looking for that you may have not thought about yet.
- Find review patterns: if you have several reviews with a similar complaint such as slow delivery times then that’s the next thing you need to be working on.
Remember that your customers must always come first. If they’re 80% happy in their review, you need to work on that missing 20%. It’s about showing your customers that you’ll always listen to them.
- Suggestions from customers can be used to make improvements for your product/service
- Reviews help by highlighting bugs, offering what customers want and finding patterns
- Your customers must always come first
4. Reviews are free advertising for your business
No one turns down the free stuff.
Online reviews (specifically positive ones) are a great way to get your product/service advertised for free. They show what customers really think about their experience with your business without you having to do a single thing! Considering that 97% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, having positive ones displayed on your website will show-off how great your product/service is. Reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing which is the best way of spreading the word about your product/service. Consumers trust fellow consumers and real-life experiences are the strongest point of persuasion for future buyers.
- Positive reviews show-off your product/service
- 97% of consumers read online reviews before buying
- Reviews are your new word-of-mouth marketing
But reviews can also (gulp) break your business…
5. They can damage your reputation
There’s a new Queen B in town now.
Unfortunately you’ll always have some unhappy customers because as much as people like to spread good news, consumers also tend to write reviews more when they’re dissatisfied with a product/service. And the annoying thing is, is that getting one bad review can really damage your reputation for the future. Consumers will trust fellow consumer’s opinions over businesses promises so it’s something businesses need to be prepared for.
One big piece of advice I'd give to you would be to ALWAYS reply to negative reviews. Not replying will end-up with consumers reading the review and avoiding buying from you even more, YET, if you reply it shows that you genuinely care about what others think of your product/service. Even a simple ‘we’re very sorry that you’re not satisfied with the product’ will look a lot better than leaving it unanswered. Or, if it’s something that you can fix quickly i.e. send out a replacement or reimburse then future consumers will see that you want to make your customers are happy.
- One bad review can affect your reputation
- Most consumers often spread news about a negative experience over a positive one
- Always reply to negative reviews
6. Reviews can give off a skewed impression of you
Don’t trust everything you read.
The problem with reviews whether they’re true or actually just over-exaggerated by angry customers is that consumers will believe them and as soon as they see something negative, they’ll most likely go elsewhere. They will also go elsewhere if the last review was from two years ago. Outdated reviews make consumers think that a) you might not be in business anymore or b) you’re not bothered about what your customers think of you.
But, if it’s a problem of having no customers leaving you reviews then ask for them! Don’t be afraid to contact your most loyal customers and ask for a review. Ok so you might not get a reply from all of them but I’m sure one happy customer will write you one . If you don’t try, you’ll never know!
- Old reviews give off the impression that your product/service if out-of-date
- Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews from your most loyal customers
Online reviews can go one way or another, make your business look great or completely destroy its reputation. The key is to keep an eye on them and always respond whether they’re good or bad to show your customers that you’re on their side.