Local marketing services can help small and medium businesses attract new customers and build loyalty with their current ones. For some businesses, online interaction is the last in a long list of pressing items. For others, reviews are like heading to the dentist for a root canal: You’re filled with dread when you think of them. Whatever the reason, what you don’t know will kill you, so start with a quick, do-it-yourself audit. First, ask yourself where you would search if you were looking for your product. Check the usual search engines, blogs, online review and industry-specific sites. Remember: Losing revenue, customers, or even your business is much worse than the pain of reading negative commentary. In this blog, we’ll talk about the importance of customer reviews and the impact they have on your online marketing efforts.
The first reason online reviews are so important is the effect they have on your brand. Customers today are quicker to read online reviews than they are to consult a friend or family member, so having a few positive reviews can play a big role in your sales.
The second reason online reviews matter is because they factor into your search engine optimization (SEO). Like prospective customers, Google also cares about what users think about your company. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, this will have an impact on your PageRank and as such, you should place a review button on your website:
“It is believed that Google largely takes into consideration reviews when getting ranked high. You should know that reviews serve as a direct platform for customers to get easy information on products and services. The reviews are for Google users who find your business on SERP. One of the best ways to get easy reviews is by adding a button on your webpage itself.”
Not many customers will go out of their way to say nice things about your business, so it helps to make things easy for them. By adding an option to leave a review on your website or in marketing emails, you’ll remove the biggest hurdle.
Whether online or offline, you will get customer feedback–and hopefully, you also want it, because you know it’s an opportunity to strengthen your business. Just keep in mind that when someone comes into your store to complain, there might be a handful of other customers present. But online, consumers have an endless platform for airing grievances and a steady stream of people who will draw their own conclusions.
Just one final note: it’s important that you never solicit reviews under any circumstances. If you start telling customers what to say on Yelp and other social media sites, you’ll eventually get hit with a penalty for suspicious behavior. This will negate any progress you might have made by receiving good reviews.
So engage early and often. You will help balance the scales in the eyes of potential customers, rectify situations, whether perceived or real, and keep your fingers on the pulse of customer satisfaction.
Online reviews matter more than you might have guessed. To talk more about local marketing services, or anything else, contact us today.