Online Reviews; The Digital ‘Word of Mouth’

Online Reviews The Digital Word of Mouth

Are you a business owner? What do people say about your products/services? Most importantly, do you have any online reviews?. Online reviews have become an important marketing tool often viewed as an asset by tech-savvy business owners. Not only do they guide prospective customers but they also play an integral role in your SEO and digital marketing strategies. Though seemingly a minor part of a business, online reviews can make or break a business. Here’s how:

Impact on your Local SEO

Local SEO, just as the name suggests refers to search engine optimization on a local level; in that, you compete favorably against businesses offering similar products or services within your location. One of the tools used to rank businesses in Local SEO is “Google My Business Listing”. This tool enables you to list your business on Google by submitting important details such as location, opening and closing hours, business name and website. This tool further collects information from your consumers in form of reviews and star ratings. These are then used to rate and rank your business locally, “Google My Business” is such a powerful tool as evidenced by localized search results. For instance, if you search for the phrase, “Roof repair services near me”, a list of businesses offering this service within your location appear at the very top of the page. For your business to appear at the top of such a list, three things play a major role; relevance of services offered, the location of your business and most importantly, customer reviews. Good and numerous reviews will not only place you at the very top but will also lead to a higher click-through rate.

Affect decisions made by potential customers

Word of mouth is one of the most effective traditional marketing tools used by businesses, and online reviews have effectively mirrored this form of marketing. People pay good attention to what others say about your business. Great online reviews help potential customers gain trust in your brand, thus leading to increased sales. The way you handle negative reviews, will also affect your sales. All businesses no matter how great their services might be, may on occasion land on a negative review. If negative reviews have thoughtful responses, and render a commitment of improvement and successful customer resolution, these too will drive attention and future customers.

Online Reviews impact your Search Rankings

A business needs to be in the right place, at the right time and in digital spaces, this translates to appearing at the top of the first page of a search engine. Consumers are more likely to express interest in brands and businesses listed at the top of a search results page. Online reviews play a crucial role in ensuring your business does favourably in Search Ranks. First, the more consumers mention your business online, the higher your ranking.This is because Search engines rely heavily on keywords, such as services offered, locations and business names. Therefore, when more customers use these keywords in their reviews, search engines integrate them as part of their search algorithm.

In a nutshell, online reviews never be taken lightly, the impact on online visibility and bottom line revenue is too large to ignore. Whether it be Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business, are any similar platform, managing these reviews will most certainly help drive your, or any business to success.