Reviews give people a chance to look under the hood when considering where to spend their hard-earned money and give them confidence in moving forward with their decision. Studies show that younger adults trust online reviews as much as personal reviews by a staggering 91% – Search Engine Journal. With trust in reviews at an all-time high and consumers actively reading them, they need to get customers to write them becomes a top priority and exactly why reviews are important.

In less than a second, which would you select?

Just as you can quickly determine which pepper to grab in the supermarket based on split-second indicators: appearance, longevity, colour, size, variety; decisions are made between which business looks to be more reputable, loved, recommended, vibrant, and approachable. Why wouldn’t you focus your efforts on being the one consumers select?

Who is the obvious choice?

Not only are people seeking out reviews, but they’re also using them as a tie-breaker to decide between two or three seemingly comparable choices. When two businesses are placed side-by-side in local search results, there can be a stark contrast between them. One business that has a complete and up-to-date listing with consistent, recent, glowing reviews will be the obvious choice.  When your marketing efforts result in your business being the obvious choice, the scale tips in your favour and you get more sales. It’s as simple as that. The importance of reviews is here to stay!

No recent reviews on Facebook or Google is a problem and here is why

What happened?

A business who once got a few reviews or maybe even a lot of reviews but hasn’t received any for a long time is facing a problem. You may be thinking to yourself, how is this an issue? Reviews are very important and as it turns out, no recent reviews on Facebook, Google, or any place else around the web is actually problematic and here’s why. With 97% of people reading reviews on local businesses, a long sudden absence of them is an immediate red flag.

A business with no recent reviews on Facebook or Google for a long time leaves visitors to draw their own conclusions:

  • Did this place go out of business?
  • What are they doing wrong that nobody is leaving a review?
  • What’s changed that people are no longer recommending this place?
  • Are people following the old adage ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ and just not leaving a review?
  • Are people having a much better experience someplace else since all the recent rave reviews are over there?
  • Is nothing they’re doing giving a ‘wow’ factor or an experience worthy of a review?
  • Maybe people in good faith simply can’t recommend the place to others

Plus, search engines like to see new reviews on a regular basis. Gaining them can help you show up higher in search results. Having recent reviews constantly trickle in is important!

Why it’s so important that you are responding to reviews

If your business has online reviews that is a great thing! Now you need to respond to those reviews. Pay attention to what people are saying about your business and engage with them by providing a response to both positive and negative reviews.

Why would responding to reviews matter?

You’re not required to respond to online reviews, but it is recommended. Responding is a way to build a connection with a customer, show appreciation and answer questions that other potential customers may have in the future.

  • You’re showing your potential customers how responsive you are to them
  • Responses engage conversation which is good for people and search engines
  • Search engines like to see reviews and responses – two-way communication is encouraged
  • It shows your appreciation for the business and feedback
  • You may be able to resolve confusion or solve a problem
  • Provides valuable information about your business for potential customers

Online reviews are visible for current and potential customers. How you respond provides insight into what it is like to work with your business. Your responses to positive and negative reviews can tell people a lot. It is valuable to show appreciation and thanks for positive reviews and also address negative reviews appropriately. Handling negative feedback is more challenging than positive, but it can be done by following some guidelines.

How to respond to negative reviews online

Negative reviews happen. View them as an opportunity and respond appropriately. Normally you can’t just delete them. How you respond is an example of the customer service people will expect from you. A negative review can be an opportunity to prove how you treat customers. If a person provides a negative review, but are treated with respect, they may become your biggest fan and best customer. A negative review also provides a realistic look into your business, staff, and processes and gives you an opportunity to address and correct issues you may not have known existed; making your customer experiences and business better in the process! Having reviews online is important and responding to reviews is another valuable step. Monitor your online reviews and respond to them as they are posted. You’ll build your reputation with people and search engines.

London web designer – Thomas Albohm - Resources