A 2017 local consumer online marketing strategy survey has raised an alarming statistic that every business should think about. According to their information, over 70% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It may seem strange to trust a complete stranger, as opposed to a friend. But according to their information, customers are almost always turning to reviews on Google, Yelp, and other online review sites as their ‘go-to’ place for information about businesses.
In fact, consumers are becoming even more review-savvy than they were just a few years ago. Today, customers prefer businesses that receive high volumes of high-scoring reviews on a regular basis. Let’s take an in-depth look at the information behind these numbers and how you can harness the power of reviews as part of an effective online marketing strategy to help build your business:
Consumers Turn to the Internet for Information About Businesses
Almost every consumer today turns to the internet to find a local business. The internet is now an integral part of the decision process that goes into choosing a business. In fact, research shows that only 5% of consumers do not use the internet when looking for a business. Over half of consumers are looking online at least once per month for local business. 10% of them look every single day. This means that more searches for local business are taking place than ever before. Because of this, a positive reputation is an absolute must.
A Positive Reputation Drives Positive Business
As the saying goes, ‘your reputation precedes you’. This is especially true for your online reputation. Reviews from other consumers are a big part of this. When consumers go online to look for a business, one of the major things they read are a business’ reviews. In fact, well over half of consumers will read a business’ reviews as a part of their research. Even more, consumers will read up to 10 reviews on a business when determining whether to work with them or not.
Consumers see reviews as an actual customer experience. If that experience (and subsequent review) is positive, they will trust the business more. Consumers also tend to read more recent reviews first. Therefore, having new, fresh positive reviews goes even further to add trust to your business.
Reviews Come from Real People, not Advertising Campaigns
Going back to the first statistic in this discussion, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Why is this? Most consumers have been advertised to all their life. They have become accustomed to businesses “selling” themselves through advertising. However, reviews do not come from the business, but from other, more impartial consumers. Because of this, people are more likely to trust a review from a complete stranger over an advertisement. This is because they see that reviewer more as a peer, and not just more incessant marketing. They see reviewers as consumers just like themselves, trying to help other consumers with their experiences.
What Does This Mean for Businesses?
Because almost everyone is looking online to find out about businesses, your reputation is more important than ever. Maintaining and managing your online reputation should be a priority for every company. As seen above, your business’ reviews are a huge part of your online reputation. Increasing the number of authentic, positive reviews is an important part of any business’ online marketing strategy.
How Can a Business Increase their Online Reputation?
Developing a good online marketing strategy to increase a business’ online reputation begins and ends with trust. Most importantly, this means that a business must work hard to provide their customers with excellent and friendly services and products. After all, how can people give a positive review if they did not receive an experience that was worthy of such a review?
Another important part of an effective online marketing strategy is to take care to respond to customers’ concerns and issues. This is especially true of consumers that leave negative feedback for your business. Not properly responding to the critical feedback of your business is like not taking care of an open wound. The wound will heal if you do nothing, but it will heal better and faster with your timely intervention.
For Busy Businesses, the Best Online Marketing Strategy is to Get Help
For most people, just running their operation is difficult enough. Managing their online reputation on top of everything else can be an especially challenging task. A good recommendation for businesses is to let a reputable SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company help you handle and manage your online reputation. A SEO company can not only help to boost your online reputation, but protect it as well.
By monitoring and responding to critical reviews of your business, you can stay on top of your online reputation. With an effective online marketing strategy from an experienced SEO company, businesses can easily manage their online reputation. With a highly polished online reputation working for you, your customers will choose your business over your competitor. And that not only makes good business sense, it makes businesses dollars AND cents!