Online review sites play a vital part in how successful your business is. You need to make sure you keep those good reviews flowing in if you want to market your company well online. Otherwise, bad reviews can have a detrimental effect on your revenue.

This article describes 7 ways how online reviews can affect your business.

1. People Decide Based on Reviews

If you’re considering using an unfamiliar product or service, what’s the first thing you do? Chances are, you pull out your phone, load up your browser, and check out the reviews.

When you’re greeted with the sight of one-star reviews, you’re probably going to take your money somewhere else. This is why it’s important that your online reviews reflect well on you as a business. Without those positive reviews, your brand will suffer.

You need to make sure you have some great reviews to entice customers to use your service or visit your place. It’s not an exaggeration to say that your company can live or die based on reviews. The court of public opinion isn’t always fair, but it’s just an aspect of doing business these days.

2. Get Vital Feedback

Reviews are more than just about getting people to purchase from you. They’re also an invaluable tool to get some feedback on how your business is doing. If something is amiss with your product, or if there’s something wrong with your location, the reviewers are going to be some of the first to let you know.

If you do receive negative reviews, you can see it as a learning opportunity. Of course, you may get some bad reviews that are totally undeserved, but you might also get some that can help you to improve your business.

When you listen to the feedback of your customers, they’re more likely to come back. In some cases, customers will change a negative review into a positive one if you fix the issue they were complaining about.

3. Give Public Customer Service

If a customer has a problem with your service and leaves a review, most review platforms will allow you to make things right. When a business handles things poorly in response to a bad review, it can often lead to even more negative attention. The exchange might be shared around on social media and it could even go viral.

On the other hand, when you publicly rectify the situation and the customer ends up satisfied, this could increase confidence in your brand. In the business world, customers who have a problem are inevitable. It’s how you deal with these complaints that’ll define you as a business.

4. Increase Your Ranking on Google

Did you know that having reviews on your website can increase your ranking in search engines? Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital part of growing your business and without reviews hosted on your own page, you’re missing out. Reviews can hit those vital keywords, which will drive your page up in Google rankings and encourage users to visit your site.

Having reviews on sites like Google or Facebook isn’t always enough since these sites won’t contribute towards the SEO of your homepage. Consider creating the option to leave reviews on your website. To encourage people to leave reviews, you could try running a promotion that rewards people for leaving you feedback.

5. Interact with the Public

When you’re running a business, you need to maintain an online presence. This could involve running a social media account on platforms like Facebook or Twitter, but you also have the opportunity to do this through your reviews.

You don’t necessarily have to only respond to the negative reviews. You could also respond to some of the more positive ones. This will help to create a more personal relationship between you and your customers.

People really appreciate it when businesses take the time to single them out and talk to them directly. A small interaction can go a long way.

6. Show That the Business Is Active

Having a business up and running with little to no reviews don’t come off well. Potential customers might be hesitant to trust you or people might think you’re not even open for business.

Not only do you need to have good reviews, but they should also be fairly recent. If you look up a store online and all of the reviews are months old, you might think that the place has closed down. If your customers need to drive to your location, you need to give them confidence; otherwise, they won’t be prepared to risk wasting money on gas.

If you don’t have any recent reviews, you should try to encourage your customers to leave some. That way, people will know your doors are open.

7. Generate Authentic Content

Potential customers want to see content that’s authentic when they’re deciding whether or not to make a purchase. The copy on your site might help make a sale, but it’s difficult to write copy that sounds completely authentic.

You’re trying to sell your product and the customers know this. They will take everything you and your copy says with a pinch of salt.

On the other hand, if you get reviews from customers on a reliable review platform such as review, it’s easy to see that the reviews are legitimate. On sites like Yelp, you can look at individual users and see the reviews they’ve left for other establishments.

Online Review Sites Are Important

Love them or hate them, online review sites are here to stay. Bad reviews can cause a lot of problems for your business if you don’t address them properly.

With that being said, these review sites can be an incredible marketing tool. Make sure you engage with your customers across multiple review platforms and make sure you address any problems your customers might write about.

Many business owners aren’t very fond of these online review sites, but a smart business owner knows how to play these sites to their advantage.

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