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 decide.com, 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.

Want more content to read? Then check out our education blog section!

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Do Apps Still Make Money? Here is What 6 Developers Think

The app market is extremely saturated. But the mobile market is still gathering momentum..fast. Mobile apps have changed how we work, live, connect and what we do for entertainment. Mobile apps will continue to shape the thoughts consumers, small businesses, enterprises, and even the government.

Forrester expects that more than 25% of companies will use mobile not as a channel, but as a fully integrated part of their overall strategy. They believe 2016 will be the most consequential year for companies on the path to customer obsession, and that includes adapting empowered customers who expect to get anything they want immediately, in context on their mobile devices.

There is still a lot of demand for apps. Mobile apps have evolved beyond providing just information. Artificial intelligent and voice-based personal assistants are inspiring conversational and smart apps.

But most app developers are struggling to get attention. Majority of app developers don’t get rewarded for their efforts. Most apps don’t generate profits but serve as an extension of an existing business. And he vast majority of apps are free.

In-app purchases and advertising allow app creators to make money off their free apps. There are only few hits though. Here is what some redditors think about the prospects ofaunching an app.

1. kevinbracken

Absolutely, yes they do. I sold my fitness app last year to a larger company, and know many people whose app-based companies are making money.

However, the thing that many people fail to realize is that you are not building “an app,” you are building a business, and mobile is simply the fastest-growing channel in the world. You can do your own research but in the not-so-distant future, mobile will make up the vast majority of all web traffic and online sales.

To answer the second part of your question, if you have limited resources, absolutely target iOS. Notice how when new, serious companies with venture financing and previously successful founders start companies, they launch iOS apps first. Reasons:

  • iOS users download more apps
  • iOS users spend considerably more through their phones
  • iOS users know they are iOS users. Don’t underestimate the importance of this: many Android users simply buy the cheapest phone and don’t spend much time thinking about downloading apps, would never put their credit card number in a phone, etc.

2. austincha

I created some apps for both the App Store and the Google Play store. The App Store is strict on the quality of apps they allow to be uploaded, so I then just focused on Android apps. I made simple games and even some Live Wallpaper apps. My best games only made a couple hundred dollars and the LWPs made about a hundred.

I’ve stopped creating apps because the payout wasn’t worth the time and effort I put into coding the apps. I’ll have to say 99% of the app developers out there are not making money for the time and effort they put into the apps.

3. ZeikCallaway

Android developer here. As others have pointed out, apps can still make money, but the days of just having an app for money are pretty much over. Apps become exponentially more powerful, and likely to be used if they’re complimentary to a bigger software or service.

Also when deciding Android vs iOS, if you can, you should target both because they’re pretty even as far as market share. If you had to pick just one to start, I can’t tell you which is better but from my perspective and experience, Android seems to be gaining more market share albeit very slowly but, iOS will have a more consistent experience.

In other words, some Android devices may not work with your app the way you expect, so even they do take a strong lead over iOS devices there will still be a number of them that have problems.

4. RPN

Of course they still make money. Actually now more than ever as every year the worldwide app revenue grows exponentially. AppAnnie predicts that gross revenue across all app stores will eclipse $100 Billion in 2020.

The problem is that it’s now more competitive than ever. For an independent developer it is getting increasingly difficult to make a living building apps.

5. EatSafeUK

A lot of people have a weird view on apps as if they are magical no effort cash cows. But you have to see it for what it is, simply a distribution platform.

Can you build an app, throw it out there and effortlessly get millions of downloads and rake on money? No.

But if you are developing a solution to a problem that is best served with mobile then an app is appropriate. My research for my current project showed that the problem was biggest when people were out and about, so a mobile app works best.

But it’s just the distribution method. The rest of the business is the same as before; you need to identify customers, you need to effectively promote, you need to push yourself in front of people.

The app store is too saturated to expect to be discovered there. But just like a real store, the brands on the shelves do everything they can to get you to want to buy their products before you ever get through the door. Its the same in the app world.

iOS does seem to have a less price sensitive user base though, so if you want to charge for the app they’re the best people to target.

6. the_brizzler

They haven’t died down. It is just harder for the average guy or gal to make sure it is discovered. Sort of like websites…anyone can build a website…but how do you get visitors?…well that takes some marketing and strategy.

There are plenty of people making a decent living making niche apps that serve a specific purpose. But if you are trying to make a flashlight app…forget about it…apple won’t even let you publish it since there are already too many. So you just have to be smart about what you make and how you get people to find your app.

Related: 6 Easy Steps to Get Funding for Your App Startup

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