Positive customer reviews are crucial for the success of your business. People trust word of mouth recommendations from other customers more than they trust what you publish about yourself.
Online reviews have taken a permanent place in the purchase cycle of the digitally connected customer. Studies suggest that nearly 9 out of 10 customers read online reviews before making a purchase, and the average customer reads around 10 reviews before making any purchase.
The bottom line is, to be successful as a business, you need to manage a pipeline for acquiring positive online reviews and taking immediate action on negative reviews left by existing customers.
Here are some of the most valuable tips that three top marketing influencers have shared on the importance of customer reviews.
1. Neil Patel on Knowing Your Platforms
The founder of Crazy Egg, HelloBar and Kissmetrics, Neil Patel is a New York Times best-selling author whose Neil Patel Digital agency has helped companies like Amazon and Viacom grow their revenue online. It’s one thing to be recognized as one of the top marketing minds of our day because you talk the talk. It’s another to actually walk the walk, and the reviews that Patel’s own business receives show that Patel also knows how to deliver value to his customers in a manner that grows his brand clout.
So what does he have to teach us? In this recent article, Neil explains that top three places to get online reviews for your business are Yelp, Google My Business and Facebook. These three sites generate over 300 million unique visitors each month in the US alone, according to Alexa, and hence it is absolutely necessary for you to proactively manage your business’s presence on these sites.
He further suggests that positive reviews drive 18% higher loyalty and 21% higher purchase satisfaction, making reviews the best way to retain your existing customers.
2. Jamie Pitman on the SEO Implications
Jamie is the head of SEO at BrightLocal. He has over 10 years of experience in social media and online marketing. In an article published on Search Engine Land, Jamie suggests the growing importance of online reviews and its overall impact on the reputation of a business.
Google is the only platform that has been growing exponentially in the recent years when it comes to online reviews. People always search for a business on Google, read the reviews and take the purchase decision accordingly. During the period between 2015 to 2016, the growth of reviews on Google has been a whopping 278%. The trend continues to grow even in 2018 and 2019.
Businesses must encourage their customers to leave reviews on Google because it is the most visible online review platform that can make a direct impact on the purchase decision of the customers.
After Google, Facebook and Tripadvisor are the most successful review tracking websites that have an influence on the minds of the prospects.
3. Joy Hawkins on Local Intent and Reviews
Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum and is a regular speaker at marketing conferences like SMX, Pubcon, LocalU and State of Search.
In one recent article, she highlights the importance of online reviews and the part it plays in optimizing the local rankings of any business. In an experiment that she conducted on her own, she found that local businesses which lost online reviews during a period of time actually experienced significant drops in their local search rankings.
This clearly indicates that a when your reviews stop going up, people near your business who are looking to do business with you will have a harder time finding you.
Follow the advice given by the top marketing experts and implement it in your marketing strategy. Try to get your business on the most trusted source of reviews like Yelp, Google and Facebook.
If your business has positive online reviews on these platforms and you have responded promptly on the negative reviews, then the chances are bright that your company’s digital footprint will help boost trust, social proof, search discoverability and conversions.