You’ve probably heard it time and time again – listing your company on review websites is a crucial step to your ongoing visibility and a great opportunity for customer service. But why is that?
If you’re on the fence about listing your business on a review site, or you’re not convinced of the value it provides and how that relates your business’ visibility, then this one’s for you.
Let’s explore 5 major benefits available to businesses who open themselves up to online reviews.
1. Improved Communication and Customer Service
Analysing the reviews people leave for you – both good and bad – helps keep your ear to the ground with regards to overall customer satisfaction and public opinion. Online reviews help give a voice to both happy and unhappy customers, and allows you to open up a public channel of conversation, letting you demonstrate your customer service skills to the world.
Putting problems out in the open like this doesn’t necessarily mean that people won’t buy from you in future. Some people might be impressed at the speed of your response or the extent to which you are willing to put things right.
Online reviews can also give you valuable feedback with regards to what your clients actually want. Reviews provide insight into how your average consumer thinks about your service or industry, rather than what you think about what you offer. It provides a unique peek behind the curtain, allowing you to learn about the real value you provide to your customers. Analysing your reviews in this way can be a surprising avenue for market research and honing in on your value proposition.
2. Credibility and Social Proof
We’re inherently social creatures, and we like to know that someone else has had a good experience with a company before we make a buying decision. Much like we would ask friends and family for recommendations, review sites allow us to do this online.
Online reviews are a valuable thing to pursue if your company is quite new but you have a few happy customers under your belt. Review sites enable new companies to stand shoulder to shoulder with more established competition, and potentially gain a positive foothold in people’s estimation. Even a couple of good reviews can make a difference; according to research by BrightLocal in 2015, 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading 1-3 reviews, and 73% form an opinion by reading 1-6 reviews.
Look at it this way – which company would you rather buy from – one with fifty 3-star reviews or one with five 5-star reviews? If you’re on on the same platform as some of your larger competitors and your average rating is higher than theirs, you just might turn a few heads.
3. Improved Consumer Access to Information
When someone leaves a detailed review of their experience with your company, it can give other users valuable insight that you may not have even thought of. Certain minutiae that you hadn’t given a second thought could be a “make or break” situation for a number of people.
On the flip side of the coin, complaints can also help to qualify leads. If someone mentions that you don’t provide a certain product or service, their review will inform others in need of that service to look elsewhere.
4. Review Sites are Growing in Significance
Review sites are becoming more and more significant to people’s buying decisions and purchasing intent; a trend that shows no sign of going away. As more of the older generation are coming online and the younger generation are growing up and needing to make their own purchasing decisions, online reviewing is only set to grow further. According to Vendasta, 92% of consumers in 2016 read online reviews compared to 88% in 2014. Your business may as well stake its claim within this growing arena!
Once you’ve gathered a few glowing reviews on trusted sites, chances are that new enquiries and visits could start to snowball. The more people are attracted by your good reviews and become satisfied customers themselves, the more good reviews you get. The more good reviews you get, the more people come. It’s like a positive feedback loop – but with actual positive feedback!
5. Reviews Can Have a Positive Impact on Search Visibility
Though setting up an online listing may not skyrocket your website up the search rankings, search engines are acutely aware that online ratings sites provide a popular and usually reliable picture of a company’s quality. In this report from Moz, you can see that reviews play a small, but rather significant role in organic search ranking.
Reviews left on certain trusted review sites (including Yell.com reviews) can also show in Google’s “knowledge graph”. This is a crucial area of visibility within search results, especially on a local scale. Because reviews have the potential to show prominently on Google search results pages, people may see how awesome you are before they even go through to your listing page or website.
In fact, if we head back on over to the Moz data, we see that online reviews also play a part in ranking a company in the “local 3-pack” – the small map that comes up in local searches with a suggestion of three nearby businesses – a crucial area of visibility.
So there we have it, 5 massive reasons why online reviews are important to small business. Not only are reviews a great avenue for grabbing consumers’ attention, but listing your company is totally free in a lot of cases.
If you haven’t already, why not create a free listing here on Yell.com! Our intuitive process will walk you through every step of the way. Sign up today!On the fence about listing your business on review sites? Don’t be! Click To Tweet
How do you feel about online listings? Do you think there are any major benefits to online business listings that are missed out here? Is there anything you don’t like about online ratings and reviews? Let’s have a chat down in the comments!