People often ask us what they can do to improve their rankings and how to get more leads. There are many answers to this question, but reviews have become a critical piece of both lead generation and ranking better in Google — especially if you are a consumer facing business providing a product or service. You must integrate reviews into your company culture. And you must get more reviews and to respond to every review, every time.
We shouldn’t need to tell you why reviews are important. However, as far as education is concerned, at BxB Media we believe more is more. So here is a helpful overview on why you need reviews for your company and why you need to respond to them:
1. “86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18–34).” (Source: BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey)
2. “Review ratings are the biggest driver of clicks in local Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).” (Source: BrightLocal, Local Services Ads Click Study)
4. “91% of 18–34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” (Source: BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey)
5. “Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.” (Source: BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey)
6. “The purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than a product with 0 reviews.” (Source: Spiegel Research Center, How Online Reviews Influence Sales)
Types of Reviews
There are two types of reviews—first-party reviews and third-party reviews:
• First-party reviews: Reviews collected and presented on your own website
• Third-party reviews: Reviews collected and presented on a third-party website, such as a directory listing or social media profile
Both first-party and third-party reviews (specifically Google) can and do improve your search results and improve your online presence overall. When done correctly, first-party reviews build organic, updated content on your site and impact your SEO with keywords, locations, star ratings, and more.
First-party reviews show direct interaction with your customers and build trust with the consumer as well as with search engines. These reviews can also increase your conversion rate overall (see above stats). At BxB, we give you tools and coach you in first-party review collection.
Third-party reviews, particularly Google Reviews (I’ll get to that in a minute), improve results and increase your conversion rate. Again see the stats above—“The purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than a product with 0 reviews.”
It is nearly impossible to overestimate the power and importance of reviews.
After knowing how important it is to get reviews, next you need to know how to respond to reviews. Google has said if you want to improve your local ranking, one of the things you need to do is manage and respond to reviews.
From the Google My Business help article, “Improve your local ranking on Google”:
Manage and Respond to Reviews
Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. [Italicizing ours] High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.
Responding to reviews will help improve your ranking. And responding to and interacting with customers is one of the cornerstones of good social media management, as it supports customer retention and advocacy. It also supports and increases the number of reviews you will get overall as well as a potentially higher star rating.
• “89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews.” (Source: BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey)
• “45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews.” (Source: ReviewTrackers, Online Reviews Survey)
• “When hotels start responding to reviews on TripAdvisor, they receive 12% more reviews, and ratings increase by 0.12 stars on average.” (Source: Harvard Business Review, Study: Replying to Customer Reviews Results in Better Ratings)
In Google’s own words it says: to improve rankings and get more leads as a result: GET MORE REVIEWS and RESPOND TO EVERY REVIEW.
If you have any questions about managing your reviews or getting more reviews connect with us now.
Do you have a review management system?
Talk to us today about how to manage and respond to your reviews.