Nothing beats opening your email and finding a newly-posted positive review for your business. As a business owner, this type of positive feedback is not only gratifying, it speaks volumes about your dedication to your business, your hard work, and the customers you’ve helped. 

Did you know that this review is also generating future business for you? It’s true, and in this article, I will show you how you can leverage positive reviews to accelerate the growth of your small business. 

Why Online Reviews Matter

Did you know that 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses? Of this group, 93% were between the ages of 35-54. This matters because of that 82% who read reviews of local businesses, 91% of consumers say that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business. 

With the vast majority of consumers using reviews to guide their purchasing decisions, having a lack of online reviews for your business could be downright devastating to your ability to grow. It comes down to the consumer’s perception of your business. 

Having a lack of reviews could be telling your potential customers that either you don’t have the confidence in your business to allow customers to provide feedback about your products or services, or you just don’t have enough sales to get reviews period. Depending on your business, this could be costing you thousands of dollars a month! Oh snap!

Online Reviews Drive Purchasing Decisions

We can all agree that having an online presence is an absolute necessity for any modern business. It should come as no surprise that most consumers use both websites and online reviews to inform purchasing decisions. In fact, The average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a purchasing decision. 

Online reviews are becoming increasingly important as a leading factor to whether or not a person chooses to use one business over another. To back this up, BrightLocal conducted a study where they found that 27% of consumers noted positive reviews were enough to lead them towards contacting or visiting a business and this number is increasing every year. 

Local Organic Search and SEO

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How can I get my website to show up on the first page of Google”. While the answer to this question is more complex than we will tackle in this article, the issue needing to be addressed is called search engine optimization or SEO for short.

SEO has approximately 6 vital components for ranking (learn more about SEO here), the one that affects how potential customers find your business is called local organic search. 

Truth be told, one of the most important factors that determine your rankings in local search results is the number of positive reviews your business receives and in how many places on the web. In fact, when looking at all ranking factors for the “Google Pack” (see example below), reviews account for 15.44% of those ranking factors. 

The reason this is important to your business is that the “Google Pack” is directly tied to Google Maps. When people are searching for businesses in your industry on mobile devices, you want to be in the top 3 of those search results to get the full benefits of organic search. These are all potential customers looking to do business with someone in your industry locally. Shouldn’t that business be yours?

Online Reviews and Placement are Important

Getting online reviews on your Facebook business page is great, but if it’s the only place customers are leaving reviews you are definitely missing out on some great opportunities to drive new customers to your business.

Diversifying the number of places where reviews about your business can be found does two things…

  1. It increases the size of the net you’re are casting to capture more customers looking for your products or services
  2. It allows you to target industry-specific listing websites where people are shopping for your products or services

Of course, the byproduct of all of this, as mentioned above, is that the more places where your business is featured online, the more authority your business has in the eyes of the search engines that are ranking your website. 

The Number of Online Reviews for your Business Makes a Difference

As author Jon Clark notes in an article he posted for Search Engine Journal, “On average, consumers require a business to have 40 online reviews before they believe its average star rating”. This underscores the importance of collecting reviews as part of your business’ social proof. 

If you only have 5 reviews of your business online, most consumers will conclude that the reviews aren’t real or lack authenticity. Furthermore, if all of your reviews are 5 stars, this also plays into the consumer’s doubts about the quality of those reviews. 

Why Customers Don’t Leave Reviews for your Business

Assuming you are doing everything right and providing a high-quality service or product to your customers, they should be leaving reviews without prompting, right? In a perfect world, yes, of course, they should. 

Here’s the problem though. Let’s think of the steps they would need to take in order to leave an online review of your business. First, they would need to have a compelling reason to even think to leave a review. Second, they would need to search for you on a platform where they can leave a review. Third, they would need to compose a review condensing down their experience with your business or it’s products. There are common points of friction between each of these steps…Time and Convenience.

These issues are multiplied if it’s difficult to find your business on one of the platforms where a customer can leave a review. Chances are you have lost reviews due to this difficulty and not even realized it. Luckily, there’s a solution to this dilemma that addresses these issues.

The Solution…Reputation Management

Imagine having a service that creates an easy link for your customers to click on to leave you reviews. What if this service also distributes this review to all of the places where customers are searching for businesses in your industry? Sounds great, right?

With our reputation management services, Dynamic Designs NW does just that. The best part is that we make it hassle-free and affordable. If you sign up before the end of August 2020, we have discounted the normal setup fee of $149 down to just $49. Additionally, we have 3 different pricing plans so you can select the one that works best for your business and your budget.

Reputation Management Agencies charge thousands of dollars a month to be kept on retainer. We have streamlined this process to make it automated, removing the need to keep a staff dedicated to just monitoring your online reviews, thus keeping the expense down and our prices affordable for businesses of all sizes. 

Unlock the opportunities and advantages that an increase in online reviews for your business provides and accelerate your company’s growth in 2020.