Reviews are a new form of marketing and communication. It bridges the gap between simple word of mouth and the viral form of feedback that moves virtual mountains for businesses. The importance of online reviews for businesses is truly astounding, from increased brand awareness to long-term profits.
1. Increased sales
The main reason why online reviews are so important to businesses is that they ultimately increase sales by providing consumers with the information they need to make a decision to buy a product or service from a company. People are more likely to buy a product or service that someone else has recommended.
2. Understand and serve your consumers better
Online reviews tell you whether you are doing a good job, what you are doing wrong and how you can improve your service. This allows you to provide a better service to your customers by resolving their issues quickly and efficiently, and their positive experience will lead to future business.
3. Improved rankings
Online reviews not only build a better relationship between your business and consumers, they also work to improve your website’s ranking on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! The more you write about your business online, the more important the search engines will consider you to be.
4. Increased keyword content
Online reviews receive a steady stream of SEO keywords, ensuring a more prominent online presence for consumers.
5. Increase consumer feedback and loyalty
Consumers who take the time to leave an online review are more likely to feel loyal to your business and return year after year. By leaving an online review and building a relationship with a business, consumers feel they have a voice and can provide feedback in a positive and meaningful way.
6. Engage consumers
Online review pages can become active social communities where consumers leave reviews and return to see if others have commented on their reviews and to find out what other consumers are saying about a product or service. This is often the case. This creates a social community of consumer involvement where consumers can become attached to both the company and other consumers.
7. Put the consumer in charge of marketing
A handful of positive online reviews can be of great value and can bring benefits to a business that a simple marketing campaign cannot. This is the kind of micro-marketing campaign that continues after an online review has been posted, creating a constant positive image for potential consumers and ongoing brand awareness that will benefit your businesses in the short and long terms.
8. Reviews generate more reviews
If a company, product or service has already been reviewed online, it is likely to encourage other visitors to leave feedback. Just the display of a certain number of reviews seems to give new visitors the confidence to add their own opinions about the product or service. This is a new form of online ‘crowd behavior’ that psychologists are still trying to understand!