From mobile phones to dental services, it’s rare to blindly make a purchase decision without reading through several online reviews. In 2016, 90% of shoppers read at least one online review before deciding to visit a business.
More importantly, 94% of online shoppers reported that a negative review has convinced them to avoid visiting a business.
This means that whatever your industry, having a positive online presence gives you several key advantages, which is why it’s becoming a key part of branding.
Understanding why you need online reviews will help you optimize your customer experience to help create a positive online footprint. Let’s review these seven reasons why your consumers’ published experiences with your brand are vital.
We’re more likely to make a purchase if others around us—even total strangers—agree that it is a good decision. Today, online reviews are the biggest source of social proof, and they have a clear impact on sales.
Most shoppers will look on search engines like Google and Bing, or even on Facebook, when deciding what to buy. These websites all have their own unique ways of indexing and surfacing content, but they all value original and fresh content, and customer reviews can definitely help feed the content machine, keeping your brand favored by algorithms.
When you’re ranked higher, algorithms and people alike tend to see your website as an authority in your industry, which also leads to more exposure.
When people have good things to say, they are also more likely to share their reviews on more sites, including external websites like Yelp, FourSquare, and TripAdvisor.
These hubs are vital to your online presence, as Google collects data from their sites when building its own results ranking. Even on an individual level, having positive reviews can help push further reviews.