Your online reputation is more than just your star rating. When it comes to the value of your online reviews, there are several factors to consider.
So, what should you be looking at when you evaluate the value of your current reviews? Let’s look at the 7 main factors that impact your online reputation.
1. Average star rating
The first factor of your online reputation is the most obvious one. Your average star rating is the first thing a potential customer sees and considers when choosing a business based on reviews. Having a high average star rating is a great asset. The higher your average star rating, the happier your past customers are with your services.
2. Total number of reviews
The next thing someone may consider when choosing your business is how many people have left a review. The more people who leave you an online review, the more social validation your business has.
But…more reviews also means that the impact of one bad review doesn’t have as big of an impact if you only have a few reviews.
For example, if you have a 4.5-star rating and 5 reviews, then one 1-star review will drop you to a 3.9-star rating.
Conversely, if you have a 4.5-star rating and 100 reviews, then one 1-star review only drops your rating to a 4.46-star rating.
Fast Stat: On average, local businesses have 39 Google reviews. Businesses appearing in Google’s top 3 local positions have an average of 47 Google Reviews.Local Consumer Review Survey
3. Frequency of reviews
How often your business is reviewed is noticed by customers shopping for your services. When getting started in asking for reviews, you will have a cluster of reviews around the same time frame.
Asking for reviews should be an ongoing part of your business. Having reviews posted frequently will ensure that your reputation isn’t resting on a few great reviews that will eventually get stale.
4. Age of reviews
Speaking of stale reviews…the age of your reviews matters. This is often an overlooked factor in measuring your reviews. Having a bunch of reviews with a high average rating is great…unless the last review was a long time ago.
Consumers want to see current and relevant reviews. If it has been more than 3 months since your last review, potential customers may not be confident that you are still in business (true story).
5. Average rating across multiple review sites for your industry
Your customers are probably searching for your services on multiple websites. So, you want to be aware of your average rating across all the major review sites for your industry. While you may start out focusing on a single review site, over time you will want to make sure you are asking your raving fans to leave you a review on the other sites such as Bing Places or Facebook.
Again, this is an ongoing process because you won’t want to ask someone to leave you reviews on multiple sites at one time.
6. Business response to reviews
Getting feedback from customers in a public forum requires attention and response. Businesses who respond to reviews (both positive and negative) show a level of attentiveness to their customers that make future customers feel confident that you care.
How you respond, when you respond, and how you handle negative reviews are all points of interest for clients who are doing their research before choosing your business. Take this opportunity to show how much you care by attentively responding to your reviews. Avoid cold canned responses that are the same to all reviews.
Fast Stat: Replying to a third of reviews may increase conversions by 80%.SearchEngineLand.com
7. Overall sentiment of reviews
Finally, the overall sentiment of your reviews is important to potential customers. Is there a reoccurring theme in what people are saying about your business? Are they positive? Be mindful of this when asking for and responding to your online reviews.
Now, that we’ve covered the 7 factors of your reviews, having a review system in place can make it so much easier to manage each of these factors in a positive way.
A review management system can help you gauge the temperature of a client’s review prior to asking them to leave one for your business.
A reputation and review management system can help you monitor your reputation score and respond accordingly to reviews in a timely manner.
But…before you jump in and start asking for reviews, you need to assess what you already have.
Smart Girl Digital can help you with a complimentary review analysis and strategy session.
We look at all review sites where your customers may leave you a review. We assemble a free report that outlines those reviews, including reviews you may not even know that you have!
Plus we will give you tips to help you with your online reviews and reputation management.
Would you like to know how your current online reviews measure up?