The Value of Reviews
We all read reviews. From finding a financial advisor to seeking activities for a family vacation, we want to know what to expect if we choose to spend our money with a particular business. But what is the real value of reviews?
Maybe you’re interested in buying a new home. If you want to check out reputable realtors in your area, you probably did a quick Google search.
Perhaps you are looking for a new business accountant this year. Even if you got a recommendation from your colleagues, most likely, you took some time to look that accountant up online.
The holiday season just passed. Tell me, did you stop to read a review (or 2 or 100) when shopping for gifts on Amazon?
When you did, what did you see?
And more importantly, how did it influence you?
Whether you’re aware of it or not, customer reviews impact your decision to make a purchase. Positive reviews boost purchase confidence. Negative reviews warn you to stay away. Even a lack of customer reviews can have an impact.
The effect of online reviews is undeniable.
And so is the value.
So…what is the value of online reviews?
Online reviews are the digital version of word of mouth. Google is the #1 search engine in the world and over 90% of all searches begin there.
People turn to Google to search for all kinds of topics. And, according to them, over 46% of those searches are related to local businesses.
Since Google is so dominant, it is incredibly important that you have a claimed & verified your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business is where your customers are leaving reviews. And they’re leaving them there whether you’re active on the listing or not.
Boosting reviews can boost conversions.
More conversions mean more sales. According to one study, the value of reviews is outlined as follows:
- Just one review can boost conversions by 10%
- At 100 reviews, your conversion rate could be boosted by as much as 37%
- At 200 reviews, this rate could rise by a shocking 44%
Another study cites the following impact of reviews and star ratings on your business:
- Having a 3.7-star rating on Google gives your business the maximum conversion boost.
- Responding to reviews can boost conversion by up to 80%
Online reviews create social validation & confidence
You see…just a little bit of effort into increasing your reviews can help your bottom line. Reviews give prospective customers some social validation of what to expect if they do business with you.
That social validation can also translate to increased revenue by making a customer feel more confident in the product or service they are getting ready to buy.
In the senior living industry, for example, one study showed that families were more likely to spend more on monthly rent for an assisted living apartment if the community had high reviews!
Imagine the power of one raving fan’s review giving confidence to your service.
How can you start generating online reviews?
At this point, you are probably saying “DUH” online reviews are important. So, the question is why aren’t you putting more energy into getting them?
The fact is…a lot of businesses aren’t asking for reviews. Instead, they are relying on a passive approach and hoping a customer will hop on Google and share their amazing experience.
Perhaps you’ve added a button on your website, a link in your email signature, and maybe you send the occasional email to ask for a review from a very satisfied customer.
The problem with a passive approach to getting more reviews is that the person most likely to leave you a review without you asking is the person who had a memorably bad experience.
It is amazing how quickly people will share a bad experience versus a good one. This is even more of a reason to have a proactive approach to your online reviews and reputation management.
Plus…if you spend just a little bit of time and effort on this part of your business, it can impact conversions and revenue in the future.
The important thing to remember is, you don’t have to do this alone.
With the right digital partner, you can create a system to identify raving fans and proactively generate great reviews.
At Smart Girl Digital, we offer complimentary review audit and strategy sessions for qualified businesses.
Apply for a session with us today. We will give you all the information you need to get started on a smart strategy forward for increasing your reviews this year!