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Do Online Reviews Really Matter?

In recent months, a number of our clients have wondered about the impact online reviews actually have on businesses. To answer this query, we’ve come up with four major reasons online reviews should not be overlooked as either a passing fad or simply an outlet for consumers to harmlessly air their grievances or commendations about their recent purchases.

Reviews influence consumer decisions. A recent survey shows that, when making buying decisions, 88% of consumers trust online reviews, 39% frequently look at reviews and a mere 12% of consumers ignore reviews entirely. These statistics demonstrate the significant role online reviews currently play in a growing number of consumers’ buying practices.

Website rankings. The more unique content on your website helps your site’s performance. This is because the more pages associated with your site equals a higher probability for your site to appear in search engines and attract even more sets of eyes. Housing a section on your site for customer reviews is an easy way to add that necessary content.

Online reputation. Reviews of your company on sites such as Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor and Angie’s List can be beneficial in two distinct ways. First, these reviews can increase your credibility in your prospective customers’ minds because the information is located on a trusted site that is not directly affiliated with your company. The other way off-site reviews can help is by getting the attention of Google’s algorithm and increasing your off-site ranking with Google.

Market analysis. Whether they’re positive or negative, online reviews give you the opportunity to enhance your understanding of your customers. Getting your customers’ opinions regarding their experiences with your company gives you the chance to improve the customer experience and continue to build lasting relationships.

In next week’s post, we will provide a list of tools to help you manage your company’s online reputation.

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