How Do Online Reviews Impact Your Local Business?

Business Growth Blog

How Do Online Reviews Impact Your Local Business?

    • Nicolas Jones
    • July 14, 2019

    After providing a product or service, your customers may leave reviews online, expressing how happy or dissatisfied they are. These opinions are published publicly on popular websites, such as Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Angie’s List. Online reviews are visible to the public and can have a direct impact on how many customers will use your business in the future.

    Reviews also provide the opportunity to gain insights from your customers, so you can better understand what they like and don’t like about your products and services. That way, you can improve your business and have more happy customers in the future. But before you get more happy customers, you need more reviews! It seems kind of tricky, but we’ll tell you how it’s done!

    Here are a few stats on reviews that may interest you.

    99% of customers read online reviews. Invesp

     

    97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day. BrightLocal

     

    User reviews are here to stay, and the longer you wait to start optimizing your reviews, the more you stand to lose. Forbes

     

    A one-star increase on Yelp leads to a 5 to 9 percent increase in a business’s revenue. One negative review can cost you 30 customers. Invesp

     

    Why Do Reviews Matter?

    Customers are becoming increasingly reliant on the previous reviews posted by other customers, when choosing which local businesses to visit and where to purchase products online. When people look for a pizza place, dry cleaner, eye doctor, dentist or other local business, they first search online to see what is nearby and often choose a business based upon what shows up in their search and which business has the best online reviews. If you have bad reviews on Yelp, Google, or Facebook, they could prevent other customers from visiting your business.

    Having no reviews can also hurt your business. People may feel uncertain about visiting your business, if they do not see reviews and comments from previous customers. In addition, the lack of reviews can prevent you from showing up, when people search for businesses nearby. That’s why getting more of your happy customers to leave reviews can boost your business.

    What is the Value of a Good Review?

    One study showed that a one-star increase on Yelp can lead to a 5 to 9 percent increase in a business’s revenue, while one negative review can cost you 30 customers (Invesp). So it’s true that having consistently good reviews can help increase your business. It builds trust and confidence in your services or products. Your reviews will help to promote the business, which translates to an increase in customers visiting you and increased overall sales.

    Currently, many companies are launching review marketing schemes, because they have discovered the value of a good review. These companies pay for slots on review websites that have high traffic to ensure more people see the positive reviews customers have posted after patronizing their businesses.

    You may have noticed that a nearby competitor has quickly launched a new business and suddenly generated hundreds of reviews overnight. This could be such a paid review scheme. While this can generate a quick result, paying for reviews that may not be from real customers can be bad for your business in the long run, because the review site may end up banning you from their system and costing you more customers down the road.

    You don’t have to pay to rank on review sites, because you can get free traffic. It’s best to only try to get reviews from your real customers by asking them to review you. This may take more time, but you will get the best results in the long run. Get Savvy Digital has some great review generation tools that may help you.

    How do Positive Reviews Increase Your Business’s Local Ranking?

    Having more positive reviews can help you get higher rankings in Google Maps, Yelp, and other sites or apps that show local businesses nearby. This is because these sites have developed ranking algorithms that take into account a number of factors, such as the content you have provided about your business and the number of reviews you have, as well as the user’s proximity to your business. If you have more positive reviews, you are more likely to show up near the top, when people nearby search for your products or services. This can bring more customers to your door.

    The Impact of Bad Reviews on Businesses

    One study showed that a single negative review on Yelp can cost you 30 customers (Invesp). It is unrealistic to say you will not get any bad reviews, because not everyone may be happy with your services no matter how hard you try. On the other hand, customers may become suspicious when they read only positive reviews on your feedback page. What matters is that you put in your very best efforts to meet the needs of all your clients.

    Bad reviews can discourage some potential clients from making purchases. However, you will be lucky to have some people who will ask questions to know the type of services you offer and how they can get value for their money regardless of a bad review.

    Responding to a Bad Review

    When you respond to a bad review, just remember that you are having a conversation with the general public more than with this person. Most people know how to contact a local business and would do so, if they wanted to resolve an issue. If someone posts a negative review about your business without contacting you directly, they are not trying to resolve the issue but simply want to make a statement publicly.

    People know that bad things happen to good businesses, and your job is simply to show the public that you are a reasonable person and business who is paying attention and taking care of your customers. The last thing you want to do is to start a fight online with an angry customer.

    The best approach is to thank the person for their feedback, let them know that you have taken steps to resolve the issue, and ask them to contact you to make their situation better. The public will see this and appreciate your effort. The next step is to get your happy customers to leave positive reviews, so that future searchers see a more balanced perspective on your business.

    How Can Negative Reviews Influence Your Business?

    If you consistently get negative reviews from your customers, it can definitely hurt your business. The statistics show that you can lose as much as 70% of potential customers because of one bad review on a popular site, such as Google, Yelp, or Facebook. There needs to be damage control.

    Leveraging Positive Reviews

    You can grow your business by responding to reviews. This approach gives you an opportunity to show appreciation to all the clients who are satisfied with your services. Publishing these reviews and your responses on your website will help promote customer loyalty and encourage new customers to make more purchases.

    Positive reviews can also create an opportunity for you to make higher profits. By leveraging your positive reviews, you can slightly increase the prices of your products or services without experiencing a drop in sales.

    How to Generate Positive Reviews for Your Business

    You can post signs at your business location, add reminders on your receipts, and hand out cards to request reviews from your regular customers. Get Savvy Digital has a review generation system that can help you to communicate with customers more easily by sending text messages and emails to remind them to leave your reviews. You may also need to add incentives, such as a small discount on your products or services or a free item in order to generate more positive reviews.

    Need Help with Your Online Reviews?

    Get Savvy Digital can help generate, listen to & respond to your online reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List and more!

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