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10 Simple Truths About Online Reviews

  1. Customers will review your business – you cannot stop them. Regardless of your industry, there are opportunities and avenues for consumers to review you and/or your business online. Google creates Google Business Profiles for many businesses without any input or consent from the business. There are also plenty of other industry-specific review sites, and other big sites that touch nearly every industry – Yelp and Facebook being two of the biggest. When a customer/client wants to write an online review about you, the internet will offer them a place to share their voice.
  2. Prospective customers will read reviews of your business – There are lots of industry-specific statistics available, but generally we know that in 2021, 77% of consumers reported “always” or “regularly” read reviews when browsing for local businesses. You can reference these stats and observe your own behavior to realize how impactful online reviews are to consumers today.
  3. Bad Reviews can be devastating to your business. 92% of consumers say that negative reviews make them less likely to use a local business. If you don’t have a review generation program in place, one bad review can stick out like a sore thumb if you only have a handful of total reviews. On the other hand, a robust review generation program can drown out one bad review with a river of positive reviews.
  4. You should know what is being said in your reviews – Since we know consumers will be reviewing your business, you really should make an effort to know what’s being said about you online. Google can provide alerts for your Google Business Profile, but it can get tedious to constantly check any/all other review sites. A monitoring tool makes your life much easier by providing a single dashboard to display all online reviews from everywhere on the web.
  5. If you don’t ask for reviews, the extreme voices are the most likely to write one. Consider for a moment who takes the initiative to leave a review on their own accord. Yes, there’s a small segment of the world who loves to review every experience. But for most people, it’s only worth making the effort to leave a review if the experience was outstanding in some way – outstandingly good, or outstandingly bad. If you know that you only provide outstandingly good experiences, then you can take your chances with the folks who will self-motivate to leave reviews. Otherwise, it’s safer to ask everyone to share their experience.
  6. When asked, most people are willing to leave a review – In 2021, 74% of consumers surveyed reported having written a review for a local business within the past 12 months. The takeaways here are clear – if you ask your customers/clients to leave a review, many of them will. And by getting a larger “sample size” of customer voices, you will paint a much more representative picture of what an “average” customer experience looks like at your business. In other words, for most businesses, most customer experiences are positive, so the more reviews you get the better your online reputation gets and the more insulated you will be from the impact of one bad review.
  7. Having more total reviews is better. For most people, the more social proof they have that a product or service is good, the less they feel that they need to further scrutinize their evaluation process. A product with 100 5-star reviews instills more confidence than a product with only three 5-star reviews.
  8. Having more recent reviews are better. To make this point, consider the counterexample that you’ve probably encountered at some point: a product or business that has good reviews, but the most recent one is over two years old. It arouses suspicion – what happened since then? Are they still in business? Has there been a change in management? Reviews have only gotten more popular in recent years, so why aren’t people still writing reviews? Avoid this potentially fishy situation by implementing a program to constantly collect new reviews.
  9. Having Reviews on more sites is better. Let’s face it, you can’t trust everything you read on the internet. If your business has good reviews, but only on one review site, you’re better off than a competitor who doesn’t have any reviews at all. But if your first page of Google search results can shower a consumer with 5-star ratings coming from 3 or more sites, you will establish a consensus that your business creates happy customers. And while we know any given website or any given online review might be suspect, if your reviews can deliver the same positive message across different review sites, consumers will be much more likely to believe your overall reputation.
  10. First Party reviews can do wonders for your SEO – By publishing your own unique customer reviews on your own website, you’re constantly adding content that is recent, relevant, and unique – three ingredients that have always delivered SEO magic. Amplify Reviews makes it easy to publish verified first-party reviews to make sure you’re getting the most marketing value out of your customer feedback.

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