Online reviews and your responses can bring more business
Search Engine People recently reported on how the number of online reviews of your business directly impacts your rankings in Google.
The more review sites that feature your company, the more back links your website attracts. Spending time responding to reviews and communicating with customers increases engagement and brand mentions, resulting in a positive impact on your search engine rankings.
Studies show that 92% of consumers now read online reviews and that 68% of these cite positive reviews as a significant trust factor.
Your response to online reviews increases your conversions
Search Engine Land recently reported on an experiment on review responses in terms of their impact on “conversions”. Conversions are customer actions on your website: form fills, email inquiries, requests for quotes, etc.
Businesses with an average rating of close to five stars get 25% more conversions than businesses averaging three stars. That’s not very surprising. But businesses that respond most often converted 33% more visitors than those that don’t. That’s huge.
Even more, review responses from you might encourage your reviewers to raise their rating, further increasing both your rankings and your conversions.
Search Engine Land’s conclusion:
It’s clear that reviews are incredibly important for multiple reasons. The impact local rankings. But, more importantly, they can significantly affect consumer buying behavior, as this and other studies demonstrate.
Quick replies to online reviews increases your sales.
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Consumers come to expect responses to their reviews
Moz recently reported on a Google announcement a couple of weeks ago that consumer expectations of review responses is about to increase dramatically:
Google announced it would be emailing notifications like this to consumers when a business responds to their reviews, prompting them to view the reply.
Surveys indicate that well over 50% of consumers already expect responses within days of reviewing a business. With Google’s rollout, we can assume that this number is about to rise.
Google’s announcement ups the game for all review platforms, because it will make owner responses to consumer sentiment an expected, rather than extra, effort.
Manage any negative reviews properly. When you answer a bad review immediately with a positive tone, you’ll demonstrate that you’re dedicated to customer service. That can cause readers to leave a bad review with a positive impression of you.
Prompt responses are important
RevLocal found that 52% of consumers expected responses within 7 days. Owners of small businesses don’t have the time to monitor all of the websites that could host a new review of them that often. Without help, odds are you won’t know about a new review for weeks or months, if ever.
How do you know when someone writes a review of you online?
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Fortunately, we can offer some help.
As a Certified Partner with Yext, we can offer and support a subscription to PowerListings. At first glance, PowerListings looks like a great way to get dozens of citations of your business across the web with a consistent name, address, and phone number. And it is. That’s crucial for good rankings in local search. But a feature of PowerListings that is often overlooked is the fact that it notifies you of new reviews immediately.
Moz suggests service oriented businesses get great value for reviews at (among other sites) Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo Local Listings, Facebook, and Twitter. PowerListings will alert you immediately any time someone reviews you on any of those sites, plus any of the more than five dozen local search engines, directories, maps & apps it supports.
If you really want to kick it into high gear, PowerListings allows you to request reviews from customers that will appear on your own website. When you do that, those pages will be accompanied by review stars in Google search engine results.