4 Reasons why Online Reviews can make a difference to your Sales and your Search Engine Rankings

More buying decisions today are based on online reviews, and your existing client’s words of praise about your products and services can have a major psychological influence on potential customers.  In fact, online shoppers say that reviews and ratings have a bigger influence on their decision to purchase than any other factor, so a negative comment on your Twitter or Facebook account can cost your company customers and sales.

Below are 4 reasons why you should encourage your customers to leave positive feedback and deal with negative comments promptly.

  • If someone is looking to make a new purchase or visit a restaurant or pub for the first time, it’s highly likely that they’ll search on Google, Amazon etc. or even check out what’s on Facebook or Twitter.  However, any search will normally produce multiple results and when faced with multiple results it is reviews that often influence the final buying decision.  If one product or place has a number of positive reviews and another has none, or the most recent are negative, then it’s highly likely that people will go with the one that has the positive reviews, even if it is positioned lower down page 1 of the search results.
  • Having a negative review is not ideal but it happens and is sometimes due to circumstances outside your control.  A prompt and appropriate response can be turned around to your advantage.  Responding in full online is not always appropriate, but if potential customers see that you have been prompt and reasonable in dealing with a complaint or issue, they more often than not will overlook the odd hiccup in your service or product.  In fact, the odd lower rating or even a negative one can help as shoppers tend to be suspicious where large volumes of reviews are all 100% positive at the highest level.
  •  Interesting reviews can go viral and get referred to or reposted via blogs or other social media platforms.  This improves your online reputation and can provide valuable marketing exposure
  • Search engines reward sites that have regular, useful, new content.  As your customers add their reviews, the search engines are seeing new content and so your ranking improves. This applies to both positive and negative reviews which is another reason why negative reviews need to be dealt with promptly.

Have customer reviews had a positive impact on your business or have you had to deal with a negative review?  Share your experiences by commenting in the comments box.