Online reputation marketing agencies like BrightLocal conducted an annual survey on local consumer reviews. The latest results in 2023 show that the influence and importance of online reviews continue to increase. Here are some key findings from the survey:
- 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, with 95% of people aged 18-34 being the most likely to do so.
- On average, consumers require 40 online reviews before they trust a business’s star rating.
- 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has a rating of 4 stars or higher.
- Negative reviews deter 40% of consumers from using a business.
These numbers demonstrate the significance of online reviews. But can they impact your business to the extent that it affects your profits?
Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario. You own a dog grooming business called Barkin’ Fresh with two locations. However, the second location is not performing as well as the first, and you’re unsure why. Despite using online paid advertising to attract customers, your online reputation could be the reason for the decline.
Take a look at your online reputation for the second location. Although you have set up a Google My Business page, you only have a couple of reviews. Unfortunately, one of these reviews is a 3-star rating because a customer found the parking situation challenging.
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At first, you may think that parking can’t be the only reason for the decline. However, when considering the above survey numbers, that one negative review could be deterring 40% of potential customers searching for a dog groomer.
Clearly, a decrease in business can substantially impact your bottom line.
To address this issue, here are six tips for effectively utilizing online reputation marketing to increase your revenue:
- Respond to all reviews, not just the negative ones. Remember, 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews. Responding shows that you are engaged with your online community and allows you to craft empathetic responses to poor reviews while maintaining a positive and helpful tone.
- Internally address any factors causing poor reviews. Identifying and resolving the root causes of negative feedback is essential for improving your reputation.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews. The survey revealed that consumers rely on a substantial number of reviews to trust a business’s rating. Aim to consistently receive new reviews, as recent feedback carries more weight.
- Leverage social media. Consider social media as a powerful marketing channel to interact with potential customers, showcase your business’s strengths, and promote your products or services. Use social platforms like Facebook, Yelp, and Google to gather reviews.
- Utilize positive reviews as marketing material. Highlight positive reviews in your email marketing, website, marketing materials, and website widgets to showcase your business’s reputation.
- Cultivate relationships with customers. Repeat customers often become advocates for your brand. Encourage repeat visits, provide exceptional customer service, and consider implementing a referral program to leverage word-of-mouth marketing.
In conclusion, poor reviews can harm your bottom line, while positive reviews have the potential to elevate your business. Follow the above tips to leverage online reputation marketing and enjoy the benefits of a stellar reputation.