Online Reviews Are Growing In Importance For 2017

Lana Phillips

Lana Phillips

Director of SEO

So If You Don't Pay Attention to
Your Reviews, You Really Should

With more than 88% of online shoppers incorporating reviews into their purchase decisions, business reviews are growing in importance. And businesses who are afraid of managing their reviews are missing out and hurting their business through inaction. Not only do business reviews provide valuable feedback for businesses, the business reviews and the responses to them help shape a company’s online reputation.

In BrightLocal’s local consumer survey report, they found:

  • 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation
  • 74% of people say they trust a business more that has positive reviews
  • 58% of people consider the star rating of a business very important

What Review Sites Should I Be On?

So what are the review sites you should be on? Vendasta sorted the top review sites by monthly traffic averages.

  1. Google My Business
  2. Facebook
  3. Yelp
  4. TripAdvisor (food, restaurant, travel business)
  5. Yellowpages
  6. BBB
  7. Manta
  8. Angie’s List (service related business)
  9. Foursquare

Google My Business is King

It may be no surprise that Google tops the cake, so it should be without question the first one to focus on if you’re starting with 0 reviews. Growing your review pool for Google will increase your chances of being included in the Local Packs and therefore increasing your organic traffic – a win for SEO.

google my business reviews
In order for users to improve their rankings, Google has revealed how they determine local rankings. The three major local ranking factors are relevance, distance, and prominence:

  1. Relevance: Relevance refers to how closely the businesses match with what the searcher is looking for.
  2. Distance: Businesses will only show up in the results if it is close enough to the searcher. If a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google will show results based on what’s known about their location.
  3. Prominence: Prominence refers to how well-known a business is, which can be based on information from across the web. Google’s review count and score are factored into local search ranking, thus having more reviews and positive ratings will improve a business’s local ranking.

Managing Your Reviews

Requesting feedback and responding to every review can help businesses protect their brand reputation. Here’s how to get you started with managing your reviews.

  1. Remember to add or claim listings on the top business review sites [Bright Oak has your back here]. Users will not be able to leave reviews if your page is not active in the first place.
  2. Businesses should be proactive with requesting reviews. Request online reviews soon after the transaction for products. For services, ask once the deliverables have been met by your client.
  3. Respond to all negative reviews. Responding politely with the right offer or solution can turn an angry customer into a happy one. Learn more about how to respond.

That being said, there’s no fleeing from business reviews. The good news is that there are methods to gather more business reviews while effectively managing reviews from customers. Here at Bright Oak, we can help set up your profiles across these high traffic sites, and provide any help along the way. If you need help gathering reviews, ask about our Clout Care platform.

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