It’s an accepted fact that online reviews are essential for businesses. Online reviews build credibility, help seal deals, and encourage clients to reach to you to start a one to one conversation. All of that adds up to a vital component of a business’s online reputation management efforts.
2020 is kicking this importance into high gear. In their most recent 2020 State of the Local Industry Report, Moz found that reviews are now the second most important factor in rankings in SEO rankings. We, in the digital marketing sphere, have watched this component of marketing continually increase in importance with seemingly no end to its rise.
But their importance doesn’t just stop at SEO. Today, your friendly marketers at Webtivity Marketing & Design will explore five reasons why online reviews are essential for your business in 2020 and moving forward.
Search Engine Rankings
The importance of online reviews to search engine rankings cannot be understated. Google is now, and has been for the past three years, the largest and fastest growing review platform. Garnering Google reviews should be your first priority out of any platform. Google uses these reviews to ascertain your rankings in its algorithms. Next to Google My Business elements, Google reviews, are now the second biggest factor Google takes into account for your rankings. In terms of the easiest and fastest search ranking factor to influence, Google reviews are it.
Local Traffic = Local Clients
In essence, there are two types of rankings in search engines. Overall rankings and local rankings. The latter is the biggest concern for small businesses that rely on online sales and lead generation as an essential component of their business. If overall rankings are influenced by online reviews, local rankings are doubly so. Behind being physically close to the searcher, reviews are the second most important reason a search engine shows a business before another. The other important factors being the consistency of citations and the quality of content on the business’ website.
Brand building should be a concern for every business owner who seeks to excel in their market. If your clients don’t know your brand or don’t trust it, your business will suffer in the short and long term. Reviews show that other users of your service or buyers of your product had a positive experience with it. Companies who ignore this importance often suffer from a lack of reviews, which can lead to once-off negative reviews having a significant impact on their business. Get ahead of any disgruntled customer, enact a review gathering strategy before you need positive reviews to help counteract any negative ones. Google’s review policy offers little leeway in removing reviews.
Reviews Close Deals
Always Be Closing or ABC can be translated to RCD for Reviews Close Deals when it comes to consumer decisions online. BrightLocal recently found that 82% of all consumers read online reviews for local businesses, that number jumps up to 93% for people aged between 35 and 54. In that last second, when a potential client finds your business and is close to deciding to make a purchase, reviews are your best closers. The high regard buyers hold in reviews cannot be understated. The importance increases as the demographics get lower as the younger generations lean on the opinions of their peers to make decisions in an increasingly choice-field market.
Communication is STILL Key
From year 1 to the year 10,000, one thing will always be true; we humans love to communicate with each other. Online reviews are essential for communicating with your clients online. They are a forum for honest interaction with your customers where you can reinforce positive perceptions and explain any negative issues you may encounter. The important factor to consider here is that this conversation exists with or without your input. The ability to get it to be written down in a format where you can respond to it represents a dynamic shift in not only reputation management but overall brand management as well.
This brings us to the end of our top 5 reasons why online reviews are essential for your business in 2020. If you are ready to proactively take control of your online brand call Tim at 941-753-7574 x107 or send him a message here.