No matter what industry your brand belongs to, it’s incredibly likely that your potential consumers are first scouring the web for reviews before buying into your product. In fact, it’s rare for modern buyers to make blind purchase decisions without first finding written or video reviews of the product. Whatever industry you operate in, having a shining online presence gives you several impactful advantages.
If you’re a small brand looking to carve out a positive online footprint, but are unsure of the importance of online reviews, we’re here to give you a quick education. Check out our top 5 reasons why online reviews should be a top priority in growing your brand.
Generally speaking, being a successful brand means you’re a visible brand. Shoppers looking for specific products or goods typically depend on Google to provide them with trusted brands to satisfy their queries. Brands with the highest relevance, best reviews, and most star-studded trustworthiness levels typically occupy the first page of the Google search results, and because of this, those brands have considerably high visibility.
And, of course, with more people talking and buzzing about your brand comes increased visibility. Influencer marketing has become one of the most popular avenues for small brands looking to make a name for themselves, fast. Social media stars with impressive engagement numbers can advertise your brands to their thousands or millions of followers via photo and video reviews, effectively boosting your visibility and audience reach.
Reviews have a way of quickly spreading—whether they’re good or bad. Though the age-old phrase that there is no such thing as bad press may not hold up as well in the business industry, it is true that online reviews create conversation nevertheless. Not only will consumers be able to voice their reflections on your product, but you’ll also be able to take that feedback and grow from it.
It is important to remember that the likelihood of having to deal with negative feedback will arise, so it may be worthwhile to invest in online reputation management services to keep everything looking squeaky clean.
Ultimately, when people have good things to say about a product or service, they are also more likely to share their thoughts on external websites like Yelp, FourSquare, and TripAdvisor—all of which simply work to extend your brand’s reach and bolster trustworthiness.
Think about it—when you’re on the hunt for anything new, from a car to a computer, what is it that lets you know that the product you’re buying is as good as it’s advertised to be? You trust other people who have tested the product to fill you in on the details you need to know before finalizing your purchase.
In essence, if there is a general online consensus that the product or service is high-quality, potential consumers are bound to listen and buy-in. Studies have found that consumer reviews are incredibly powerful in building a brand’s online identity—only solidifying the importance of positive reviews on a larger-scale.
Though Google denies that their algorithm takes reviews into account, some SEO experts strongly believe that online reviews represent around 9.8% of all ranking factors. Small and mid-sized businesses, in particular, benefit the most from online reviews.
Positive online reviews function as excellent indicators to search engines that your brand and your product are worth promoting to curious consumers. Online reviews play a vital part in generating a steady pipeline of positive content that Google and other search engines understand as valuable and relevant.
Studies have found that buyers are more likely to make a purchase if others—from friends and family members to total strangers—agree that it is a worthwhile purchase. Online reviews are today’s number one source of social proof and have a direct impact on product sales. A study completed by the Harvard Business School found that a one-star improvement on Yelp lead to a 5%-9% increase in sales. Customers reviews directly influence your company’s bottom line.
At the end of the day, consumers want to know exactly what their money is going to. Online reviews serve as their easiest and most accessible resource for understanding a brand and buying into a brand.