The importance of online review sites.
With the steep competition in the market for various products and services, online reviews go a long way in building your brand’s reputation. According to statistics, it is confirmed that majority of online buyers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Let’s take hair products for example. Assuming you were looking for the best hair product in the market that would increase your hair volume and then came across a particular product with the most best and highest rated reviews, chances are you will buy from that site. If you think about it, it does make sense as you don’t fully know about a product until you research it.
90 percent of customers will read on line reviews and or research before buying. This alone is more than enough illustration for the importance of online review sites.
There are dozens of reasons as to why online review sites exist. The following are just but a few of them.
1) To help customers make up their minds.
The market nowadays is flooded with so many products, that it could be a challenge for anyone looking forward to the shop to make up their mind on what brand to buy. If you are in a fix, online reviews have the potential to greatly influence your decision-making. They have the ability to sway any shopper’s decision.
2) To promote the positive side of your products or services.
The simple truth is that every product has a positive and a negative side. There is no doubt about that. With online reviews, you can always tailor the reputation of your business to your own favor. You can say all you want about the value of your products while strongly highlighting the positive part in such a way that it overshadows any negativity. This is a clever trick used by almost all successful businesses.
3) On- site ranking benefits.
This mainly works for customer reviews. For example, when you have multiple customer reviews on your products, it adds a bonus to your company’s organic search rankings in search engines. When you have several unique reviews written about a product, you will be seen to have higher authority, hence higher chances of getting your pages ranked.
4) Convey your personality.
Besides helping market your products, online reviews can also shed light on your brand’s personality. For example, how you respond to customer reviews, whether negative or positive says a lot about you as a person. Your customers should be responded to in a polite yet professional manner for them to keep coming back for more. This is the part which builds or breaks your business’ reputation.
5) To build trust.
Trust is key ingredient in every business. For you to prosper, it is in order to build a strong trust base between you and your customers. Personally, I would not dare buy anything from anyone I do not trust due to obvious reasons. Business owners can use online review sites as a platform to build trust between them and their customers. This is because reviews can either be good or bad. Many people may start wondering how bad reviews will market their products.
6) Enables customers view your business in all dimensions.
Online reviews not only give information about the products a business offers. It shades light about the organization as a whole, enabling the buyer view your products on a whole different level. Customers get a chance to learn about your historical performances as a business and the struggles you have undergone to stay relevant in the market. This makes your products look much more genuine.
7) Enables customers to appreciate your business.
Without your customers, your business would probably not be doing well. There are those loyal customers who have been with you right from the start and might want to highlight several aspects of your service that make you stand out from the rest. Online review sites give them a platform to do so. They mention things that you as an individual might not have noticed yourself.
8) For off- site Ranking benefits.
Anyone who has been in this field long enough must agree with me that the number of positive reviews one has on external websites might by far have a bigger impact on your rankings than those on your own site so far. This is because Google’s local search criteria incorporates data from multiple review sites, which tend to review the entire site than a specific product. This is responsible for a major positive impact on your business.
9) Making your products look genuine.
Having a lot of reviews for a particular product means that you will have a higher conversion rate. This is because reviews can either be good or bad. Many people may start wondering how bad reviews will market their products. Well, put yourself in the shoes of a buyer. Would you trust a product with only good reviews? Definitely not. When your product gets both negative and positive reviews from customers, it helps build up the trust of potential buyers.
10) You can monitor your online reputation.
Since online review sites reach many customers all at once, you can use this as a tool to measure your general reputation as a business and keep track of what your customers say about you at the same time. This gives you a general overview of how your product is doing in the market and sheds light on various faults that need to be corrected. This way, it is easier to correct your services according to the customers’ needs.
It is important to note that the feedback from online review sites can be overwhelming sometimes. You may end up handling it wrong, hence driving away some of your customers. Here are some guidelines on how to deal with it.
- Correct inaccuracies. – Take time and deal with any misinterpretations about your product in a positive manner. Do not be harsh to your customers. Instead, make them understand by explaining to them the subject in question.
- Admit your mistakes. – If you are on the wrong side, be real and accept corrections. Assure them that you will adequately look into the issue.