April 24, 2024

Online Reviews and Small Business Success: How are They Linked?

The ability to run a small business effectively boils down to the ability to get attention from customers and build trust with them. Without trust, it will be challenging for you to be successful in the long-term. One of the best ways to manage your reputation is to have online reviews. Any owner of a business, whether it be small or big, wants it to be credible. Getting reviews online not only helps build your brand, but they also can encourage you to be proactive in your customer’s needs. It shows you are an active listener. Here’s an overview of why you need an effective way to manage manage online reviews.

Social Proof Will Drive Sales 

Do you think any company would be successful if all they did was boast about their product? Of course not. Prospective buyers naturally tend to trust the opinions of other consumers, even if they’re strangers. A useful review sparks interest when considering a product or service, and it can also be the “proof” they need to finish a purchase.

It’s All About Visibility

It’s a fact that nearly any person shopping online will use online giants like Google and Facebook to browse. Google puts value on new content, and a consistent pipeline of customer reviews will help you rank more favorably. In short, reviews can boost SEO and give you more of an authority that will help lead to more exposure to your business.

Reviews Impact Decisions More Than Ever

In 2020, the way that people find out about your small business is different than even a decade ago. For example, someone looking to have a great Italian meal with their family is much more likely to look at reviews on Google or Yelp instead of asking a family member or friend. This trend has been in place for a while now. In fact, in 2016, a Forbes study concluded that nearly 90 percent of customers consider an online review before calling or visiting your business. When someone walks through your door, they have very likely read your reviews online prior.

Online Reviews Aren’t Going Anywhere

You need a proactive method to manage online reviews for the foreseeable future. Today’s world is all about getting information quickly. It’s not realistic that you expect every online review to be a perfect, five-star review, but knowing how to handle a critique in a professional manner will only help further down the line. No matter what line of business you are in, mastering the art of managing your online reviews will be one of the most powerful tools in having a reputable business for years to come.