6 Steps to Increase Your Visibility with Online Reviews in 2018.
According to Hick’s Law — known as “the paradox of choice” — giving someone more options increases the time it takes for them to formulate a decision. As business owners, we must be able to understand and empathize with the struggle a customer goes through in trying to determine and actively address whether or not they want to give us their business.
Successfully marketing your business or brand has always meant that you have to separate yourself from the competition. After all, a client’s attention is the first thing you want to grab in your journey with them. But in a world so densely saturated with choice, drawing in customers has become an uphill battle.
But in a world where options are seemingly infinite, what tactics can you use to steer their decision toward your business?
1. Reviews are Visibility
Every single business owner has two concrete goals: have customers and make money. So when some business pride themselves in being “the best-kept secret in town”, know that they probably don’t understand what it truly means to gain reward from their business. So in most cases, being obscure is a great way to become obsolete.
The first step in getting bodies into your store (or just eyes on your site) is to make sure that you have a positive online presence with many good reviews. This makes it far more likely for your business to acquire more traffic to all your sales platforms.
From there, you enter a self-feeding cycle. The question here, of course, is how to get that cycle started.
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2. Reviews Create Trust
At some point we as business owners must face reality: customers don’t trust businesses. No matter how much you advertise your business to be absolutely wonderful, your energy and advertising budget will be wasted without real customer reviews to back up your claim. By that standard, you can almost say that customer reviews are a sort of digital marketing in themselves.
And for some reason, despite relying on the words of strangers, we seem to have collectively agreed that online reviews are IT. A recent study has shown that 85 percent of consumers say they value some online reviews as highly as personal recommendations from friends and family. Better yet, other studies show that customer confidence in these online reviews is annually increasing. Save yourself the peril and pay attention to the reviews about your business.
3. Reviews Are Key to Customer Retention
Although bad reviews take a toll on your confidence as a business owner, understand that there isn’t much you can do but control how you respond to them. The simple act of addressing a negative review increases the chance that customer will patronize your business again by 16 percent…but a lack of response decreases that number by 37 percent.
No response is still a response. Your silence indicates that you don’t care enough about a customer’s negative experience to even acknowledge it. This only serves to make a bad situation worse. You must look at every single review as an opportunity to learn more about your customers and how to effectively communicate with them.
In addition, you must realize that responding to any customer, whether they’ve said something positive or negative, is not only about addressing that customer alone. Your entire audience is watching the way you choose to interact with your customers and their online reviews. Your choice in the way you engage with this customer has a far greater economic impact than you may realize at first.
4. It’s important to create Constant Review Generation
To amass a pile of good reviews one time is not nearly enough. Your stream of reviews must be steady and continuous. Today, 77% of customers say that reviews more than 90 days old are basically irrelevant, so it makes sense to shift your focus to generating new reviews all the time.
Google’s algorithm openly rewards businesses that have, what they call, “high review velocity.” In other words, businesses who have more reviews that are reviewed more frequently generate a more prominent rank in search results. The problem here is, that generating reviews isn’t as simple as one might assume.
An average of just one in ten customers will leave a review unprompted. What then, is to be said of the other nine? They either don’t have time or don’t care enough to spend time writing long reviews about your product or service. But if you reach out and ask them for their feedback, you’ll be surprised to find that a staggering amount of customers will at least consider leaving it. All you have to do is ask.
The way most marketers incentivize their customers to get them to write a review comes in the form of discounts or cold hard cash. That doesn’t seem to do the trick, as most studies show that, in fact, the opposite is true.
Customers seem to resent the thought of being “bought out” by companies, just as much as their trust their peers over a business’s marketing campagne.
To gain their honest feedback, you’re going to have to think outside (or inside) the box…
5. Get Local and Personal
The fastest and most effective way to boost your customer reviews is to reach out to consumers locally. After all, 76 percent of all online searches for local businesses result in foot traffic within 24 hours. Now, how do you make your company the number one spot to go to for your specific product? Well, you start by making sure they’re able to go online and easily access a plethora of positive, detailed reviews about why they should choose you.
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6. Do not leave review generation and management up to fate.
That is a hard NO. By neglecting this aspect of your brand presence, you’re leaving money on the table every single day. It is just as ineffective to provide canned responses to customer reviews. While automation can help in some instances, it robs the business-customer interaction of the nuanced tone that comes from engaging with a real person.
A great way to create brand ambassadors and loyalists is through online reviews, but remember to really dig deep and engage with those who put those reviews online.No Fields Found.