If you have a website without customer reviews, you could be harming your business. Why? Let’s take a look at the following:
- Proof that Website Reviews Work
- How Do Website and Online Reviews Work?
- How to Get More Website Reviews for Your Business
Proof that Website Reviews Work
What’s the simplest way to find out if website and online reviews are effective? Ask consumers! That’s exactly what marketing platform Bright Local does each year; and in 2019 its online consumer survey found that:
- 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses with 52% of 18-54-year-olds saying they ‘always’ read reviews
- 47% of people would not even consider using a local business with less than 4 stars
- 93% of consumers aged 35-54 ‘always’ read online reviews when searching for local businesses*
How Do Website and Online Reviews Work?
When forced to choose between product attributes and ratings, young adults will opt for ratings according to a 2018 paper published in peer-reviewed journal Decision Support Systems. This illustrates that online consumers frequently rely on social proof to inform their decisions.
What is social proof? Wikipedia sums it up nicely as:
“a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behaviour in a given situation.”
Positive website reviews encourage potential customers to copy the actions of the satisfied reviewing customer. They can also help boost your search engine rankings by providing new and relevant content for Google.
How to Get More Website Reviews for Your Business
Respond to reviews posted on other websites/platforms
A study by the Harvard Business Review found that when a business responds to online reviews, it can see an increase in the number of reviews it receives, plus an improvement in overall ratings.
Incidentally, the same study also identified that responding to reviews could actually REDUCE the number of negative reviews that are posted. The study determined this was because consumers were wary of posting unsubstantiated or trivial complaints if they realised the business would likely respond to their review.
Ask satisfied customers to post reviews
Some business owners can feel a little uncomfortable asking customers to write a website review for their business. However, it’s actually a really common request, and you’ll most likely find that satisfied customers will be more than happy to help you out.
When you ask customers to provide a website review, don’t be shy about giving them a few pointers. Consumers tend to respond more strongly to a rating when it contains more information** so ask reviewers to write a couple of sentences or more. You can always trim it down if it gets too wordy.
Share the love
If people love your business, let the world know! Once you get your reviews in, share them as widely as you can on review sites and other platforms. Many customers will check out a review website first before looking at individual business websites.
Including reviews on your website, and encouraging reviews across online platforms, is a simple way to promote trust in your business.
Online reviews work in part because they encourage our natural tendency to copy the behaviour of other people when we lack direct experience to guide us.