Why Online Reviews Are Important to Small Business Owners

It used to be the case that most small businesses relied on word-of-mouth reviews and referrals to attract new customers. Today, all that has changed and online reviews are king. Wondering, why do I need business reviews? Read on to find out why they’re so important in today’s market.

The Vast Majority of Consumers Check Reviews

Around 90% of today’s consumers check third-party review sites like Google+, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and others to see what to expect before deciding where to shop, eat, or look for services. Around 88% of those consumers report trusting the information they find in those reviews just as much as they do word-of-mouth recommendations. If there’s nothing for them to find, consumers will take their business elsewhere.

Highly-Rated Businesses Perform Better on Google

Google’s algorithms are designed to place higher-ranked businesses earlier in the search engine results than lower-ranked ones. That means a lack of reviews won’t just drive away potential customers or clients, but will also make it harder for those who might still patronize the business to find its website. Since most internet browsers don’t scroll past the first page of results, a lack of reviews can make a huge difference in competitive markets.

Opportunity to Improve Customer Service

Even if a store or business is providing high-quality goods or services, it will likely receive the occasional negative review. Poor reviews can actually be quite valuable, though, as they offer business owners a chance to see what they could be doing differently and to interact with dissatisfied customers to show them that they care. Responding promptly to negative reviews and working to resolve the reviewer’s issue can also create a sense of trust in other browsers by showing that the business cares about its existing customers.

More Business Means More Money

The result of encouraging satisfied customers or clients to leave positive reviews will be more revenue. When others see those reviews, they’ll be much more likely to buy products or hire contractors. Eventually, that money will wind up in employee’s and business owners’ pockets.

The Bottom Line

Small business owners who are just getting off the ground should make it easy for satisfied customers to leave online reviews. It’s one of the best ways to drive traffic to a website and create a loyal customer base.