Reviews have always been important, even before the age of the World Wide Web, when direct marketing and word of mouth was vital when it came to generating leads and business. If a friend or trusted colleague told you how great a company was, whenever you needed their services you would most likely go to them and vice versa, if they told you a certain company wasn't very good you would steer clear and look for another company that offered the same services.
Since the World Wide Web was introduced, word of mouth and direct marketing have still continued to generate leads for businesses, but it has supplied another channel for prospects to research, check out and verify businesses, whilst giving reviews a whole host of other benefits and sub-purposes that businesses can use to their advantage when it comes to their marketing strategies and efforts.
Build a Reputation and Give Your Business Authenticity
The first and most obvious point when it comes to positive reviews (not negative, they will have a reverse effect) is that they will help to build you a strong reputation, whilst reinforcing your claims that you are one of the best. If you claim to have the best customer service in the area and then you have loads of reviews about how great your customer service is then it becomes verified and people will start to trust you. If it's just you saying it, you may not be believed as you have to say positive things about your business. Nowadays it is important to encourage satisfied customers to review you online as anyone can go onto Google, Facebook, Yell etc. and read what people are saying about you and your business and ultimately, this will help them to decide whether to come to your business or to go to a competitor. Start encouraging satisfied customers to review you online now.
Improve Your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Customer Reviews can actually help to improve your SEO and see your business rise up search engines rankings. This will help you to get more organic traffic to your website and therefore allow your business to be seen by more people than ever before. The more reviews your website has, the better. Having 10 or more reviews can make people trust your site. Other factors that come into play with reviews in terms of SEO are how long the reviews have been posted, are they all recent, or are they spread out over time. How many reviews you have on different directories, the more the better and are your reviews related to the keywords within your website. If they are related to the keywords within your site it makes them easier to be found by people who are looking for them. Essentially the more reviews you have that are related to your services and content, the more visible you will become on search engines resulting in more people finding your business organically than ever before.
Blast Your Competitors out of the Water
If you have lots of positive reviews and your competitors have none, or a mixture of positive and negative reviews then you will be the obvious choice for prospects. Reviews can essentially eliminate competitors before they have even spoken to a prospect as people want a company they know they can trust and that others have used before and had a good experience with. If a competitor has no reviews there is no way for a person to get verification for that company unless a friend or colleague has dealt with them directly, and if they have a mixture of both positive and negative reviews it will make that person feel uneasy. They don't want to end up as one of the unlucky ones who received a poor product or service and therefore if they see your business with an array of positive reviews and hopefully no, or little negative reviews then they are likely to discard that business altogether and come straight to you. This will give you a huge competitive advantage over businesses in the same industry/profession as you.
Online Reviews are now a key element in the minds of prospects looking to do business. It is vital that you are pushing satisfied customers to leave reviews for your company in order to give you and your business a competitive advantage, boost your SEO rankings and improve your reputation. Reviews can even be used as content for social media channels. Ultimately, this will result in increased lead generation and sales for your business, so make sure you are focusing on it today.
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