Choosing a company to do business with can be one of the weightiest decisions a consumer can make, especially when their burning questions aren’t exactly the kind you’d find the answers to on an FAQ page.
How is their customer service?
Were they able to deliver the products they promised?
Did their previous customers have a positive overall experience?
Luckily, every single one of these questions can be answered if your business is able to build a collection of 5 star online reviews. Your past and current clients could be some of your biggest advocates, which might be the nudge a potential customer needs to develop trust and confidence in your brand.
Let’s take a look at the importance of 5 star online reviews by the numbers:
Reviews Make Up 15% of Google’s Local Ranking Factors
When it comes to SEO, most businesses think in terms of keywords, backlinks and quality content. Let’s take this a step further with a question: why do these factors matter to Google? It’s because they demonstrate your website’s reputability. Generating traffic for both niche and competitive search terms and receiving backlinks from high authority sites shows Google that your business is a valid, relevant and trustworthy source.
Online reviews work the same way. You could talk up your business as much as you want on your website, but it won’t hold the same weight as when it comes from an outside source. Collecting positive online reviews from your customers provides Google with the vote of confidence needed to determine your business’s validity, relevance and trustworthiness.
It Takes an Average of 10 Reviews for a Consumer to Trust a Local Business
Let’s say you’re shopping for a new television and have narrowed your search down to two models. The first model has an average rating of 5 stars with 4 reviews, and the second model has an average rating of 4.4 stars with 78 reviews. Why might you feel more inclined to purchase the second model, even though it has a slightly lower rating? It’s likely because the larger number of reviews allows you to form a stronger opinion of that television based on the experiences of many customers, rather than only a few.
This same “strength in numbers” concept also applies to vetting businesses based on their online reviews. One positive review only reflects a singular person’s experience, which could be an outlier compared to other customer experiences. However, 10 or more positive reviews prove that your business must be doing something right.
57% of Consumers Only Work With Businesses With At Least 4 Stars
Let’s think about what star ratings unveil about a company’s average customer experience:
- 1 Star: Entirely negative experience
- 2 Stars: Mostly negative experience
- 3 Stars: Mixed experience
- 4 Stars: Mostly positive experience
- 5 Stars: Entirely positive experience
Broken down like this, it makes sense that more than half of consumers will only do business with companies who have provided their average clientele with mostly positive experiences. Be sure to drive home the importance of online reviews with your happiest clients to keep your business’s rating well above 4 stars at all times.
83% of Consumers Distrust Advertisements
You’re confident that your company is the best of the best in your industry, and you market yourselves as such. The problem is, your competitors feel the same way about their businesses. Think about it like the classic New York pizzeria quandary: If every shop advertises itself as having the best jumbo slice in Manhattan, how do you know which one is actually the best?
It’s commonplace for businesses to pay influencers to advertise their business or product on their platforms, but consumers have begun to shift away from influencer recommendations in favor of real customer testimonials. Consumers in 2020 trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from loved ones. Utilize this as a tool in your marketing artillery, and trim back on your paid advertising budget if you want to draw in motivated new customers.
70% of Consumers Leave a Review When Asked
By now you know how important getting positive online reviews can be, but did you know how easy getting positive online reviews can be? It seems obvious enough, but sometimes the only nudge customers need to leave a review is for your business to simply ask them to write one.
Whether in person or via email, make it a point to contact each and every one of your happy clients to ask them to share their experience working with your business. Your chances of getting a response are even higher if you make the process simple, such as including links to prepopulated review forms or giving them the option to share their testimonial on the review platform of their choice. A simple ask goes a long way – and statistics show the odds of getting a review are in your favor.
Online Reviews: Your Greatest Customer Acquisition Tool
The numbers don’t lie: 5-star online reviews are an undeniably invaluable element of your business’ reputation management. Now all that’s left to do is start collecting them from your happy customers. We’ve already outlined 5 strategies to entice customers to show your business some love through online reviews, but maybe you’re looking for a more personalized approach. In that case, you might want to consider working with an experienced digital marketing agency (like ours!) with a proven track record of generating high-quality positive reviews for their clients.
Chat with a member of our team to find out how our brand new Review Builder technology can save your business time and money by automating testimonials, which increases conversions, builds customer loyalty and strengthens your brand.