- PRODUCT CATEGORIES
- WEB EXCLUSIVES
Internet reviews aren't new, but the importance of online customer reviews continues to increase every year. With recent changes in Google page layout, the reviews a company receives are now front-and-center. This makes tons of good reviews critical to your Internet lead generation success. Many people will steer clear of a company with just 1 bad review!
Recent studies have shown that:
--70- to 79 percent of consumers use the internet to find local businesses;
--67- to 71 percent of local consumers have consulted online reviews of local businesses; and,
--67- to 69 percent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Consumers are using local reviews to determine who to call when they have a problem. The research is showing the trust factor for online reviews is increasing over years past. So what does this mean for you?
Companies like Angie's List have been pushing reviews by their members as a main pillar of value for members. Active plumbing companies on Angie's List can have hundreds of reviews. These are all very powerful testimonies. The down side to Angie's List is you have to be a member to view the review. The general public, who refuses to pay for a membership to find a local business, will never see these great reviews.
There is some evidence bad reviews can negatively influence the search ranking of a local company. Google wants to deliver good results for searchers-this would include delivering strong local companies with strong histories. A company with a bunch of negative reviews would be jousting at Google's mighty algorithms.
[NOTE: It's not unheard of for some "super shrewd" individuals to have their friends and family log on to various sites and provide their company with glowing, but completely bogus, reviews. This kind of amateurish deception won't help a business in the long run--customers will discover the truth about your service very quickly.-Ed.]
Good reviews are terrific. Bad reviews are very dangerous. You need to address a bad review immediately (Before it hardens on the internet). One or two bad reviews you let go unanswered can give consumers the impression you are not a good place to do business. You MUST respond and do so quickly.
mAny companies are oblivious to negative reviews when they happen. You can keep tabs on any published information about your company but setting up a "Google Alert." A "Google Alert" will be sent to your email each day if there is ANY news published about your company. This way you can keep tabs on what is being said on the WWW about your business.
Earn More Good Reviews
Our company has recently begun to utilize a new "widget" that we install on to client websites and customers can leave reviews there easily. These reviews are picked up by Google, posted to Facebook, Twitter and on the company website. This is a turnkey solution for increasing your Internet reviews. An added benefit is if the review is negative, it gives you time to address the issue with the customer (and to verify that they are a customer and not an over zealous competitor!) before it is published-perhaps turning the customer around if they have a complaint.