Advocately Blog

Why do I want online reviews?

Why do I want online reviews?

Reviews are great; everyone wants online reviews, right? Of course, we all know this in our gut; a good customer review is the best social proof and the most positive outcome from any customer relationship - you did such a good job they were willing to write about it online. But why are customer reviews important? How valuable is an online review?

From our data, we have found that:

  • asking for online reviews results in generating up to 10x as many reviews as you would receive unprompted
  • sending followup messages for review requests delivers 4x as many customer reviews as a single request for review
  • businesses that ask for online reviews have an average rating 4.3 stars (out of 5 stars)
  • businesses that only receive unprompted reviews have an average rating of 3.9 (out of 5 stars)

This increase in average rating from 3.9 to 4.3 (out of 5 stars) indicates that those additional reviews have, on average, a higher rating than if the reviews were received unprompted.

A business that asks for customer reviews will emphasize all of the things that happen when you get unprompted reviews:

  • Online reviews can boost SEO.
  • Online reviews can establish credibility.
  • Online reviews can improve product quality.
  • Online reviews can assist your marketing efforts.
  • Online reviews can increase sales.

Online reviews can boost SEO.

A study by Local SEO guide shows that online reviews help boost your business in Google Search results; outside of the number of reviews and the average review rating, having many reviews talking about your business increases the number of keywords your business can be ranked in.

Online reviews also specialise in the things that search engines love; lots of regular, relevant content about your business, uniquely worded, from many different sources. Responding to these reviews also gives you a chance to thank the reviewer for their feedback and allows you to drop in some specific keywords that your potential customers search for when looking for businesses like yours.

84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they believe their friends

Online reviews can establish credibility.

The results of this BrightLocal survey show that most consumers require a minimum number of reviews that a business must have before they consider any reviews to be legitimate.

  • 5% of respondents want a business to have at least 200 reviews before they can trust the reviews and rating
  • The average consumer needs around 34 reviews about a business before they believe the accuracy of its star rating
  • 48% of consumers only need up to 10 reviews before they trust the star rating
  • Just 4% of people can believe a star rating with only one review posted

Furthermore, this study also shows that 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they believe their friends, but that as reviews age, they lose value and credibility: * 77% of consumers think that reviews that are older than three months are no longer valid * 18% of consumers only care about recent reviews are less than two weeks old * Only 4% of consumers trust reviews submitted more than one year ago

As a business, it is in your best interest to be getting regular, good reviews; you will be able to continually attract new customers who already have a good impression of your business.

Online reviews can improve product quality.

A review is a written representation of a person's experience with your business/product/service; if they have a negative experience, you can reach out, get more information and fix the problem. Any issue that's big enough to warrant writing a bad review is likely bad enough that it's affecting the experience of your other customers; you should be grateful that it had been brought to your attention so that you can solve the problem before it affects too many customers. Through apologizing to the customer and fixing the issue, you may even save that customer relationship and get that negative review updated to a more positive one.

From the other direction, positive reviews can highlight features that your customers love; this informs your team about which aspects of your products or services that you should be willing to spend time/money on improving and marketing.

Online reviews can assist your marketing efforts.

Online reviews (and your responses to those customer reviews) are excellent content for your marketing efforts. Every online review is another chance for your brand name to be out there and searchable and every review you respond to gives you an opportunity to make your brand look great while also using keywords you are trying to rank for to increase your chances of appearing in search results.

Listing your company on customer review sites gives you entirely new channels of potential customers who have a significantly higher intent than standard website visitors. A review site is like the Yellow Pages; you don't open the yellow pages and look up plumbers to mosey about, you look up plumbers because you have a leak and need someone to fix your broken pipes. A review site will send you web traffic with intent, they have indicated that they have a problem, have looking for a solution and are coming to you for more information.

Online reviews can increase sales.

All of the above lead into the fact that reviews increase sales. Better SEO means more consumers can find you on Google. More credibility means more consumers trust you. Better product quality means more customers will repeat business. Improved marketing efforts will give your online presence a wider reach. Online reviews are directly relatable to new sales.

If you want to learn how to ask for customer reviews click here.

Otherwise, if you're ready to get started today and automate this process, sign up for a 14-day trial. We guarantee that we can increase your review velocity by 400% before the trial is complete.