Online Reviews & Small Businesses

Online Reviews & Small Businesses

We’ve all heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as negative press.” Any time you’re in the public eye is an opportunity for you to get their attention and – hopefully – their business. But, what does that saying mean in the Age of the Internet? In 2018, what kind of impact do online reviews have on businesses, particularly small businesses?

Most consumers research products online every week. Make sure the information you’re posting online is up-to-date and positive. Encourage your customers to review your products when they’re happy, and offer swift and easy customer service when there are any issues with the product.

Consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Think of an online review as a testimonial. These people have experienced the product, and so potential consumers trust them.

Most people only look at the first page of Google results. When is the last time you went past the first page of Google? Make sure you’re staying on to of your SEO (search engine optimization), so that when your customers search for your product you’re the first to appear.

People trust what other consumers post online. Other consumers felt passionately enough about your product that they wanted to say something for others to see.

Almost 700 FTC complaints have been filed against Yelp. Yelp can be both either a good or bad thing for businesses. It’s great for customers, but can be burdensome for businesses. This can be a host of reasons, from fake reviews to online reviewers.

People won’t be interested in what you’re offering if negative reviews are posted prominently on your site. If all people see are one- and two-star ratings, they won’t be interested in your business. Make sure you’re keeping high ratings at the highest importance on your site.

Consumers trust reviews more if they see both the good and the bad. While you want consumers to see all the good about your product, you also want them to know that you’re not afraid of the occasional customer that just doesn’t like what you have to offer. Make sure you’re answering all positive and negative reviews, and that they’re posted on your site for customers to see.

Consumers will tell more people about a bad experience than they will a good one. Make sure you’re encouraging your customer to write positive reviews. This is the best way to combat our natural tendency to want to share negative information over positive.

Always encourage your customers to share positive experiences; answer your customers’ reviews (good and bad); and be sure to show a balance of positive and negative reviews on your site. Think of them like testimonials that your customers view as straight-from-the-source, and which you are also open to sharing.