8 Key Impacts Online Reviews Have on Small Businesses

1. Let Customers Spread the Word

Keeping your customers happy is first and foremost as small business owners and allowing them to easily access and leave you feedback or reviews online should be a very close second priority. Allowing your customers to quickly leave reviews helps in sustaining and growing your business through free marketing and virtual word-of-mouth referrals.

2. Positive Impact for Local SEO

Consumer reviews provide a constant flow of new content for Google to index about your small business, which, in turn has a positive impact on our local SEO efforts. With online shoppers for both products and services turning to Google for information about your business, online reviews will help make your business stand out in the search results with star ratings displaying and the more reviews, the better rankings.

3. Out of Sight – Out of Mind

According to Yodle.com, majority of small business owners are not paying attention to their online reviews. Only 13% of small business owners, of 300 surveyed, are actively engaging their customers to post reviews online. Word of mouth is great, but 90% of people surveyed by Yodle.com trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and are influenced by those reviews.

4. Do You Even Care

According to BrightLocal, less than 50% of the small businesses respond to negative online reviews and 68% don’t spend any time monitoring their online reputation. The impact on your business for this situation is you show potential customers that you do not actively manage your online reputation, or worse, you don’t care to respond or show any empathy to rectify the situation.

5. Online Reviews More Convenient Than Location

In a recent HubSpot survey, 52% of people are more likely to use local businesses with positive reviews vs 28% who make their decision based on location and convenience. This means individuals may seek another option for what you offer impacting your small business due to a negative review or lack of reviews, even though you may be the most convenient option for your customers.

6. Negative Reviews Destroy Businesses

Warren Buffet once said, “It take 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” Negative reviews online for your business have a significant impact on your business as 64% of online searchers read online reviews first before making a decision. With negative reviews lingering in the pages or 1, 2, 3 star ratings are clearly present on Google search result pages, your business may be missing customers even visiting your site or picking up the phone. They will just move on to your competitor.

7. Personal Experience Outshines Service Descriptions

When consumers are searching for products or services, majority of them trust online reviews regarding your business 12x more than reading the description of your product or service. This means the impact on your small business is that you may have the best website copywriter on staff that created dynamic and engaging content describing what you do, but, if your online reviews are poor or just mediocre, most consumers will trust what others have experienced, than trust what you say about your service.

8. 1 Yelp Star Increase = 5-9% Revenue Increase

Harvard Business study, reviews reputation and revenue. A 1 star increase in Yelp rating leads to 5-9% increase in revenue and this is for independently owned restaurants, not franchises. Chain restaurants have declined in market share as Yelp penetration increases.

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