Online reviews matter more than you think

May 1, 2020

This paid piece is sponsored by Click Rain.

Today, more than ever, consumers are doing their shopping online — whether it be for groceries, clothing or even big-ticket items. While consumers can’t walk the floors of a retail store or physically pick up a product to consider it, they can rely on other people’s opinions in the form of online reviews.

According to ​one study​, nearly 95 percent of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. In this article, we’ll help you understand how and why online reviews matter and share realistic tips for managing it all.

Online reviews and local SEO

Because the majority of online shoppers pay close attention to reviews before making a purchase, local search engines pay close attention too. They know that if their platform displays the most accurate and helpful information possible, consumers will view them as a trusted resource. According to ​Google​, high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’ visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.

Why managing online reviews is critical

Search engines are paying close attention to review signals such as review quality, velocity, diversity and more. Of course, consumers are paying attention too. Because reviews represent conversations and opinions customers have about your business, it’s important to understand the control a business has over managing reviews. The ​Digital State of the Midwest​ found that 75 percent of people want to leave a review after a good experience. So it’s your job to make it easy for them to do so.

Steps you can take to maximize reviews

Here are three practical steps you can take to use reviews to your advantage:

  1. Ensure your listing information is accurate.

Start by ensuring all basic business information — name, address and phone number, or NAP — is accurate on platforms such as Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp. Keeping hours and specific location information current is especially important when unpredictable events or holidays occur and normal hours are affected. If this information is not accurate, you may run the risk of frustrated consumers leaving negative reviews.

  1. Reply to reviews — especially the bad ones.

Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, is more important than ever. If you choose to respond to a positive review, make sure you’re only genuinely thanking them and not promoting discounts or other services. Respond to negative reviews by acknowledging concerns or offering a solution to a problem. This approach can help establish credibility and shows the reviewer that you value the feedback.

  1. Empower your employees to help get reviews.

Your front-line employees are the face of your company and are the ones having the most day-to-day interactions with customers. Be sure to include them in your online reputation management strategy. Empower them to help encourage reviews by giving them proper training and sharing how the positive impact of a full-team review strategy can benefit the company as a whole.

Overall, know that customer reviews can be critical in your digital presence, but managing them doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Consider using a platform such as Stratus Local by Click Rain to simplify your efforts. For information and a free, 30-day trial, visit ​​.


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Online reviews matter more than you think

As more people shop online, research shows up to 95 percent of them are looking at reviews. Make sure yours are working for you.

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