Today we share our top 5 benefits of online reviews for your business. If we could sum up why you need online reviews, it would be this: Customers are talking about you online and your prospective customers are listening.

Benefit #1: Positive reviews build trust and confidence in your company.

We’ve talked about this in other blog posts, but it just might be the most important of the benefits of online reviews. Most of us have heard the joke that if it’s on the internet, it must be true, but there’s something to be said about that. When prospective buyers research your product or your service online, they’re looking for what other people have said about it. This includes not only the quality of the product or service, but how they feel they were treated as well.

The more consumers who make similar statements about you, the more others believe those statements are true. If your online reviews are raving about your company, buyers feel like they can trust you with their money.

Some stats to back this up:

  • 92% of buyers are more likely to trust online reviews over paid advertising.
  • 70% of buyers will trust a recommendation from a stranger.
  • 57% of customers visit a company’s website after reading positive online reviews.
  • Buyers will spend 31% more on companies that have 5-star reviews.
  • 57% of consumers will only buy from companies with 4-star and 5-star ratings.

Benefit #2: Online reviews help you rank in organic search engine results.

You want to appear on the first page of results when people are looking for your product or service. Ideally, you want to appear in the local 3-pack.

Online reviews can improve your search engine ranking in organic search results. According to a 2018 Moz Local Search Ranking Factors study, Google ranked customer feedback – online reviews – as the 5th most important traffic ranking factor at 15.44% . That percentage is up from 13.13% in 2017, and 10.8% in 2015, which overall is a difference of 42.96%.

Benefit #3: Online reviews increase your click-through rates.

This benefit goes hand-in-hand with online reviews helping you rank in organic search engine results. After you show up in a buyer’s search, you have to make an impression on the prospective customer. The higher the rating, the higher the click-through-rate, or CTR.

Some stats:

  • Going from a 3-star to a 5-star rating can earn a business 25% more clicks.  
  • A 5-star rating earns a business nearly 40% more clicks from Google Local Pack than a business with a 1-star rating.
  • 58% of buyers say that star rating is the most important factor when reading online reviews and choosing a local business,
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Benefit #4: Online reviews help you improve your business.

You might not think a mention of negative reviews belongs in an article about benefits of online reviews, but it does.

Not everyone is going to be happy with your product or service, and there are some who are going to air their displeasure online. This is an opportunity, not something to be squelched. It’s likely that if there’s one unhappy customer, there are more who are just quietly moving along and trying out your competitor instead.

Read the negative reviews and take note. Respond to those customers who have taken the time to give you a heads up, and see what you can do to save the relationship.

You may also find people sharing their “I wish…” lists. This is free market research for your company. Use it.

Benefit #5: Online reviews build relationships with current customers.

The last in our list of benefits of online reviews is that they strengthen relationships with people who already buy from you. When you respond to a customer’s online review, you are saying, “We hear you. We recognize you and we are interested in what our loyal customers have to say.” Responding to online reviews gives you a chance to engage with your customers. Let your buyers know you appreciate their business and their feedback.