Business owners have a complicated relationship with the whole online review thing. Some feel that the platforms offering a place for consumers to leave these reviews are nothing more than a form of extortion. It can certainly feel this way when you’re told that in order to remove or respond to a negative review, you need to “claim” your business listing, which sometimes comes with a cost. Some platforms do indeed walk a fine line in this context. We’ll give you that. But that doesn’t change the fact that online review management is essential to executing an effective online marketing strategy in today’s consumer-savvy marketplace. Let’s take a look at why these reviews are so important.

4 Reasons Why Receiving Positive Online Reviews is Essential to Your Business’ Success on the Web

1. It Validates Your Business to Online Customer/Client Prospects

Today’s consumer feels more empowered that ever before, thanks to the likes of Google Reviews, Facebook Ratings, Yelp, and a slew of both generic and industry-specific business review platforms. Heck, even your human resource strengths and weaknesses are picked apart, with the emergence of sites such as GlassDoor.

There are two ways to look at this. For one, prospective customers/clients can find out about your business for the first time by searching for the highest rated product/service offering in their locale. Strong reviews can put you at the top of whichever directory they are referencing. That’s reason enough to make sure that you have an optimized profile with positive reviews.

The second perspective is just as important. Let’s say a prospective customer/client already knows about your business. The first thing they do is visit social networks and review platforms to validate your business. Assuming your business has been providing a positive experience to customers/clients and has amassed a collection of positive reviews, you will have been validated in the eyes of the new prospects. That can turn them into paying customers. However, by not even being present on these platforms, the effect can be just as bad as having poor reviews. Consumers are suspicious of any business that does not maintain a corporate profile on today’s most relevant review sites.

2. They Can impact Your Local Search Engine Rank

Even if you have a hard time swallowing the assertion that maintaining a presence on relevant review platforms can bring you new business, you still need to be there. The reason? Search engines like it. In fact, approximately 15% of local search engine rank on Google is impacted by your presence on Google My Business (GMB). Factor in positive reviews (3-5 stars) on GMB and your business is given a further bump up on Google search results. And you know as well as anyone, that having your business website show up “above-the-fold” for qualified keywords indeeds equates more traffic, and thus more contact-form completions, sales, estimate requests, of whatever else you deem to be a success metric.

It doesn’t just start and stop at Google My Business. All online platforms that are relevant to your industry tie-in to this equation. A business with a positive review presence on Google My Business and other high-authority directories will beat competitors with the same presence on just one of these platforms, assuming all else is equal.

3. It Allows Re-marketing Opportunities

By maintaining your business profile on relevant platforms, you gain an opportunity to engage recent customers/clients.

If they have had a bad experience, you have the chance to make it up to them. Perhaps you can invite them back with a complementary offer (where applicable) and turnaround their perceptions. That way, you may take a lost customer, and turn them into a returning one. They may even remove or edit their negative review, if done effectively.

If they had a good experience, you can also follow up, thanking them for leaving their feedback and presenting them with a reward offer as a sign of appreciation. This extends their positive experience and will serve to turn them into a loyal customer that will either use your product/service again, or refer you to their friends, family, associates, or platform followers (Facebook, etc.), and/or both. It’s a win-win situation.

None of this is possible however, if you neglect to maintain and monitor your business/brand presence on all relevant online review networks.

4. Provides Feedback that You Can Apply to Make Your Business Better

Last but not least is one of the most important parts of online review monitoring and management for your business. Owning it.

As a business, you may have to come to terms with the fact that you and/or your staff and/or product/service failed to meet reasonable consumer expectations. Consider the complete curation of these reviews to be a comprehensive (and FREE) marketing survey of your demographic, because it is. Take the constructive feedback (ignoring those that are slanderous without cause) and apply it to future business practices. Maintaining your profiles, monitoring reviews, and engaging consumers for additional feedback will serve to help you do business better in the immediate and longterm future.

Elevated Profiles provides online review and reputation management. This includes (but is not exclusive to) setting your business up on the right platforms (Google My Business, Yelp, etc.), monitoring consumer conversations about your business, and responding to positive and negative sentiments alike. Contact Elevated Profiles today at 1-403-352-2400 to take full control of how your business/brand is perceived (and discussed) on the world wide web.