Whether you are buying shares in a company or simply getting a new pair of shoes, it’s a much smoother deal when your partner agrees on it too. Well, that same principle exists regarding your business as well. In other words, users will rely on good word of mouth before purchasing anything. However, they’ll be more inclined to consult the net instead of their real-life friends. Usually, they’ll refer to various review sites before making a decision.
According to Alex Savy, the Editor-in-Chief and the Co-Founder of Comfynorth.ca, a Canadian review website, the goal of these domains is to help the consumers. By way of testing the product first-hand, this site provides useful insight to their readers. Because of it, they can circumvent a potential trial-end-error period. Hence, it is much easier for them to make an informed decision.
If you are still unsure how review sites can affect your business, keep reading for the details.
Why Are Online Reviews Important
The impact online review sites have on consumers is by no means marginal. That much is evident, at least from the 2014’ survey conducted by Search Engine Land. Such data confirms that 88% of the customers first read online reviews before buying anything. Apart from this, 39% read reviews regularly, while only 12% prefer to trust their gut and go in without external references.
Living in the digital age, the users have all the information they need right in the palm of their hands. Hence, a series of bad reviews can drive people away from your brand. Yet, those same users will come back upon hearing some better grades.
In short, customers deeply care ‘what’s the word’ online about some particular product. This quickly translates into sales figures, hence deciding the revenue of your business.
How Review Sites Can Affect Your Business
When you search for something on Google or Bing, these search engines find the most popular results and highlight them. Next, if those results indicate a high ranking, customers will likely shop there. However, if you are ranked poorly, your sales will take a significant hit, almost without a doubt.
So, getting good online reviews builds an image for you. Positive feedback portrays you as a credible brand and attracts attention. In turn, this leads to an even higher ranking. If such a trend continues, you might pop up in the first few results of a Google search. This improved visibility is done through various SEO strategies that one should utilize.
Apart from good reviews, you also want them to be frequent and fresh. After all, the internet is a constantly shifting universe. Hence, you need to keep up with the pace. If you fail to generate new reviews, the search engines may start to treat you like a stranger. As a result, many potential customers won’t even learn of your brand.
Who Is Behind These Review Sites
Review sites are not just lists of ‘pros and cons’ of a product. They are a marketing tool effective for any website. Since almost everyone checks online reviews when they need something, a business needs trustworthy reviews. More on that later, but first, let’s look at how these review sites work.
There are two types of review sites – B2C and B2B. A B2C (or a business-to-consumer) site will target customers and review products for them. On the other hand, B2B (business-to-business) sites target other businesses and sell them your brand. So, both of these methods have their purposes. Before you sign up for anything, first consider the kind of traffic you want along with your budget.
What Can You Do to Help Your Business
While it is true that positive reviews help generate more revenue, we can’t deny the fact that even a single negative review can break that flow. Plus, people are far more vocal regarding their negative experiences with a brand. So, how can you take advantage of this situation?
First of all, you need to monitor everything that leads back to your name. Whether it’s the good reviews or the bad ones, you need to stay in control. Also, develop a strategy that might put you back on top in the event of a hurdle. This means you should favor the most influential sources that search engines often like to trust. Among those domains are:
However, many specialized sites are popular for some parts of the market. So, if you sell digital products, a positive IT-site review will generate more traffic than any other.
Yet, if the negative reviews keep on coming even after covering these aspects, then think about making some changes. You can improve by paying close attention to what the people are saying and altering your products and services accordingly. By being ‘in tune’ with the demand, you might succeed in turning things around.
Amongst all this, many fake review sites can significantly impact your sales. Usually, competitors might resort to doing this. But, you can easily report a fake review and remove it from the loop. Also, you can stylishly ‘one-up’ such efforts by not preserving a higher-quality level. On the other hand, many companies rely on paid reviews that do no good for them in the long run. Often, over-inflated opinions are easy to spot and disregard.
So, to wrap it up, review sites are a great way to market yourself if managed right. They can help improve your brand’s visibility and build a positive image for the business as a whole. People take notice of a slew of positive reviews, leading them to look further in. As a result, your website will generate more traffic, thus improving your sales. Yet, if things take a sharp turn, you can face a downward slope just as fast. So, it is best to always stay on top of your game and remain resourceful. In other words, make smart decisions at the most opportune moment.
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