Do online reviews still matter in 2020? The short answer is yes!
Online reviews don’t just influence the purchasing decisions of potential customers, but they also contribute to your website’s SEO. With more and more of our time being spent online, one could argue that online reviews have never been as important as they are now.
Let’s dive into why online reviews matter.
Reviews Influence Customers
Nowadays, many people look at reviews, ratings, and testimonials before making a purchase. Consumers believe other consumers when it comes to shopping. According to a 2018 survey, 88% of respondents indicated that they trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
Potential customers rely on reviews to decide where to shop and what to purchase – and it isn’t just a rating or ranking that matters. People tend to dig deep into the content of reviews in order to find out detailed information about previous customer experiences. A 2017 survey by Podium found that 82% of those surveyed considered the content of online reviews before making a purchase.
Research also indicates that online reviews may influence just how much someone is willing to pay for an item. Podium’s survey also found that people were willing to pay nearly 15% more for purchases that had received positive reviews in the past.
Reviews will also influence a consumer’s perception of your brand and their desire to shop with you. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, and appropriately responding to negative reviews, are great ways to position your brand as more valuable and trustworthy than that of your competitors (especially if they are neglecting to manage their own reviews!).
Reviews Influence SEO Signals
Online reviews impact your website’s SEO signals. A 2018 review of Google’s ranking signals found that online reviews accounted for nearly 15% of a website’s overall SEO signals.
That was up from 5% just a few years prior, indicating that reviews have become more important than ever before to Google. Having bad reviews littered all over the web will simply make it much harder to execute a successful SEO strategy.
Additionally, good reviews will naturally increase your site’s click-through rate by making it more appealing to shoppers. The more Google users that are clicking through to your site instead of those of your competitors, the more valuable your brand is in Google’s eyes.
However, it’s not just the reviews that matter, but also how you respond to them.
Responding to customer reviews doesn’t just build trust with your potential customers, but also with Google. That’s because Google prioritizes the most trustworthy and credible brands over the rest.
What better way to demonstrate your brand’s trustworthiness and credibility than by publicly addressing customer reviews–even the bad ones? Publicly challenging unfair reviews and making things right when mistakes occur will demonstrate your brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction and good business.
Build An Effective Review Management Strategy
Building a review management strategy will not only improve customer relations but will also boost your SEO signals. Having a system in place for managing reviews will streamline the process and make sure that no unsatisfactory reviews slip through the cracks.
It may seem counterintuitive but bad reviews really aren’t all bad. They give you a chance to show your customers that you are willing to make things right, and they can provide you with valuable feedback and learning opportunities. Everybody makes mistakes—what’s important is that they are addressed and remedied.
As time passes, customer reviews seem to be becoming more and more important to consumers, brands, and search engines alike. Carefully managing your dispensary’s reviews and online reputation is sure to boost your brand’s credibility and draw in more customers. Want help? We offer reputation management as one of our SEO services. Contact us to learn more.