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Online Reviews and Why They Matter

This week’s webinar on 12 Surefire Ways to Protect Your Reputation While Promoting Your Business is happening in a few minutes so I wanted to share this particular highlight that cuts to the core of this week’s topic, and that is online reviews. I touched on this briefly in yesterday’s post about the 5 Core Steps to Online Reputation Management but I wanted to spend a little more time discussing this particular step because it is so important and frequently overlooked by small business owners.

Google has elevated the importance of online reviews by placing business ratings within their search results. This is not new, but something that I have found that most small business owners do not know about. The concept is pretty basic and doesn’t really need to be explained in great detail, but in a few words, your customers are going to pick the business with 5 stars over a business with one or no stars every time. If someone is searching online for your product or service, they need to have social proof that your business is legitimate and worthy of their click. Having several positive online reviews will increase your social proof and increase the number of clicks that you get from search results.

That’s the first and most basic reason for needing reviews. But there is another, hidden reason that most business owners don’t know about why online reviews are important. Each review that you get on a site like Yelp will give you a link from that authority site to your own. These links are one of the things that Google uses to determine their website rankings. In other words, where you show up on the search engines is impacted by how many reviews you have. In fact, even bad reviews help some when it comes to SEO since they are still links from authority sites. Now, if the site has a rating system and you’re given a negative review or a low rating, Google will see that and discount that link, but it’s still one more link than your competitor who has no reviews.

So, the action item every business owner needs to take is to make sure their business is listed in review sites like Yelp and that they are actively requesting feedback from their customers via these sites. If you’re unsure how to get started, simply click here to schedule some time on my calendar and I can give you a little more direction.



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