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The growing impact of online reviews

The growing impact of online reviews
July 31, 2019 Amy Cooper

In this digital age, online reviews are more important than ever. With a large amount of information ready at the fingertips, people are now looking at reviews as a way to determine whether they will use or work with a particular business. V Formation explains why online reviews are so important, and the sites and tools available.

1.Customer Confidence and Trust

72%* of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.

Google My Business is the best and easiest way to kickstart reviews to your site without having to install anything. If you don’t already have Google My Business set-up, you can do so here.

You’ll need to verify that you are actually part of the business, which can be done in several ways including by postcard, phone or email.

V’s top tips for Google my Business:

  • Post regularly, particularly any information regarding events you’re running.
  • Encourage reviews by asking happy clients/customers.
  • Upload high quality and up to date photos of your company, including photos of your office and staff.

Facebook recommendations

Dependent on the type of business, it may be the case that people are searching for your company (or its products and services) on Facebook.

Facebook recommendations allows users to leave a review of your business from their personal Facebook account. At the end of last year, Facebook retired its star rating system and instead swapped to a simple ‘recommend’ or ‘do not recommend’ choice, alongside which people can then write a review to provide more detail.Facebook users can publicly recommend you, on your page. When you receive enough recommendations, Facebook will then calculate that into a rating which will appear at the top of your page. i.e 4.8 out of 5 – based on the opinion of 72 people.

If you believe a negative recommendation is unfair or spam, you can easily report this by selecting ‘Give feedback’ in the post menu.

Read our tips on how to maximise the effectiveness of Facebook marketing.

2.Recruitment

Reviews are not only important from a client/customer perspective. For most people, when applying for a job at a new company, the first thing they will do is look it up online. Your website may contain lots of lovely messages and testimonials but outside of that there may be things you didn’t realise.

Take for instance Glassdoor. Glassdoor is a website where current and former employees can anonymously review companies and their management. Anyone can write a review under any company. The website is rapidly increasing in users and the main thing is it ranks really well.

This can mean that it is one of the first things that shows up when somebody searches your company, often even higher than your own site! If you are looking to drive recruitment, a negative review on Glassdoor can have a detrimental impact on the type of talent you want to attract.

Recent studies suggest that 76% of professionals research companies online before considering a job opportunity*, and this is only set to increase.

V’s top tips for Glassdoor:

  • Claim your company page – If your company page already exists on Glassdoor, you can claim it, giving you ownership. This means you will be notified if somebody leaves a review along with other benefits.
  • Link to your website – If you have ownership of your company page, you can put a link to your website which will hopefully increase traffic as well as giving you a high-quality backlink to help your SEO.
  • Respond to reviews – Even if they are negative, it is always good to respond as it demonstrates that you are an engaged employer and have genuine concern over why an employee or ex-employee feels that way.
  • Encourage reviews – Encourage happy staff members to post a review if they have time.

3.SEO/ Rankings

Already lightly touched on, but business reviews can greatly increase your rankings on search engines. By being engaged in platforms such as Google my Business and Glassdoor, you are indicating to search engines that you are an active company with a strong online presence.

Reviews contribute to 10% of Google SERP rankings*, and you will begin to notice that when searching a majority of keywords, the ones that show up first are those with positive reviews.

In summary, business reviews are incredibly important and have a huge impact on many different aspects including:

  • Recruitment
  • Greater visibility in organic search
  • Customer confidence, and therefore business conversion

To discuss how V Formation can help you drive reviews to your website and use these platforms to your advantage, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0115 787 0206 or please email info@vformation.biz.

Read our blog on how to gather really strong client testimonials and how to use them effectively here.

*All stats are taken from SmallBizTrends