Why Reviews May Take Over The Search Landscape
Reviews have been known to exist for ever since the start of a new business. Whenever you offer a service, someone will comment about it and tell their friends their experience with you. Online reviews work exactly like how word of mouth works. If you are a small business, then you need that word of mouth to start your business and to make it gain momentum. Many people go through reviews before choosing someone to do business with. We are getting to a point where searching will give you options, but reviews will make you decide on who to choose or what to do. Word of mouth, which is the main incentive for people to choose something, is now being typed instead of spoken. Even though authenticity of online reviews is sometimes a concern, still, most of the people will trust what they read, they will most likely go with it if it has over 4 stars. One very important piece of information is that for businesses with excellent reviews, customers are more likely to spend 31% more. When there is a negative review, 86% of the people will hesitate to make a purchase. Don’t forget that star ratings are the number one factor for consumers for judging a business.
Reviews play a major role in getting repeat and new business. Now that a customer has chosen a business, it’s up to the business to give their best service in order for this potential reviewer to have a good impression and hopefully leave a positive review. This cycle repeats itself and helps both sides. It’s understandable that a search is not longer the absolute answer, but reviews are. Reviews are able to provide the information you need for any specific place in a fast way.
One of the main reasons reviews are so prominent is because of mobile devices. Nowadays, mobile device searches outrank desktop searches. Whenever you use most of Google’s services, just as the normal search or Google Maps, as soon as you finish writing what you are looking for, you will already get options, all of them with reviews. Thanks to smartphones, people are able to search for what they need anywhere and anytime, in fact, it is already something people do all over the world when choosing where to it, where to buy, or just trying to find where something is (and you might even get other better options!). More than 60% of the people are more likely to contact a local business if they have a site optimized for mobile. Not only that, but consumers who read reviews on mobile are 127% more likely to buy than those who read reviews on desktops. Customers trust reviews more when they see both positive and negative reviews for a business, since the majority of customers would doubt a business with full perfect reviews.
Online review sites get a lot of traffic. Many people sometimes just go straight with sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Yellowpages. Google takes into consideration reviews from this site in their search algorithm. These sites play a major role on consumer decision making. According to tests done, a business needs around 10 reviews before people believe their results. Reviews come especially handy when doing local searches. Reviews are taking over not only the search results, but also impact the businesses’ sales. A business with more excellent reviews has the potential to make customers want to pay more. In some cases, online reviews have so much impact that they affect business prices.
Social media is also shaped by reviews. Whenever there is something new in social media, it is usually to create engagement with potential clients. These clients who decide to go with your business, are potential reviewers . One very basic rule is that customers trust other customers. In 2012, Nielsen’s research concluded that 70% of consumers, trust other’s consumer ratings and reviews. Additionally, there is a small gap between reading a review and being able to make a decision, which happens immediately. Many times, one great review is enough to buy that one thing you thought you might need or needed. Every business, specially small businesses will get influenced by their online reputation.
One of the ways in which reviews are starting to take more importance in the search landscape is because the most used search engine Google is encouraging pages to showcase their online reviews. As a result, this boosts their SEO score. One of the main ways this is done is by the implementation of schema.org markup. The Schema markup is a code you put into your website that helps search engines return better results to the users. Reviews are even more important nowadays because they are not only helping the consumer, but reviews also help to rank up the page on search engines. Some sources even indicate that reviews are the “new” backlinks. Reviews are making businesses take a wider approach by making them connect with bloggers and people with influence, that can make them appear more attracting when comparing them with average reviewers. Another reason, are customers and mobile users themselves. They no longer have the time to research and read about every place. They just search, look at reviews, and most of the time they base their decision depending on the reviews. We live in a world where literally almost everyone from every social class has a smart phone. It is and will be the best way for anyone to conduct business in a fast efficient manner.
Online reviews help businesses provide a better service. Businesses can use online reviews to know what the clients need or want, also, issues can be easily resolved. Businesses can create loyalty with reviews because now customers feel they have a voice and can provide feedback.
Reviews decide a businesses’s trustworthiness. Customers taking their time to say something about a business means a lot to other customers. A good review usually means the business is doing something right. Google Maps for example shows reviews for every place you visit and also gives you suggestions, Google is putting more importance to reviews lately, it plays a big role in ranking and decisions. According to tests done by Moz, review signals rank as high as one fifth on local search engine ranking factors. This means getting reviews and putting them on your site with the schema mark up would boost your site’s performance in terms of SEO. Reviews will always be an important aspect of any business and are as important as searching for what you need. The same way word of mouth has been useful before the internet was widely used, online reviews are now a vital part of any business and help with online marketing.