Last Updated 1 month by Emily Standley-Allard

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A digital marketing strategy is something every single business should have implemented to compete in today’s markets.

Whether you are embedding a comprehensive marketing strategy into your business such as SEO and paid ads, or simply spending time growing your businesses organic social, one thing stays true for all.

Without a sufficient, credible level of reviews from customers, you will fall miserably behind your competitors.

You may be thinking, how important can reviews really be?

Well, they can make or break relationships with prospective customers.

In fact, 91% of people read them and 84% trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation. The effects of reviews are measurable, too. The average customer is willing to spend 31% more on a retailer that has excellent reviews. Negative reviews can carry as much weight as positive ones.

In this blog we will uncover the importance of online reviews, and how to encourage credible ones to support your businesses digital success. 

What are the benefits of online reviews?

There are a huge range of benefits that are associated with having online reviews:

Showcases credibility 

Have you ever searched for a restaurant and looked at the reviews to see past customer experiences?

Or have you considered buying from an online retailer,, and then came to find they had no reviews which ultimately put you off making the transaction?

Having reviews available for customers will show your business credibility, more importantly when, they are positive. Credible businesses have evidence of good customer service. 

Builds trust with prospective clients 

Building trust with prospective clients is essential, especially when it comes to business operating within sensitive sectors.

For example, law firms who will be dealing with sensitive cases, such as investment fraud lawyers, will need to show evidence of their previous success with clients.

Hearing this from the horse’s mouth so to speak helps build trust with prospective clients who are seeking a similar positive outcome as a result of opting for their legal services.

Takes up space on the SERP

Online reviews can also help your organic performance and support SEO.

As much as having a Google my business profile setup will help you take up space on the search engine result page, having positive reviews present on there will immensely support a healthy click through rate.

Third party customer review platforms are also helpful if you want your business to pop up frequently, whilst also increasing website citations.

Influences decision making 

It is estimated that 92% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. This statistic in itself should encourage you to increase your customer reviews!

With this in mind, understandably decision making can be highly influenced. This can be for the better or worse.

Lets face it, if we see two detailed negative reviews, and 5 positive vague reviews, our decision making will still sway towards a negative perception.

But, with an even balance and volume of reviews, as long as you are hitting that 4-star average mark, you will be good to go!

Opens two way communication 

One of the key things that businesses neglect is the opportunity to use reviews to open up a two way conversation.

You should be responding to reviews as if they have personally contacted you. Even if you are facing some criticism, address it professionally and show your attention to solving their problem.

Other customers seeing your efforts to resolve any negativity will be seen as a bonus as opposed to a business weakness.

This is just as important as with positive feedback. Creating a relationship with existing customers opens up the avenue for a repeat purchase and ongoing relationship. 

The risk of negative reviews

You should be prepared to receive negative feedback now and then. Afterall, no one is perfect!

Negative feedback can stem from miniscule mistakes such as sending a product to a wrong address, or forgetting to send an email to a client and leaving it in draft.

Whatever happens, you need to be prepared for them. Handling negative reviews requires honesty and integrity.

Be cautious not to reveal customer personal data, but also explain the situation for others to see and grasp why this mistake occurred, and what has been done since to rectify the situation.

Often, reasonable customers will edit their initial bad review and change it to a positive one.

How to encourage positive reviews 

The act of encouraging positive reviews can be more complicated than it seems. Your customers may be overwhelmed with contentment for the service you have provided for them, yet neglect to see the value in leaving feedback for others to see. Planting the seed is key, and here are a few ways to do this:

Email marketing 

Whether you have provided a product or service, once you know the transaction with the customer is complete, consider implementing an email marketing campaign to ask for reviews, and refer your product or service to others.

This should include direct links to relevant reviews platforms.

Send client surveys 

Surveys are a great way to receive detailed feedback regarding client experiences. Surveys allow your customers to go into greater details regarding a specific service you offered, which can later be used for research and development.

It would also be a great idea, with their consent, to set up a testimonials page on your website including this feedback.

Diversity review platforms 

Users vary in online behaviors, hence why they choose different platforms to submit their reviews.

You need to make sure you have a review account set up on all relevant platforms for your industry.

For example, if you have a physical location, you may consider a trip advisor account.

Here are some of the most prominent review sites you should have a business profile setup on:

  • Google 
  • Trust Pilot 
  • Trip Advisor
  • Facebook (Meta)
  • Yelp

In conclusion 

In essence, online reviews have become a non-negotiable for businesses looking to thrive on online landscapes. Whilst building trust and credibility with prospective clients, reviews allow you to gauge an understanding of how your target audience is receiving your product or service, what you are doing well, and also what could be improved. Embrace all of your reviews, be it positive or negative, and encourage as much feedback as possible to show customers and Google you are actively engaging with your audiences!

Follow for more tips to improve your presence and grow your business online!