When it Comes to Brand Perception, You Are No Longer in Control
The balance of power has shifted from brand owners to customers, and what people say about you online can either derail your business or accelerate its success. This is especially true for consumer-focused brands in industries such as retail, hospitality, automotive and healthcare.
The power to shape your brand is now in the hands of consumers and what they’re saying about you online. This is especially true for consumer-focused brands with multiple locations, who rely on ratings and search rankings to attract business and build trust with local communities.
Online Reviews Have a Direct Impact on Business Performance
As consumers increasingly rely on online tools to guide their purchasing decisions, reviews and ratings have a dramatic impact on your ability to be seen and selected. Here’s why:
- People Use Online Reviews to Make Choices. The vast majority — 87 percent in one recent survey — of Americans trust online reviews to help them choose which local businesses or services to use. And 88 percent of consumers have avoided a company because of a bad review.
- Google Uses Online Reviews to Rate You. Google uses the arithmetic average to calculate the average rating of a business. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your average rating will be. If you only have a few reviews, one negative review can have a significant impact on your overall score.
- Your Ratings Determine Your Search Rankings. According to SEO consulting company Moz, review signals — which include review quantity and recency — are important page ranking factors. Google and other search engines determine where to rank you on results pages and in local search results based on these signals.
- Recent Reviews Build Consumer Trust in Your Brand. Search Engine Land reports that 69 percent of consumers think reviews older than three months are no longer relevant. And, if your locations don’t have a lot of recent reviews, they’ll rank lower in “near me” searches — and they may not even show up on the map.
- Businesses with Better Reviews Increase Revenue. Reputation.com tracked point-of-sale data for over 1,800 U.S. auto dealerships and found that an increase in Reputation Score of 150 points led to a 6-percent increase in average seasonally-adjusted sales volume. Conversely, a drop of 150 points correlated with a decline in sales volume of 13 percent.
Technology Enables Online Review Management at Scale
If yours is a large organization, manually monitoring and responding to reviews in a timely manner across many review sites and social networks is simply not scalable. Technology is necessary to manage online reputation at scale, coupled with a structured process.
If you’re not building review volume and monitoring and responding to customer feedback online, you’re leaving your online reputation to chance.
Talk to us today and we can help you start actively managing your good reputation!