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November 5, 2018

3 Signs Your Business Needs Online Review Management

Check out the three signs that your business needs online review monitoring. Do any of them apply to you?

By Jane Garfinkel - Review Response Specialist

Review monitoring and social media tracking are becoming standard practices for small businesses.

In a recent study by TripAdvisor, 97% of business owners said online reputation management is important to their business.

If your business isn’t taking steps to manage its online presence, you may be at risk of losing customers. Check out the three signs that your business needs online review management. Do any of them apply to you?

1. Your local search ranking is not what it should be

Did you know that since Google moved to the slimmed-down, 3-listing map pack in 2015, map pack results appear at the top of organic results 93% of the time for local searches?

And you probably already know the value of being #1 in search but as a reminder - the #1 spot in search generally sees CTR’s of around 30%. Achieving the #1 spot in the map pack should be a focus of any local business.

Up your ranking by focusing on online reviews. According to Search Engine Journal, reviews are the most prominent local SEO ranking factor.

Google values the volume, frequency, and quality of reviews on Google My Business pages. Increasing the number of reviews means an increase in your ranking.

Importantly, Google also values responses to reviews.

This is something you have direct control over. Responding to reviews gives you the opportunity to pack in SEO rich text, further improving your ranking.

2. Your business is not receiving enough reviews

The number of online reviews your business receives matters.

Consumers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business.

Even if your reviews are positive, without enough of them consumers may not give you a shot to earn their business. Having the right number of reviews and a consistent volume of new reviews on a monthly basis will give your business credibility and a better chance at gaining the lead locally.

Further, older reviews don’t have as much sway as newer reviews.

In fact, according to Bright Local only 4% of consumers pay attention to reviews older than a year.

That means all those five stars reviews you worked so hard to receive when your business first opened aren’t very valuable today. For reviews to be meaningful, they need to be posted often and at a consistent rate.

A simple way to increase your review volume is by responding to customers. Visitors will see that your business cares about feedback and actively engages with clients and will be more likely to leave a review after doing business with you.

According to the Harvard Business Review, businesses that respond to their reviews receive an additional 12% more reviews as compared to businesses that don’t.

It's equally important to ask all of your customers for reviews. An automated service like Widewail's Invite integrates with your point of sales system allowing you to contact all of your customers in no time at all. You can personalize the message and direct people to the review site of your choice. Most people will post a review if they are asked, and Invite makes the process easy.

3. Negative reviews are being left unresolved on your company’s page

We wrote a blog post all about how negative reviews can add value to your business.

In summary, responding to negative reviews increases your ratings, earns back customers, and helps you improve your business. However, these benefits are only gained if reviews are answered. That’s why negative reviews management is vital.

There are additional consequences for just letting negative reviews slide.

For example, if a consumer sees unanswered negative reviews they are more likely to leave a negative review themselves. In the same Harvard Business Review study, it was found that when hotels began answering their online reviews the number of negative reviews they received dropped.

It was also found that the number of reviews containing unsubstantiated negative feedback was reduced as a result of actively responding. Those reviewers who like to make up fantastic tales of poor customer service and faulty products were less likely to show themselves as a result of the business being engaged with their reviewers.

If your business is experiencing any of these issues it’s time to invest in a review management system. A service like Widewail is affordable and valuable, bringing more customers to your site and to your store.


Jane Garfinkel

I’m a New Jersey native who joined the Widewail team during my brief stint in Burlington. Now living in Jersey City, I currently serve as the Response Team Lead and Content Specialist. My background is in writing and my work has been published by Thrillist, Reductress, McSweeneys, The Rumpus, and more. I occasionally update my own blog No Meat, Some Potatoes, and in my free time I hang out with my dog Jake.

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