The importance of online business reviews in today’s marketplace can’t be overstated. Consumers want to purchase product and services from people and businesses they can trust. More and more consumers are turning to the Internet and reading online reviews about local businesses, the products they sell and services they provide before they even consider contacting you. As a result, online business reviews can have a direct effect on your bottom line.
Reviews are Money
An honest online review is a personal evaluation written by a customer or someone with direct knowledge about you, the products you sell and/or the services you provide. Just like your business listing, online reviews can have a huge impact both positively and negatively on you and your business. Positive reviews mean more clicks for your business and more dollars in your pocket. Similarly, negative reviews can mean less clicks and less money in your pocket.
Reviews Help Search Engine Ranking
In addition to online reviews directly effecting your reputation, they also have an effect on your overall online visibility and search engine ranking. Online reviews can be placed on many different sites, some bigger and more powerful than others but all with the potential to have an impact on your business. Similarly to your online business listing, search engine crawlers and local business listing platforms collect, compare and share reviews about local companies. The result is improved overall online visibility.
So don’t ignore online reviews. Instead use them to your advantage and improve your online visibility and promote your reputation. A good technique is to personally invite people to connect with you online and/or encourage them to leave you honest feedback. This feedback can be on your website, if your website has that capability, your favorite social networking site like Google+, Facebook or Linkedin or a site where your business is listed like Yelp. Be sure you monitor what people are saying and share links to sites that have reviews about you and your business.
Never Post Fake Reviews
Never post fake reviews, ask people to post fake reviews or pay people to write reviews. Not only are these practices unethical, but they could get you banned from search engine results pages.
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