If you have been in business for any amount of time, you have probably noticed that most markets tend to be cyclical and require some evolution in order to survive.

A company that was once king often has to adapt to stay relevant.

For instance, Sears used to be the poster child of retail, then came along Walmart, and now we have Amazon.

Where did Sears go? (I loved their catalog when I was a kid.)

The Power of Online Reviews

What you may not know is that online reviews are quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to market your business.

It boils down to which company builds trust fastest, and online reviews on platforms like Facebook and Google do just that.

In fact, online reviews are so powerful that 79% of consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation.

When you are busy, it is very easy to not focus on getting feedback or reviews from your clients or customers – after all, you are too busy.

However, I hope by the end of this post you see that this may be a shortsighted view.

Here are the 3 main reasons why you should focus some time and attention on online reviews while your business is thriving. If you wait, you’ll be too late.

1) Online reviews are often the first thing someone sees about your business

As a service provider, Google and other search engines prioritize your online profiles such as Google My Business or your Facebook page higher than your website in the search results.

That’s right. Your online profiles often rank higher than even your website!

It makes sense if you think about it.

Say you Googled “Italian restaurant” hoping to find dinner. Google would show you the top Italian restaurants on a map near wherever you are located on a map.

The same is true for other profiles such as Facebook.

The real kicker is that these listings often show your star ratings and the number of reviews right in the search results without clicking.

Worse yet, it will show “No Reviews” if you don’t have any.

Who do you think gets more clicks in looking at the results below?

Online Review & Ratings Example

The one with the highest rating, not necessarily the most reviews, obviously!

In fact, “a study by CXL found that star ratings in search engine results significantly improve click-through rates, by as much as 35%.”

In marketing, percentage improvements are usually in the single to low double digits. A 35% increase from having a few more reviews than your competitors is tremendous and is well worth looking into.

2) Online reviews are often THE deciding factor

Another reason you may want to consider focusing on your online reviews is that oftentimes online reviews are the deciding factor on whether to call service provider A or service provider B.

In addition to stumbling on your online reviews first, a potential customer might visit your website to determine that you can likely solve their problem.

In fact, they often do this with 2 to 3 different providers to compare services, prices, and experience.

Before they call a provider, they often reference those reviews again just to make sure others have had positive experiences with you.

Extra weight in your favor is given if one of your reviews is similar to the person reading the review or to their problem.

The point is, you can have two very similar service providers.

The one who gets the most calls will likely be the one with the most reviews, since it is often the last thing a prospective customer looks at before they pick up the phone.

3) With low volume, the businesses with the most positive reviews will win

This leads us to our final point. At some point, your business might slow or at least evolve.

When this happens, there may be a limited amount of business to get. In real estate, maybe interest rates are high so many people aren’t buying houses. In law, maybe there are a limited number of cases in your market for a specific practice area.

In either case, when markets are limited, marketing and advertising budgets are often cut. As such, the only marketing you have is your online reviews.

The limited number of people who need your services will often find you by way of your online reviews, then will look at your reviews to give them confidence in the delivery of your services.

In short, he or she who has the best and most reviews wins in a down market.

If Coronavirus has taught us anything it is that anything is possible and nothing is guaranteed indefinitely.

So yes, you need more reviews.

It is the first thing that someone sees about you.

It is the last thing they reference before they call.

And it is the only marketing you’ll have if and when your market slows.

This is why it is critical to get more online reviews while your business is hot, so it can help you when your market is not.

Request a demo to learn how FeedbackAutomatic can help you get more online reviews.