It goes without saying that positive ratings and reviews are beneficial for your business. In fact, new data from the SEO platform BrightLocal shows that almost 100% of consumers — a whopping 98% of more than 1,100 participants — “used the internet to find information about local businesses in 2022,” which is an increase from 90% just three years earlier in 2019. The same research found that “a high star rating would make 58% of people feel positive about choosing a local business,” while 69% would “feel positive” about choosing a business that received good reviews.
While the impact of reviews is unmistakable, what’s often less obvious is how those reviews can be harnessed — even when they’re negative — to help businesses achieve tangible results like faster growth and greater revenue. By following best practices for managing and replying to reviews, such as ensuring that all responses are personalized to the reviewer, brands can reap these and other benefits with surprising speed and cost-efficiency.
Learn how to put online reviews to work for your business in 2023. Follow along as our response scribes share five strategies to help you harness the power of customer reviews and maximize the value they can provide for your organization.
5 Ways to Harness the Power of Online Reviews in 2023
1. Discover (and Deliver) What Consumers Want
Brands spend millions of dollars on market research to discover how consumers feel about their product or service. Reviews provide virtually limitless sources of honest and detailed feedback from your customers, at minimal cost to your business. Analyzing your reviews will help you identify gaps and unmet needs in your market, enabling you to implement stronger, more profitable business strategies.
2. Identify Phrases and Keywords to Rank For
Data analytics can help you identify phrases or terms that frequently appear in your negative and positive reviews. This provides you with free insights into keywords you might want to rank for or put a greater emphasis on within your site content. For a deeper dive, read more about this topic here.
3. Get a Local SEO Boost
Data shows that the local “three-pack” — the top three businesses that Google determines are relevant to a search query — ranks in the #1 spot in 93% of searches. If you want to break into the three-pack, start focusing on review management. Responding to reviews is an easy, Google-recommended method for improving your local ranking, which can drive traffic to your website and through your doors.
4. Show Off Your Product or Service with Embedded Reviews
Good: A detailed and recent 5-star review of your business on a platform like Google, Yelp, or Facebook.
Even better: Sharing that same review on your website, like embedding it on your home page, to showcase your stellar service or product to every visitor you receive. Embedding reviews on your website boosts the credibility and authority of your brand, providing social proof and driving more visitors to convert or make purchases from you.
5. Win the Trust of Undecided Shoppers
No matter what industry you’re in, you’re up against countless competitors on Google — and if you’re a new or emerging brand, the uphill climb is even steeper. Why should customers trust your brand, which they’ve never used or even heard of, when there are more familiar options available to them?
Because you’ve received such outstanding reviews that they’re willing to take a chance on your business.
As BrightLocal data shows, almost half of consumers (46%) “trust [customer] reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family,” highlighting why managing and replying to reviews is so essential to winning trust from consumers. That’s especially true for new companies and startups who might still be relatively unknown.
Best Practices for Responding to Reviews of Your Business
Now that you know how valuable reviews can be to your business, you’re probably eager to begin monitoring, managing, and responding to them — or, for a more efficient solution, letting our trained responders handle the writing for you. With a dedicated response scribe providing customized replies to 100% of your reviewers within 24 hours or less, your organization can effortlessly capitalize on all of the benefits we discussed in the previous section, without losing precious hours to the ongoing task of responding to customers.
Explore our review reply service in more detail — and in the meantime, try implementing these four tips from our response scribes about replying to reviewers on platforms like Yelp and Google.
- Always customize your responses to reviewers
- Avoid these common review response mistakes that businesses frequently make
- Follow the examples set by some of the world’s top brands
- Choose the right platform to help you manage and reply to reviews
Tips and Advice for Special Scenarios
Some reviews call for special response strategies. For example, what should you do if someone accidentally reviews your business, instead of that similarly-named company they intended to? What’s the right way to approach a review that’s weeks or even months old? And how would you handle a review that accuses your business of breaking the law?
We’ve got you covered in all of these scenarios — plus, anything else that comes your way. Below are some helpful compilations of tips and strategies for dealing with challenging or unusual reviews.
- How to handle legally sensitive reviews
- How to handle duplicated reviews
- How to handle old reviews
- What to do if someone reviews your business by accident
Use Online Reviews to Drive Growth By Leveraging Our Response Scribe Service
Whether your priority is getting more reviews, taking down inaccurate reviews, responding to your reviewers, or simply getting on top of your business listings, Shout About Us provides a tailored solution to address your pain points and align with your needs. Our centralized, uncluttered platform makes it simple and secure to manage and monitor reviews across more than 75 sites, enabling your team to save time and reduce costs while gaining actionable insights into what your customers are really saying.
Discover why more than 10,000 brands trust Shout About Us to manage their reviews and dialogue with their customers. Contact our team to learn more about the review management solutions we provide for franchises, agencies, and brands, or schedule a demo of our award-winning platform today.
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.