We live in an age where information is just a few clicks away. If we want to buy something, it’s not hard to look into the product first by searching online review sites, consumer ratings, and seeing what our favorite influencer thinks of the product first

In fact, 91% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing a product. And, the majority of online shoppers will read anywhere between one and ten reviews before they make a decision. This means that if you have a product and are actively thinking of the best ways to market and sell it to your audience base, you need to pay special attention to what your online reviews are saying. 

Online reviews simply cannot be ignored, especially if you want to maintain competitiveness within your industry. Let’s break down six reasons why your small business should be actively monitoring reviews. 

1. The Power of Reputation

Reviews and 5-star ratings are probably the most influential factor when it comes to trust and gaining confidence to make a purchase. Thanks to the power of third-party credibility, positive reputation, and social proof are among the most powerful marketing assets a business can use to gain new customers. It’s crucial that businesses not only obtain this type of credibility but that they harness it by integrating it into their standard marketing efforts. 

This means adding customer testimonials to your website, sharing your average rating and number of positive reviews on your landing pages, and integrating it into your email nurture campaigns. 

Case studies are great for bottom-of-the-funnel email campaigns. It’s also smart to use quotes as images for your social media posts. You earned these great reviews, so make sure you share them out for the world to see. 

2. More Clicks, Conversions, and Better Search Rankings

With reputation and positive reviews, customers are more likely to make a purchase. In practice, that can reflect in measurable results, such as CTR and conversion rates. 

Think about it. Review sites are just another high-traffic site through which your website is linked. When your reviews are impressive, the people traveling to those sites will be more inclined to click on your website and check your company out. As long as your website is optimized for lead conversions, you can capitalize on all that exposure and traffic and turn those visitors into high-quality leads you can nurture. 

3. Get More Local Customers

If you’re a small business operating on a local level, you still can’t escape the marketing power of reviews. 

Star rating can be one of the most important factors that consumers look at when judging a local business. But don’t think you need to totally hit it out of the park. While a 5-star rating is extremely impressive, most consumers will think it’s too good to be true

If you’re able to hit that star review sweet spot, you’ll be able to use it to gain more interest from other local customers and see more foot traffic through your door and more visitors on your website. Just make sure you’re prepared to handle the influx of customers so you can maintain that good reputation. 

4. Responding Gets You More Positive Reviews

When you actively monitor your reviews, you also have the opportunity to respond and interact with your customers. This not only helps you address any issues quickly, but it provides your customers with a high level of customer service, which they’ll love and respond well to. 

If you get a negative review, at least you can publicly state your point and/or apologize. But responding to positive reviews is equally important.

If happy customers know the business owner is going to see their positive reviews, let alone respond and interact with them, they could be more inclined to leave them. Just make sure your customers know how important reviews are to your business and that you’ll go above and beyond to ensure you receive positive ones. 

5. It’s a Great Source of Customer Feedback

Online reviews are an excellent source for direct customer feedback. People are more honest and straightforward than if they were to give customer interviews for case studies

Even if you get a negative review, it’s not too late to turn it into an advantage. Use those negative reviews as a way to grow and learn what you could do differently or how you can handle issues in a better way. 

You can contact these customers, engage with them, gain feedback and resolve their issues and do so quickly. Sometimes, these customers can turn into your most loyal yet, but it all comes down to how you handle their feedback. 

6. Beat Your Competition

Monitoring and responding to online reviews is increasingly common among successful businesses. However, there are still too few of them doing it.

Taking this seriously can not only become one of your best growth strategies, but it can also help you get a big step ahead of your competition. When you’re the company that responds to customers instead of ignoring them, that will impress the people you’re trying to reach and show them that you’re invested in making their experience with your business a positive one. 

We hope this article helps you tackle your online reviews head-on by engaging with them and making them part of your marketing and sales strategies. There are tons of benefits to be had; you just have to find an approach and process that works for you.