Online Reviews: Why They Can't Be Ignored Posted by Kevin Thomson | 6.24.14 5:29pm

Back in the days before Yelp, Google+, Angie's List, and Zagat (among others), it used to be that you would ask your friends for recommendations: best new restaurant in town, most reliable mechanic, etc. If you were on a business trip or family vacation, the concierge at your hotel was the individual who held all of the best-kept secrets of whichever town you happened to be visiting. But, much like the dial-up modem, those days have gone the way of the dinosaur. Enter online review websites.

Consumers Want the Real Story

Sites like those mentioned above have skyrocketed in popularity over the past five years, mainly because consumers want the real story. They want the unadulterated version of the business experience they can expect to receive and they have decided the most trustworthy way to get that information is through consumer review sites.

Which car dealership won't rip you off? How is that new gym that just opened across town? Questions like these can be answered with a few clicks of the mouse. Yelp, for instance, is completely driven and comprised of user reviews. The perception as a consumer is that you're getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth, which is precisely what consumers want.

This major shift in consumer pre-purchase research has placed an exponential amount of importance on two things:

  1. Getting Good Reviews
  2. Getting Lots of Them

Think of these reviews as billboards that online users are going to be driving by on the information superhighway daily. You want them to be positive and plentiful.

Getting Started with Your Online Reputation

So, how do you do it? Start asking, promoting, requesting, and encouraging your clients (current and former) to leave you reviews; send out postcards, emails, phone calls, and text messages. Not only will the influx of positive reviews to your listing improve your appearance within the review site, it will also help your website's SEO.

Google has stated that their algorithms take into account your "online footprint" as a factor when ranking websites. The more positive information you have floating out there, the better. Additionally, as Google gives more relevance to online directory and listings within organic search results, review sites such as Yelp and Google+ are often featured prominently within those results. Having your site featured with a nice score and 5 stars next to it could absolutely affect the visitor's likelihood of clicking on your listing.

So, when you start to put together or reassess your business goals and marketing initiatives for your company, you would be sorely mistaken to leave out this vital and increasingly important aspect. At Scorpion, we have identified this important issue and have factored it in to our marketing solution. We will set up, manage, and help you with your online review accounts to ensure you are putting yourself and your business in the right light to land that next client.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you optimize your online presence.