Is Your Online Reputation Driving New Sales … or Driving Customers Away?

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Have you ever been traveling away from home and tried to decide where you should stop to eat when you don’t know the area?

If you’re like me and my kids, the first thing you do is pull out your mobile phone and Google the kind of food or dining experience you’re looking for, such as “best breakfast restaurant” or “best Italian restaurant” or “best coffee shop” in whatever town or city you’re traveling through.

Likewise, if you’ve ever shopped for something online, chances are you read customer reviews about each product before deciding which product to buy and which company to buy from.

Whether you have a dog that needs grooming . . .

. . . or a toothache and need to find a good dentist,

. . . or a leaky faucet and need to find a trustworthy plumber,

. . . or a roof that needs repairing or replacing,

. . . or a tree that needs to be cut down . . .

chances are that you will Google businesses in your area that offer the services you’re looking for, and then check out their online reviews to see if you can trust them to do quality work.

Do You Know What People Are Seeing When They Google You?

Online reviews are a powerful form of word-of-mouth advertising that can make or break a business in today’s digital world.

Have you checked your own online reputation lately to see how it stacks up against your competition?

Just as it’s essential to get twice-yearly dental checkups and annual physical checkups to maintain our good health, so too should business owners conduct regular “online reputation checkups” to see how their business is — or isn’t — showing up online, and how their online reputation compares with their top competitors in their local marketplace.

According to a recent study by Bright Local, “online reviews are … absolutely critical to making sales. They can quite literally make or break your business.”

The Bright Local study goes on to say:

“Over half of consumers will only use a business if it has online reviews and a minimum of four stars awarded on those reviews. What’s more, almost 7 in 10 consumers are more likely to use a local business if they see positive reviews. If you’re not making online reviews a priority and a rival is, you’re automatically less likely to win that business.”

Bright Local’s study found that:

  • 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34) before they make a purchasing decision
  • Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business
  • 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past 2 weeks – up from 18% last year
  • 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars
  • 80% of 18-34 year olds have written online reviews – compared to just 41% of consumers over 55
  • 91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews

Source: Bright Local Consumer Review Survey.

Three Powerful Reasons to Prioritize Reputation Marketing for Your Business

 

1. Reputation Marketing Helps You Stand Out in Local Search Results

Getting your business to show up on page 1 of search results has gotten harder and harder since Google slashed the number of businesses it displays in the coveted local business “3-Pack” from 7 businesses to just 3 businesses. One way to can gain a competitive advantage in local search results is by making it a priority to invite customers to review your business online.

Businesses with the most 4- and 5-star online reviews tend to rank high in local search results — and that helps more customers find them online and trust them based on the reviews they read.

2. Online Reviews Enhance Consumer Trust

People do business with companies they trust. The quality, quantity and diversity of a business’ online reviews can be a deciding factor in whether a consumer buys from you — or someone else.

According to Bright Local: “For some demographics, online reviews are a prerequisite for trust. A study carried out in 2018 found that 8 in 10 millennials never buy a product or service without first reading online reviews. Three in 10 millennials will only buy from sites with trusted recommendations.”

In fact, millennials report that they rely so heavily on online reviews that “they are less likely to seek a personal recommendation. While half will check online reviews, just 8% will ask friends and family members for their opinion before parting with their cash.”

3. Positive Online Reviews Attract More Customers and Increase Sales

catering job successThe BrightLocal Consumer Review survey also found that 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has a 4- or 5-star rating. Positive reviews make 68% of consumers more likely to use local businesses, again creating a direct link between reviews and sales.

A mere 15% of consumers responding to the survey reported that online reviews don’t impact their purchasing decisions.

So Why Aren’t More Business Owners Prioritizing Online Reviews & Reputation Marketing?

When you realize the vital role that a company’s online reputation and reviews play in driving new sales and revenue opportunities, it’s surprising to see how many businesses ignore this important element in their branding and marketing.

A company that spends $100’s or $1,000’s on advertising to attract new customers — but has an inferior online reputation compared to competing companies in their local marketplace — is throwing money away.
 

Time and Budget Constraints: Top Factors Holding Companies Back from Reputation Marketing

Bright Local survey of business owners found that time and budget constraints are the top factors holding businesses back from managing and marketing their reputation.

Source: Online Reputation Management Business Survey
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Affordable Reputation Protection and Marketing Solution

Fortunately, Herbst Marketing has an affordable solution to this problem. Our world-class reputation marketing system has put thousands of local businesses in control of their online reputation and helped them leverage online reviews to drive more new sales, more referral business and enhance their competitive positioning online.

Herbst Marketing Video Review ExampleOur comprehensive reputation marketing system not only helps companies acquire positive customer reviews easily and efficiently, it also:

  • Publishes, promotes and markets those reviews on Google, social media and the top review sites relevant to any given industry,
  • Makes it simple, fast and easy for customers to submit video reviews for your business,
  • Turns your happy customers and clients into a referral machine for your business by making it easy for them to share their review and recommendations for your business on their own social media pages along with a special offer from your company for new customers and clients.

Reputation Marketing Special Offer
Click the button below to contact us today and see if you qualify to have our $399 Setup Fee Waived + 20% OFF Monthly Subscription Fee for our reputation marketing service.