By: Lauren Bupp, Social Media

2019 is upon us and that means it’s time to re-work your marketing strategy for the year. While working on the new strategy you should emphasize online reviews. As a business, online reviews a perfect way to gain customers trust through other people’s thoughts.

1. Online reviews are dependable

It’s Friday night and you’re looking for the best restaurant in town, where do you begin your search? You probably go to Yelp or Google. As you look through the list of options, you will probably look at how much it costs, how far away it is, how long the wait is, and what the rating is. Once you choose on you will probably read through the reviews – finding out what people like and don’t like.

For as long as I can remember, the best marketing method has always been word-of-mouth. With the rise of Internet popularity, online reviews have become the most credible source to learn about different places. Research shows that 91% of people read reviews and 84% trust them as much as a personal recommendation.

2. Reviews are a key part of your online reputation

Reputation is one of the most important things in business. The restaurant that has a reputation for overcooking meals and having lousy service? They won’t be open for long. But the restaurant that goes above and beyond to make sure their guests have the best experience? They’ll keep them coming back for more.

As people start to share their experiences and others are reading it, managing your business’ online reputation becomes even more critical. This includes monitoring brand mentions, engaging on social media, and making reputations a crucial part of your strategy.

This requires:

  • Asking your customers to leave online reviews

  • Responding to your reviews – even the negative ones

When you stay on top of your online reputation, the more likely you are to get more business and better customers.

3. Helping your SEO ranking

SEO is designed to help its users find the answers to their questions in a way that’s natural. When people leave reviews they are writing in their natural language which results in a better chance of ranking higher in the search results.

When customers write their reviews, they aren’t thinking about search engines or SEO; they’re writing what they actually think and using the words they would say. That’s exactly what local SEO is looking for.

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