It’s no secret that online reviews are growing more and more important to the success of a business. They’ve become a key factor for trustworthiness, visibility and rankings. A collection of positive reviews has the power to attract more customers to your business, because people trust the opinions and experiences of other people like themselves who are using the same services. And while it’s easy to assume that getting a 5-star review from every customer is ideal, that’s actually not the case.
Believe it or not, reviews with less than 5 stars can actually have a positive impact on a business’s reputation and online performance. You might be thinking, how can it be that lower reviews are better than higher ones? There are a number of reasons why 5-star reviews aren’t always ideal.
A recent study conducted by PowerReviews and Northwestern University found that an average rating lower than 5 starts was most trusted by consumers. “Consumers displayed more trust and were more likely to purchase a product when it’s rating was between 4.2 to 4.5 stars,” says online reviews agency Get Five Stars . This is because a business with all 5-star reviews looks suspicious, since it is very rare that a company provides completely perfect service that exceeds expectations 100% of the time.
That being said, you still want to do your absolute best to provide top-notch service to every customer. And keep in mind that getting some 5-star reviews isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But with a higher volume of testimonials, you’re sure to get a few neutral or negative reviews, which will lead to a balanced rating, hopefully between that magic 4.2-4.5 zone.
Having only 5-star ratings can spark skepticism in consumers, rather than build trust. When people see only perfect reviews, it makes them wonder if the feedback is real or if it has been faked by the company. Since search engines like Google often rank companies with high reviews above those with lower reviews, businesses have incentive to get more 5-star reviews than its competitors. However, too many perfect reviews appear skeptical, since it is rare that every single customer is completely satisfied.
The last thing you want is potential customers to be driven away because they think you could be scamming them. Testimonials that are authentic will show consumers that you’re an honest company. And since trust is the best way to win over your customers and get them to refer you, it’s something you can’t afford to lose.
With realistic ratings of your business, customers will know what to expect when working with your company, rather than making them think you are perfect. It makes it easy for customers to be dissatisfied with your service because of unrealistically high expectations. This can cause disappointment in the product or service if it does not live up to amazing reviews.
For example, if consumers read multiple reviews about a kitchen remodeling service extending a project due date by two weeks, they’ll know to expect service that might take longer than average. This brings their expectations to a realistic level. And if you do happen to complete the project on time or early, you’ve then exceeded the customer’s expectations and they’re more likely to report a positive experience.
Everywhere you look nowadays, people have their eyes glued to their cell phones. Between text messaging, taking photos and browsing social media, it’s hard to keep the attention of anyone under the age of 50 for more than a few minutes if their phone is nearby. That’s exactly why marketers started jumping at the opportunity to be right where they wanted to be: a few inches away from their target’s face on a cell phone screen.
recent years, many small businesses--especially those that use a scheduling
system of some sort—have started utilizing SMS (short message service, aka text
messaging) as a form of marketing and communication with clients. SMS marketing
is an immediate form of communication that has the capability of reaching a
largescale audience within seconds, something that emails and phone calls can’t
compare to anymore. And with 75% of millennials in a recent
choosing texting over talking, it makes sense that SMS marketing is
a tool small businesses need to start utilizing.
When was the last time you pulled out your phone to find a nearby restaurant or coffee shop? Probably pretty recently. And when you did, what phrases did you type into the search engine? Probably something along the lines of ‘Mexican restaurant near me,’ or ‘nearby coffee shop.’ With more and more people using their mobile devices to perform Internet searches on-the-go, there has been an increase in usage of the phrase ‘near me.’
And this doesn’t just apply to food searches.
People are searching for specific services using the terms ‘near me’ in industries of all kinds. This simple change in search terms can give users better search results, and can market your business in a wider area. However, this isn’t something Google can do on its own; first, you need to make sure your company’s website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches.
Google’s latest technological asset for businesses has recently launched, and it’s a game-changer for small businesses that are just starting out. It’s called Google Sites.
For those who have a business but are just figuring out the best way to establish an online presence, Google Sites might be the tool for you. This feature, provided by the search engine, allows business owners to build and manage a mini website on their own, all without the help of a programming professional. It’s not a high-tech website, but for those looking to make basic information about their company and services available to the public, Sites can get the job done.
Anyone who runs a Google My Business account —which should be all business owners—can access this feature and create a mini site in as little as ten minutes. Plus, everything is done through Google, so when you make a change to your local listing, such as updating business hours, the changes will automatically be updated on your website, too. For a small business owner, saving valuable time like this adds up.
Sounds pretty great, huh?
When you look at your business’s website, are you proud of the way your company is represented? Do you feel like your level of work is accurately portrayed through your photos, web design and site optimization? If you can’t stand using your own site, chances are that your customers won’t either. But before you give up on your company’s online presence, consider the difference your business could see when your website is gaining you new clients rather than repelling them.When it comes to your company’s online presence, your website can go one of two ways: either it can help your business, or it can hurt your business.
The purpose of a call-to-action (CTA) is, first and foremost, to provide an instruction to website visitors to contact you immediately, as well as a reason why. It tells them what they will gain from working with you and motivates them to take action to make that happen. Therefore, a good CTA will invoke the customer to contact you on the spot.
Here's how you can create the perfect call-to-action that will have consumers off your site and in your office.
SEO. There it is, that daunting acronym. If you’ve done any research whatsoever about having a successful website, you know that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the foundation of an effective site. It means that your website does a good job of incorporating a bunch of elements, like specific keywords, location and load time, making it easy for people to find your site when they’re searching for local services like yours.For the sake of keeping this at a basic level, we won’t delve too deep into SEO and how it works . But there are a few parts of it that you can easily incorporate into your website that can help immensely.
One of the quickest ways you can drive people off of your site is by having an unresponsive website. You might be wondering what makes a website responsive or unresponsive, and what you can do to change that. This all starts with the most important part of your website: your web design.
There are so many elements that factor into website design, and if you don’t utilize your site’s design, your online presence has the ability to hurt your business.
When it comes to marketing your business online, making your business’s website reflect your brand is an absolute must in any service-based industry. It’s what sets you apart from your competition, establishes your credibility and shows people why you are the best choice for them.
Metric Marketing’s “ Guide to The Importance of Branding in Your Marketing ” breaks branding down to a simple definition:
Online reviews have been around a while. But in the past few years, they’ve increasingly become more important than ever, and the statistics to support its relevancy are overwhelming. Think about it: when you are considering buying a product on Amazon or searching for a restaurant to go to, do you ever look at the reviews to help make your decision? The answer, most likely, is yes.
Today, you can find just about anything online, whether that’s a product or a service, and everyone out there is in the business of marketing. Oftentimes, it’s hard to tell if the images and descriptions are really what you’re getting, or if you’re being scammed. But when we see online reviews from real people just like ourselves who are willing to testify for this brand, it gives us peace of mind that we’re making the right decision.