• Elizabeth Kenney

The Verdict Is In: Online Reviews Matter

As a small business owner, creating positive buzz and conversation about your business is key. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is through online review sites.


To start, several reviews sites offer free listings, including Google, Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor.


According to a study by Womply, which analyzed more than 200,000 small businesses in the United States: “Businesses that claim their free listing of at least four review sites earn 58% more revenue.”

You read that right. And, furthermore businesses that claimed at least three free listings reported an average increase of $107,000 in annual revenue.


In contrast, businesses that did not claim their free listing on any review site earned below-average revenue (24% less revenue than average, to be precise).


What about star ratings?

You may be wondering the effects of star-ratings. Interestingly, the study showed that businesses with a 3.5 to 4.5 star-rating performed the best in terms of sales. Whereas businesses that earned all 5 star-rating reported below average sales.


It’s important to note here that a negative customer review does not have to be destructive. Rather, this can be an opportunity for your business to show an even greater sense of customer service.


With a simple, thoughtful response, you can show this customer and countless other potential customers your team’s attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction.


In addition, you might also invite loyal customers to rate your business online, who will share the glowing customer experiences they have had with your business and team.


Okay, so where to start?

The study revealed that the most important free listing to claim is on Google. Start there. Here’s how.


But don’t stop there! The study revealed that only businesses that claimed their free listing on more than one review site earned above average revenue. Therefore, next move on to other free listing review sites, like Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor.


By simply claiming your business’s free listing, you create online visibility for your business. This then allows for others (your customers, colleagues, and friends) to create buzz about your business.

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