Why do I need online reviews? What is social proof

Why do I need online reviews? Is social proof something I need to worry about?

Alex Evans By Alex Evans

A 3 minute read.

Social Proof

The fact is, people rely on online reviews when they're choosing whether or not to do business with you.

A whopping 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do word-of-mouth recommendations, according to Bright Local. The same survey discovered that most people will read up to 10 reviews before making a purchase decision and, over 54% of people will visit a website after reading positive reviews. In addition, 85% of consumers will only make a purchase after reading online reviews.

That is pretty compelling stuff!

The easier you make that “due diligence” phase, the quicker the consumer will make up their mind and get in touch.

When the social proof is right in front of them, on your Google Business Profile and on your website, you prevent the consumers from going elsewhere and getting distracted. They are already a captive audience.

Yeah, you can pay to be listed at the top of a Google (or other search engine) search, but did you know that 70- 80% of search engine users only focus on the organic (unpaid) results? These days most search engine users are savvy enough to know that the results at the top of the page are sponsored (paid) listings, and would prefer to skip straight to the organic results.

Google It

Generally, Google is the first connection between a consumer and a brand.

Even if you were found amongst hundreds of your competitors on a portal, the user is still going to carry out some “due diligence” on your brand, and where do you think they will go to start that process?

Ensuring your Google Business Profile looks the part is definitely an important part of your customer journey.

Encourage Reviews

You need a fair number of reviews to build trust. If you only have 1 or 2, there just isn’t enough to form an opinion. Getting at least 10 reviews is a balanced number and encourages trust.

In addition to getting those all-important reviews, asking customers about their experience should be standard customer service! After all, how can you improve processes without customer feedback?

Throughout your customers journey, there will be at least 2 points where you can proactively ask for a review and generally, those represent when the consumer will be at their happiest (so they just made a decision and agreed to join you or they just had an offer on their new property accepted).

From experience, one thing is for sure, don't just ask for a review once. Keep asking until you get one (within reason of course)! It takes time for it to register with people sometimes.

Recycle and Repurpose

You have built up a nice collection of Google Reviews but now what? You don’t have to leave your reviews on your Google Business Profile!

Google Reviews are content that can be repurposed many times over. For example, in your email signature, newsletters, digital ads, plus its great content for your social media channels too. You can direct visitors right to the reviews on your own website (with headlines like “Our reviews don’t lie,” or “See what other customers have said”).

Are you needing help building up your social proof? 

We've written a blog that explains how you can simplify your reviews process and generally feel a bit more confident in asking for reviews. Check out the blog here.

Just as a footnote, whilst my name gets mentioned in a few of the reviews, I must stress that I couldn't do anything without my brilliant team - it is truly a team effort.

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