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Positive online reviews provide social proof that your company is worth doing business with. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon otherwise known as herd mentality. Right or wrong, social proof says that if everyone else is patronizing a local restaurant, it must be good. If everyone else is buying a certain brand, it must have value. We assume others’ knowledge is right, and it helps stop us from second guessing ourselves. Positive online reviews are like second opinions vouching for your business.

5 Reasons Why You Need Online Reviews

Reason #1: Nine out of ten customers read reviews before making a purchase. Consumers are doing their research online, and that includes what other people are saying about your product or service, not just what your website says. Trust in your company grows when others post positive reviews.

Reason #2: 39% of consumers over 55 say they trust reviews more than personal recommendations. Consumers view other reviewers as peers whose opinions they trust because they see these people as similar to themselves, at least as far as wanting to purchase the same product or service.

Reason #3: 38% of customers look for at minimum a 4-star average review. Whether it’s deciding what bedsheets on Amazon to buy or what shows to stream online, consumers are looking where to best spend their money or their time. When your average rating is 4.8, that fosters a lot more confidence in the consumer than a 2.3 average rating.

Negative reviews are not fatal to your business. They show a human side to your business, and if addressed, can create goodwill. It seems counterintuitive, but a sprinkling of negative reviews can be good for your business. Take advantage of the opportunity to solve customer problems and show that you are a company that cares what consumers think about your products and services.

Reason #4: Online reviews will boost your ranking in search engines. Positive online reviews can increase click-through rate by as much as 153%. Ask your customers for reviews.

Reason #5: Online reviews lead to more sales. A study shows that a 1-star increase in rating leads to almost a 10% increase in customer conversions. Give your customers exceptional products and exceptional services, and let them do your advertising for you.

Monitoring your reputation and asking for online reviews as well as responding to them, means more customers for your business and ultimately, an increase in your bottom line.