Whether you operate your small business from a shared office in Toronto, out of your home, or another location, it is important to realize why online reviews of your operation matter more now than they did five or ten years ago.
Today, people are tied to their mobile devices and online sites everywhere they go. As a result, they have more time to conduct research about the products and services they require. To help them make wise purchasing decisions, they turn to online review sites to look at how businesses are rated. In fact, 75% of people visiting review sites take the time to read comments left by other customers. Furthermore, they rely upon these reviews, just like they would a recommendation from a friend or relative.
About half of the people reading your business’ positive online reviews will take time to visit your website and around 10% will pick up the phone and call your business directly. Out of these two segments, approximately 25% will make a purchase from your business. The other half are often just starting their research, but after they are done, up to 20% will return to your business to make their purchase. As you can see, having positive online reviews is a valuable tool to help increase revenues and ensure the success of your operation.
How Do You Get Online Reviews?
Most review sites, such as Yelp and Google+ will allow people to leave reviews about your business, without needing to be registered on their sites. The first thing you need to do is determine what online review sites are the most relevant for your business. It is important that you concentrate on no more than three review sites, otherwise you’ll find yourself spending more time monitoring, reviewing, and responding to posts than concentrating on your core and essential business functions.
Ideally, the best ones to start with are Facebook and Google+. From there, you can consider Yelp or another localized review site. Both Facebook and Google+ are simple to register with and allow you to easily configure your online page, if you don’t already have one. Unlike Yelp, Facebook and Google+ don’t block reviews, but more on that in a moment.
One of the main benefits of using Facebook and Google+ for online reviews are that they’re tied directly into Google search results, meaning positive reviews can increase your placement in the results, as well as on Google Maps’ list of localized searches.
With Yelp and some other review sites, both businesses and reviewers must register with the site. For reviewers, in order to have their reviews posted, they might have to post reviews on a regular basis, review multiple businesses, or do other such “tasks” to become a qualified reviewer. For businesses, they will often notice their positive reviews not being approved, and it is often directly related to the reviewer not being a qualified.
We hope you have enjoyed learning more about how online reviews can affect your business. If you require a virtual mailing address in Toronto, or want to learn more about the benefits of shared office spaces, please feel free to contact iQ Offices at 416.238.1111 today!