Word of mouth has always been king when it comes to gaining new customers and clients, but did you know that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? Think about the last time you went to a new restaurant or bought something off of an online retailer like Amazon. Did you glance at the star rating before making your purchase? It takes less than 10 reviews for 90% of your consumers to form an opinion about a business.

Why is that?

Reviews build credibility in your business. This is something called social proof. Social proof is the foundation of consumer purchases. It’s a personal pressure to follow in the footsteps of other consumers and clients based on their recommendations. Basically, the more thought-provoking 5-star ratings and testimonials you have, the more other consumers and clients will be compelled to work with you.

Social proof isn’t enough, however. Your customers and clients need to find you. Sites like Yelp, Healthgrades, Google Reviews, Zocdoc, and more provide connections to your business beyond a website and social media presence. It leverages the power of search engines to find your business and bring in those customers and clients you’re looking for. This is especially true if you have reviews on your site. As consumers have become more skilled at gathering information on businesses, your reviews become more important than ever. This is why it’s so important to ensure that your business information is up to date at Yelp, Google Maps, and more. We covered which sites you should target in this post.

Remember, online reviews are necessary to gain traction in first page search results for your business in both keyword and local searches. The connection between online reviews and increased sales can’t be ignored.

Reference link: BrightLocal 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey: https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/