How many times have you heard the phrase “your reputation online will follow you forever.”? As humans are increasingly more active on social media websites and/or other ways to communicate and live their lives through technology, it is important to be sure that what you put online makes you seem like a good person. Your digital footprint never goes away.

Now apply the same logic to your business.

People talk. Ideas get shared. So your business’s reputation is as important to maintain as your own. Is your business trustworthy? Do you provide great service to your customers? Of course you answered ‘yes’ to both questions… right?

SEO (search engine optimization) trends constantly change. Lately, it seems that there is a lot of value in your customers’ reviews of your business online. In fact, from Google’s own help center, it states:

Reputation marketing from Google

Imagine that. Better local search results online JUST by conducting your best business practices. Plus, you’re not spending ANY money to market your business effectively.

5 benefits of positive online reviews and ratings for your business:

  • 56% of consumers select a business if it has positive ratings/reviews displayed in Google Local Pack*.
  • A positive reputation can boost search ranking, drive more clicks and build trust among consumers.
  • Having a 5-star rating earns a business 39% more clicks from Google Local than having a 1-star rating.
  • Going from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating gets a business 25% more clicks from Google Local Pack*.
  • Star Ratings displayed in Local Pack results generate higher CTR (click-through rates) than organic search results.

*Google Local Pack refers to the search results most relevant to the user geographically. Currently, the results are displayed in threes.
As an example, I typed “auto body shops” into Google from my desk, and the Local Pack results are:

Local Pack Auto Body Shops

Reputation matters. Consumers read reviews before purchasing VERY often:

  • 91% of consumers read online reviews when searching for local businesses.
  • 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if the business just asks them to.

All of the above stats come from a very interesting study conducted by BrightLocal.

Need to acquire more reviews and ratings for your business? Just ask!

Honestly, it can be very easy to get your customers talking about your business online. In fact, we told you just how to do that in a blog post from last month! Simple strategies often can be the most beneficial to improving your business’s local search rankings.

Even though SEO strategies and Google’s search ranking procedures change often, logic says that positive experiences shared by YOUR customers will always generate buzz, bring more customers to your website, increase foot traffic to your store and allow you to MAKE MORE MONEY!

Go ahead and get the conversation started with your customers. Your reputation depends on it.