When No News is Bad News

Imagine a storefront with untouched merchandise and no customers. Now imagine a tumbleweed drifting by. That’s what a customer visualizes when they find a business with no online reviews. They equate no or few reviews with a lack of experience or credibility, or a lack of interest in what consumers really want.

88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations*

No one wants to be a guinea pig for a business; they want to know that the food is good, the service is top-notch and the products are high quality. They want to know what other people think. A customer who has seen a quantity of positive reviews, has actually formed an opinion of your business before they’ve even come in your door or sampled your wares.

67% of customers who read reviews, form an opinion after reading six or less*

This is important to consider. Google local search results favor reviewed businesses, particularly ones that have been reviewed on Google itself, giving priority to those that have numerous and positive ratings. The business’s “star” rating is also featured. Businesses with no reviews will simply not occupy these premium search engine result spots.

After these initial featured results, Google returns top-rated “directories,” the top ones of which are popular review sites. Without a presence on these sites, you’ll be outrun by your competitors before you even have a chance to get in the game. RatingsMax has a variety of ways to solicit reviews, even if your business has few or none. We can even ensure that you have reviews before your hard launch.

72% of consumers will take action after reading a positive review*

More and more people are using their phones to find local businesses and taking immediate action. If your company isn’t even visible in the first few search results, you are throwing away potential business.

In fact, Google’s new algorithm update Pigeon, takes local search a step further by targeting neighborhoods rather than broad geographic areas. Every update Google makes is intended to provide more and more value to the searcher, and they believe that honest and valid ratings and reviews are a big part of that process. A company with no reviews will rank lower, and perhaps not be seen at all.

So how do you go about getting reviews? Encourage your customers to provide feedback as many ways as you can. And work with a company like RatingsMax that knows how to reach customers at each and every touch-point and provides a feedback loop between customer and business that makes the most out of every review–good and bad.

RatingsMax helps you work with your customer base to get high quality, honest feedback from people who visit your business and encourages publication to the most powerful public review sites. We have multiple ways to encourage reviews, helping you to interact with your customers at a variety of touchpoints. We even have ways of getting reviews when your business has none – or even before it officially opens. All these reviews are legitimate, voluntary, uncompensated reviews from real customers who have had a real experience with your business.

*BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey 2014