7 Reasons Reviews Matter for Your Small Business

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7 Reasons Reviews Matter for Your Small Business

Apr 30, 2022

Small businesses can't afford to overlook the importance of online reviews. Positive reviews can quickly bolster your online reputation and set you apart from the competition. Likewise, too many bad reviews can put a serious dent in your credibility and send potential customers in the direction of rival businesses.

Unfortunately, the occasional bad review is par for the course. However, the impact of negative feedback is easy to mitigate. Furthermore, engaging with happy customers can be an effective way to improve your SEO efforts and establish yourself as a best-in-class business, no matter how crowded the market is. So, what are the other reasons for the importance of reviews for small businesses?

1. Positive Reviews Boost Your Credibility

Online reviews are an incredibly useful tool for consumers looking to make purchasing decisions. Although there's always the chance that a user may leave a fake review, the majority of published reviews are legitimate. Recent research suggests as many as four in five consumers put as much stock in online reviews as they do from personal recommendations.

A high number of balanced reviews will go a long way in boosting your credibility. A stream of five-star reviews may seem suspicious to would-be customers, suggesting your business has solicited positive feedback from customers. Thankfully, many review sites are actively working to eliminate such solicitation, increasing the average consumer's trust in online reviews. Look at Trustpilot, for example.

2. Online Reviews Affect SEO

Long gone are the days when keyword-rich content is all you needed to place highly in search engine rankings. Nowadays, many different factors affect SEO and inform your ranking performance. Online reviews are one contributing factor and have a considerable influence on how highly you rank for a search.

The overall number of reviews of your business is a major factor, although the ratio between good and bad reviews can also impact SEO. Publishing frequency is also important. If too many reviews are posted close together is a red flag for suspicious activity and can be detrimental to your SEO ranking.

Even if your business ranks well for a specific search term, a low average rating across your reviews will likely deter them from clicking through and converting. Your aim is to attract new visitors to your site and secure conversions, so strive for a high volume of reviews that average out at a high star rating.

3. They're a Rich Resource for Feedback and Insights

Make sure you're using all reviews, both the good and bad, for feedback and improvement purposes. It's important to set aside time to digest all the information outlined in your online reviews to flag any major issues. If there's a recurrent theme in bad reviews, you may be able to address the root cause quickly. Sometimes, the problem is as simple as an incorrect line of information. Likewise, you can scour positive reviews to identify your successes.

4. Businesses That Respond to Reviews Are Seen in a Better Light

Although small businesses should strive to avoid negative feedback, you can mitigate the damage by actively responding to bad reviews.

Demonstrating that you care about your customers and their experience is one of the best ways to support a growing business.

Even if you've received a significant number of bad reviews, showcasing that you're aware of any issues and actively working to address them will go a long way in improving your credibility. According to Reviewtrackers, 53% of customers expect a response to negative reviews within a week.

5. An Easy Way to Establish Trust with Your Customers

Engaging with customers via online reviews is an effective way for smaller businesses to establish trust with their consumer base. Going out of your way to leave a thank you message in response to a positive review is an excellent way of strengthening trust and instilling greater confidence in your customers. When engaging with consumers via online reviews, be consistent with your tone of voice and make sure any dialogue is on-brand.

6. Social Media Means Reviews Can Be Shared Readily Online

It's estimated that as many as 96% of small businesses in the United States use social media. Many businesses turn to the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to extend their outreach. These social media channels can be an effective way to interact with customers, but they also provide additional avenues for referrals and online reviews.

However, social media platforms also make it easier for harmful word-of-mouth to spread quicker. Any small business with an active social media presence should be investing time and resources into monitoring chatter.

7. Customers Use Reviews to Inform Decisions

Finally, it's important to remember that online reviews can play a huge part in purchasing decisions. If a consumer is online, there's a strong chance they'll be doing their homework before committing to a purchase.

One study suggests that 93% of consumers refer to online reviews to steer their purchasing decisions. Unless you're offering an exclusive service, consumers are likely to be weighing up their options and looking at the reviews of your competitors. If their weighted average is higher than your own, chances are you'll be saying goodbye to a sale.

However, you should have little trouble building credibility and giving your business a competitive edge if you follow the advice outlined above.

Meet The Author:


Zoe Dromgoole

Zoe Dromgoole is the Marketing Executive at Wood Flooring Ireland.


The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

Courtesy of NASE.org