The Importance of Reviews and Ratings in Your Online Presence

To attract new customers in today’s competitive digital market, you must have a strong online presence.

Today’s buyers rely heavily on customer reviews and ratings. Especially now that so much business is conducted online, where consumers can’t examine a product first-hand, they depend on the experience of others to guide their purchase decisions. When shopping for products, 44% of consumers find online customer reviews to be very helpful. Reviews and ratings play a crucial role in marketing for manufacturers and overall business success.

Keep reading to learn about the importance of reviews and ratings to understand the role they play in your online presence.

Key Takeaways

  • Reviews and ratings help to strengthen your online presence, drive traffic to your website, solidify brand marketing, and increase conversions and sales.
  • When people weigh reviews into their purchase decisions, they look at how recent the reviews are, any common complaints, additional media content, and the credibility of the review website and the person leaving the rating.
  • From claiming online review profiles to publishing your reviews for all to see, there are several ways to capitalize on your customer feedback.

How Do Online Reviews and Ratings Benefit Your Business?

Whether they’re fact-finding, comparison shopping, or ready-to-buy, most people use the internet to identify possible solutions to their unique questions and problems. They’ll search for a company that offers the products they need and will use those results as a starting point for their buying expedition. For this reason, you’ll want to publish relevant content with targeted keywords to help align your searches with your company’s products and services.

As part of SEO basics for manufacturing and industrial companies, reviews and ratings are one way to generate content for search engines to use in their indexing process. Reviews help to solidify your online presence and provide useful content for visitors to consume. They can also engage your audience, which helps to increase search engine results. All of this can lead to higher search engine ranking placement, boosting your website visibility.

Reviews and ratings posted on other platforms, like social media pages or review websites, help broaden your reach and get your business’ name in more locations. They’re an impactful element of any strategy for content marketing for manufacturing companies.

Beyond building your online presence, reviews and ratings can help in:

  • Driving website traffic for manufacturing companies: When potential B2B buyers see rave reviews about your customer service or product quality, they are likely to visit your website to learn more.
  • Brand marketing for manufacturing companies: A history of positive reviews helps to shape audience perception about your brand, and you can include customer ratings in your marketing collateral.
  • Increasing conversions and sales: When shoppers see that others have had a good experience with your brand, they’re more likely to choose you over a business that doesn’t have good reviews. Reviews and ratings can give buyers the confidence to buy from you.

By capitalizing on your customers’ first-hand experiences with your company, you can increase your success exponentially. The following video goes into further detail about why online reviews are so important and offers a helpful tip to gain more reviews quickly:

Source: Ranking Academy on YouTube

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Industrial Companies

What Influences User Behavior?

Buyers look for four main factors in reviews before deciding to buy from a company.

1. Timeline

Were the reviews and ratings posted recently, or are they outdated? A company can change a lot in a short time, both for the better and for the worse. Just because someone had a negative experience five years ago doesn’t mean the same circumstances will happen again.

Maybe ownership has changed. Perhaps product quality has improved. Conversely, a positive review from five years ago doesn’t instill as much confidence as a positive review posted within the last two weeks. The more recent the reviews and ratings, the more impact they have on today’s readers.

2. Commonalities

An occasional negative review might raise an eyebrow but is generally not cause for alarm. However, several reviews that share the same complaint are a red flag. Shoppers look for commonalities among reviews that can indicate ongoing issues to avoid. On the other hand, consistent, positive feedback can highlight the company’s strengths and assets.

For example, if customer service is important to the buyer and a brand has multiple reviews praising their customer service, this may be a company the shopper wants to patronize.

3. Further Details

A written review can describe an experience, but photos and videos can give buyers a more complete understanding of that experience. From product demonstrations to a zoomed-in view of features and functions, reviews that include media content depicting further details are especially appealing to potential buyers. They help set a more realistic expectation of what their customer journey will be.

4. Credibility

When people read reviews of a company or product, they want to know that they can trust the source of the information. Is the review website credible? Are the reviews from people who seem reasonable? These are the kinds of validations buyers consider when reading through reviews and ratings.

Anonymous consumers leave lower ratings and aren’t as credible as verified buyers.

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How to Capitalize On Your Reviews and Ratings

Customer reviews can help generate brand awareness and keep your business front of mind, solidifying your online presence while strengthening your reputation. You can make the most of reviews and ratings through the following:

  • Claiming profiles: Every review site your business is listed on allows you to claim that listing. This verifies you as the owner and empowers you to manage that information. It also helps to boost your SEO efforts and increases your visibility, which can ultimately lead to more sales and higher revenue.
  • Engaging with reviews: If a customer posts a negative review, address their concerns publicly so others can see how you handled the issue. A negative experience can be turned into a positive one if it’s resolved with professionalism and reason.

Responding appropriately to a negative review can turn a negative experience into positive publicity for your company.

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  • Tracking metrics: Study analytics and review data to get a clear understanding of how customers really feel about your brand. Assess comments and concerns to learn where you’re excelling and what could use some improvement.
  • Publish reviews: Let your happy customers do your marketing for you. Share their reviews in your marketing materials, on your social media sites, and on your home page. (Reviews and ratings are website must-haves for manufacturing companies.) Post links in your emails, on your website, and on social media to make it easy for people to leave their feedback. The more reviews and ratings you can earn, the better.

Often underutilized, reviews and ratings can be a powerful tool to drive your business toward success.

Make Reviews and Ratings Work for You

Shanahan Strategy is an industrial marketing agency that uses marketing trends for manufacturing companies to help them build a strong online presence for continued growth and success.

Contact Shanahan Strategy today to learn how to maximize your reviews and ratings to attract new customers and increase conversions and sales.

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The initial consultation is free.  If you’re thinking, “this is exactly what we need,” then let’s talk. We want to hear about your goals and frustrations. If there’s an opportunity to work together, great. If not, we’ll point you in the right direction. Get in touch or request a consultation.


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