The Internet is a powerful tool for business people. Therefore, you have to maintain a decent online presence if you want to expand. The best way to do this is to have a website that offers the best experience. That means having online customer reviews, an easy-to-use interface, etc. In addition to your website, you should maintain a good presence on social media. And don’t forget Google Business listing – you should update it regularly. But let’s focus on those customer reviews. Your online reputation does rely on what you provide your customers, there’s no arguing about that. But, a more organic way for your reputation to grow is to pay attention to how it appears in web searches. Online reviews are what matters here. It would be prudent of you to pay attention to sites such as Yelp, Google+, and Angie’s List. If you keep reading this article, you’ll learn how online customer reviews impact businesses positively. It will give you all the necessary info for building a successful business while using the reviews to your advantage. Case Studies and Customer Reviews This is a good start for any business. If you want to reach your potential consumers, use case studies. You can use them as content right there on the main page of your website. This will create potential leads for you. However, you can also put case studies in an e-mail campaign, or use them with related e-books. A case study will have the customer craft a story which other people, potential customers themselves, can relate to. A good idea is to have a specific demographic in mind. Once you’ve decided on one, post the case studies which can help them solve a problem which a different customer might have had. Now, the important thing to note is what a case study is, format-wise. It’s a story, and as such, it must feature a central character, their problem and how they’re struggling to solve it, and the solution that eventually got rid of their problem. It should all end with them living an easier life after using your product or service in order to solve their problem. Positive Promoting You can do many things to boost your business, like showing the customers all the awards it has won, or all the talent working for you. But none of that will have as much of an impact as a direct endorsement of a customer or a user. You can pretty much see for yourself what you need to do next. Whenever you see honest, positive reviews from customers, share them online. Post them on your main web page, and then move onto the social media. That way you’ll have more coverage, and the reviews will have more impact. This is also a good way to save money in marketing. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to promote your company, just share online customer reviews. They will sell your product far better. Also, don’t forget to cross-promote as much as possible, and provide bonus info on your website for anyone interested. Find the Good in the Bad You should know that not all reviews will be good. In fact, a good portion of them will likely be bad. Of course, this can upset you, which is natural. However, don’t despair, as even bad reviews can work for your business’ benefit. For example, if all of your reviews are positive, people will think you’re doing something shady. No company is perfect, and customers know that. So, having a solid number of positive reviews and a decent number of negative ones will make your business appear more legitimate. A customer will more likely buy a product from you then because they’ll think you’re a genuine company. But if you want to make sure that you don’t get too many bad reviews, the best thing to do is to talk to your customers. Respond to their questions on the website or social media. Try to persuade them not to dismiss you, and understand their taking umbrage at you so that you can improve with new customers. Online Customer Reviews Offer Insight into Your Success Online reviews can promote your product if they’re positive, sure. On the other hand, negative reviews can make your brand look more genuine and allow you to grow. But, online reviews have one more amazing benefit. Not only are they a trustworthy source of brand info, but they also allow for a somewhat holistic approach to business reviews. In other words, they don’t just focus on a specific product or service. A potential customer will learn both what your product can or can’t do as well as something about your business in general. Or rather, how approachable you are to customers. In addition to this, online customer reviews can show you trends related to your product. You might often find common issues or trends about what you sell that you yourself didn’t notice, something that only your customers can recognize and relate to through these reviews. These details will matter to you, and online reviews highlight them to you and anyone else watching. SEO Boosting Google usually uses well-known online review websites to collect info on local businesses. That means that numbers matter, more specifically total numbers of ratings and reviews. But you can even use this to your advantage. You ought to combine positive online reviews with your SEO efforts, both on and off-page. That way your business will appear more frequently within organic online search results. Top local listings, also known to users as “3-pack” listings, normally get taken up by any business that has a large number of online customer reviews. Trust Building Customers of all shapes and sizes don’t immediately make a purchase, but rather weigh their options. The final decision is usually linked to reading online reviews and deciding whether to buy or not buy something based on them. Every single industry deals with this, and there isn’t a business out there that doesn’t depend on customer reviews. What does this mean? It’s rather simple – you need your customer to trust both you and your brand. What’s more, you need to have that trust from the very first day. Lots of good reviews (despite a few bad ones) will give the customer that trust. They will feel that you’re doing good business and will confidently choose to pay for your services. The more you maintain this trust, the more customers you’ll have. Your Personality Via Online Customer Reviews This particular benefit directly allows you to “sell” yourself right there with your brand. Customers will provide info on your product or service, yes, but they’ll give their opinion on you as well. With both positive and negative reviews, your response to the customer matters and can do wonders for your business. Responding to reviews allows you to show a little of your personality to potential buyers, as well as having a direct impact on your existing customers. What you must do is constantly talk to dissatisfied shoppers and address their problems. In addition, honestly thank your customers who gave positive reviews and encourage them to continue shopping for your product. That way you’ll be that businessman who pays attention to his customers, which is a powerful feat to have in business. Organic Search Click-Through Rates Boosted Maybe your website uses the so-called Schema markup. If that’s the case, set it up so that each review about your services shows in the search results, next to the listing of your website. Naturally, this means encouraging Google reviews, as this gives you more stars in local search ratings. It also attracts more attention to your product. The golden rule here is “it’s better to have a few positive online reviews than to have none whatsoever.” Even if the business appears on the first page, not having a positive customer review won’t help it expand. You’ll improve your click-through rate to be higher than websites with more traffic than yours. All you need to do is to collect and promote those star reviews as often as you can. A Few Closing Words It goes without saying that online customer reviews provide the much-needed user feedback. You can use these reviews to see what you’re good at and what you lack. Furthermore, using them you’ll earn consumer trust, and they’ll further promote your project, allowing it to grow organically and expand.