Reviews are currency for local small businesses, and Woman-owned small businesses like ours. Reviews make or break you because people trust them, everyone can see them, and your competitors are also being reviewed. That’s why the number of positive reviews, the authors of the reviews and their biases, and the website where the customer found the review are all success factors.
In today’s competitive landscape, reviews are a window into the good, the bad, and the ugly of a small business. More than anything else, reviews are important because they are a reflection of what overs say about a small business, which is ultimately more important than what your business says about itself.
Small and local Woman-owned small businesses, as we discussed earlier, face particular challenges, and possess particular benefits that reviews play a particular role in.
1. Reviews Make or Break A Company's SEO
Many sources say that reviews directly impact your local SEO, which is very important for a local small business with one or a couple locations. They impact your SEO because reviews rank you in local searches based on the number of positive and negative reviews you have received. Positive reviews bring you closer to the top because Google determines the relevance of a business to a search partly based on reviews (of course, the other part is your overall SEO strategy and ranking for relevant key words) .
2. People Trust Reviews
Research shows that the average customer has already made up his or her mind by the time he or she has seen your page, which means he or she knows what to look for when visiting the website of your business . So, if a review paints a bad picture of your business, it could impact who bites in the future . 68% of people read 4 or more reviews before considering a business seriously.
Reviews also impact customer actions. 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business . They are also likely to spend 31% more on a business with “excellent” reviews, which is especially important for local businesses trying to set itself apart . Excellence can set you apart because good reviews may raise a company's reputation compared to competitors but the amount of excellent reviews may be what lands the job.
3. Reviews Add Detail
Customers cite reliability (27%) expertise and professionalism (18%) as the most important reputation traits for a business, so any small details and stories that reinforce those things is good. Reviews that reinforce what people look for in a construction company also score points. These include strong risk management, experience and success, a skilled team, modern equipment, technology, and a strong commitment to safety .
A review that appears to reveal a company as something you were trying to hide can be a detriment. Examples of this would be things that go against what people look for in a construction company, such as poor communication with the customer, an inexperienced team, etc.
4. Reviews Create Opportunities
Other than boosting your search ranking, adding detail, and influencing others, a review is a vote of confidence for a business, which creates a deeper relationship with its customers. A review gives a company an opportunity to interact with the customer post-purchase. It's time here to thank customers for their kind words, and ask them to tell their story. Success stories are hugely powerful as word-of-mouth marketing. And if a customer was less than satisfied, reviews are an opportunity right the wrongs as much as you can after the fact. If the customer was happy with the changes you made, companies should not be afraid to ask customers to revise their reviews.
5. Some Review Sites are Highly Influential
Some sites are highly influential in persuading customer purchasing decisions. One example is Yelp. 98% of people made a purchase at a business they found via Yelp, with 90% of those people doing so within a week . 80% of Yelp users visited Yelp because they intended to make a purchase . A one-star increase on Yelp has been associated with a 5 to 9 percent increase in revenue, and one negative review has been associated with the loss of approximately 30 customers . This is important for the construction industry because it gives businesses the opportunity to showcase the things that create the most value.Sites including Home Advisor and Houzz are unique to the home improvement and construction industries, and the domain authority they have garnered due to their traffic has made them very influential in customers' choice of home renovator .
6. Industry-Specific Review Sites Are Important Too
Some industries are especially skewed by reviews. Hotels, restaurants, are all examples. The construction industry is no exception .
Though less impacted by reviews than hotels and healthcare, 56% of people used online reviews to find their most recent construction or repair crew and 86% would pay more for a crew with higher ratings and reviews .
The impact of these sites makes sense because contractors, plumbers, etc have always been hard to vet, as their work is highly specialized. Thus, those who are not construction specialists can easily get stuck with low-quality work that needs to be corrected.
7. Reviews Help Businesses Understand Themselves
Sometimes, especially for new companies still finding their way, a customer review may point out something even the owner did not know about his or her business. Perhaps most job requests are for a particular type of repair, or the project turnover is much faster than that of other local companies. Maybe the company turns out to be the only contractor in an area that does a particular type of repair or installation. Perhaps most customer reviews come from the same location. Reviews are insights into what matters most to customers like you! We are often surprised and delighted to hear things even we did not know about ourselves!
The woman-owned aspect has been a draw for our company that has set us apart. Click to read more about the benefits of working with a woman-owned small business.
8. They Draw Attention to Businesses Customers Might Otherwise Overlook
Picture a new local restaurant no one would otherwise think of, maybe there's one in your neighborhood. It may be a family-owned place, not yet able to afford expensive signage and a digital advertising budget. But that same place may have the best french toast in town, which catches the attention of people who catch a whiff as they walk by. Those people then tell the world how delicious their french toast was on review sites. Suddenly, the unknown restaurant became THE place for Sunday brunch, and draws lines around the store.
Reviews work the same way for all small business, especially new businesses. The construction industry is no different. A company that has not yet built a strong brand could soon be the definitive stair lift contractor, simply because of a few kind words.
It's clear that in our day and age, the customer is empowered to say what he or she thinks of a company, so reputation management is becoming a new and crucial part of advertising. And the way a company uses and responds to reviews becomes part of the self portrait that is your online profile.
Having said all that, we'd love to hear from you! If you've worked with us, we'd love your honest, detailed feedback on our listings below:
If you haven't yet, don't take our word for it, check out our reviews on Google, Yelp on Facebook today!