Why are Ratings & Reviews Important?

As a successful business owner, you already know the importance of Social Proof and word of mouth to the bottom line. Ratings and Reviews are one of the most important marketing channels which can not only bring in new customers, but increase conversion, increase margins, and up-sell more products.

Many bad reviews can drive business to your competitors. Progressively working to raise your online ratings will significantly better your probability of gaining a larger, happier customer base. Online reviews are a portal for new customers to discover your business and for returning customers to share what they love or dislike about their experience. Most importantly, reviews can be one of the most economical marketing channels.


Hundreds of factors influence relevance when a customer uses a search engine to find a new business, whether it be a plumber, doctor, lawyer, or somewhere to go for lunch. Having a solid stream of reviews, especially on popular sites, helps your business be found in the sea of possible search results.

With the added option of pictures and other content, your profile will lure customers in, showing them that you are professional, successful, and aware of the reviews you have. Check out the articles below to turbo charge your review initiatives:

Understanding Reviewers:


Respond to both positive and negative reviews. Not only will this help alleviate negative reviews but encourage more people to write reviews which increases positive reviews for most places.


Review Filters: weed out factitious reviews – This is an algorithm that top reviews sites have adopted. The system digs out and marks suspiciously bad or favorable reviews. Honest reviews are good reviews – favorable to your business or not.

Trusting a review– When you start getting an abundance of reviews, you will be able to look at the full spectrum of your reviewers. Typically, there are four different kinds of reviewers:

  • Anonymous reviewers – when someone leaves an anonymous review, it is typically because there is a fear of being exposed, whether it is because that person is leaving a bad review or because they are behind a scheme to load a business up with fake reviews. Other anonymous reviewers choose this method of online reviewing, because it can be quick and easy. There is no need to log in, create a user name, or fuss over forgetting a password.
  • Member reviewers – These are people behind real profiles who can be contacted for praise, gratitude, and explanation of a review they left.
  • Members from like demographics – Often, people want to read reviews from people who are common to an area or have like experiences, like being a mom or dad. A mom is going to trust a restaurant’s review from another mom before she would anyone else. Targeting a specific demographic may be the trick that gets you the reviews you need.
  • Social Circle reviews – Reviews from Facebook or other social networking sites like twitter are great, because they come from the trusted people on your friends and followers list.

Negative reviews should not be ignored, no matter how unimportant the matter may seem to you or your employees. Sometimes, issues get out of control quickly and you find a mob of people virtually rioting on your review listing. When any negative reviews arise, follow this simple protocol:

  1. Professionally ask what went wrong. Was it a valid issue? If so explain what happened, apologize, and offer to correct. If not state the facts in a professional tone without attacking or being accusatory.
  2. Ask the reviewer what you can do to fix the situation.
  3. Make sure their concerns/issues have been satisfied.
  4. After the situation has been resolved, ask the reviewer to change their review. Most of the time, they will do this for you – This is much easier and less costly than hiring a Reputation Management Firm for thousands of dollars without guaranteed results.

*Word to the Wise: If you find that you are receiving a common complaint from online reviewers, think about changing that aspect of your business - it could be the one thing to help you boost your overall success.

Getting More Reviews


Where Else To Focus Your Review Strategy

Where you have a profile and reviews online matter. Having good coverage on popular sites will save you time, effort, and money while maximizing profit.

Step 1: This is the direct route for your business to be found and reviewed by all people using the internet. Start here first by creating free, paid profiles , and limited advertising budget.


Vertical Specific

Vertical sites related to a specific category like restuarants, doctors, lawyers, realestate, auto, home services, etc... Because they are focused on one topic users have a very focused depth of features and tools.

Step 2: Next we recommend an enhanced profile on the site(s) in your category.


How to Get Found



Not only can you monitor the popularity of your listing, but Google+ Local will showcase your business under searches, based on relevance, distance, and how prominent you are in your local community.


Oftentimes, sites will syndicate reviews and listing information to others, allowing information to be shared throughout the web. Syndication helps businesses increase their digital footprint and reach a larger audience. Judy's Book syndicates reviews to many popular sites and services.


A great way to show off your business and its reviews is to place signs in your windows or front door, encouraging users to find you on review


Hootsuite has created an outlet for you to speak to and understand the statistics of your customers on social media, all through one outlet. This helpful tool allows you to save time on organic promotion and includes perks, such as access to all your social media accounts at once, analytics on your followers and friends, and protects your accounts with personal security measures to keep your company and reputation safe. Hootsuite offers free, pro, and enterprise accounts, the pro starting at just $8.99 per month

What's a hashtag anyway?

A hashtag is a tool now available on many social media sites that connects anything you desire to a specific word or phrase. Just throw an octothorpe, or # sign, in front of anything you want, like #greatrestaurant, #favoritedentist, or #roofer, etc… and watch your business acquire new followers,

Listing Services

Creating profiles can be a time consuming experience. Most businesses find listing services to be a great time saver and pay for themselves in time saved. Listing Services are a great, paid, way of getting your name out there. In all, you upload your info to a listing service and they do all the heavy lifting of propogating it to popular review sites and directories. Here are some popular Listing Services and their perks:


Learning from your Reviews

Assessment of service

Do not dwell on terrible reviews, but don’t forget them, either. The same goes for great or average reviews. Don’t let that great review let your mind wander from those negative ones; all commentary must be given the same amount of attention and action. If you are having trouble finding the time to look at all your reviews, make sure to appoint someone who can thoroughly appraise all the content on your review landscape

Implementing change

After you have assessed your situation, chart the results and note what needs to be changed or enhanced.


After a while, you will be able to measure trends and commonalities within your reviews. This is where you will be able to implement those changes recommended and highlight what the customers have loved from your business. For example, if the community just can’t get enough of your Philly Cheesesteak, make a sign, saying “Our reviewers love our Cheesesteak!”

97% of happy customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. Source:

How Online Review Site Filters Work