Over the last few years, consumer reviews have become an important aspect in the customer-buying journey for businesses online. Reviews assure potential customers of the product and service quality based on past experiences of others – where to visit, what to eat, what’s good, and what’s not. According to Invespro, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
On the other hand, Google has stated that reviews can improve a business’s ranking on search as the crowd-sourced content helps Google’s search quality raters score a business based on Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT). So yes, qualitative and quantitative reviews improve a business’s EAT score. Asking customers to post fresh reviews will not only boost your SEO and be treated as fresh content and help rank you above your competition. In fact, it’s been found that just by asking customers to make reviews of your products and services, up to 67% of consumers will provide one.
When it comes to optimizing for the Local Pack, Reviews have moved up as the #2 ranking factor just after Google My Business, and holds an estimated 16% weight as a ranking factor. Review Ratings are the biggest driver of clicks on Local SERPs and consumers are more likely to spend 31% more on products and services that have good reviews. Businesses with 4-star and 5-star ratings are more likely to get a better click-through over their competitors and suggest to the search engine that their offerings are premium.
When it comes to Reviews being a signal for the search engine to rank a business, Google has listed these 4 factors that they take into consideration:
- Keywords in Google reviews (to ensure relevance to search queries)
- Positive sentiment in review text (suggests prominence of the business)
- High numerical Google ratings (suggests prominence of the business)
- Quantity and quality of Google reviews with text (suggests prominence of the business)
To add to this, managing your reviews on Google My Business effectively isn’t the only objective to rank (with prominence and relevance) on search, in fact, managing reviews on third-party review platforms is as important, which brings us to the challenge in managing reviews.
Why businesses fail to manage reviews efficiently?
It’s a given that managing reviews or one’s online reputation is time bound. This means that responses to reviews, whether positive or negative have to be quick and the entire reputation management process has to be seamless. In fact, based on Yelp’s Data Science, 33% users are likely to upgrade or change a negative review if the business responds with a personalized message within a day.
Now the problem of managing reviews effectively surfaces as there are hundreds of review platforms and directories out there and managing reviews manually for multiple business locations can prove to be a daunting task and more realistically, impossible.
Milestone Reviews – a business’s answer to managing reviews efficiently. Powered by Milestone Presence Cloud, Milestone Reviews is an Online Reputation Management software that helps businesses monitor reviews and ratings on a single screen, respond in a time-bound manner, track competitor reviews as benchmarking and integrates with CMSes to publish verified reviews on a website.
With this key feature for local businesses, Milestone services multiple verticals – Finance, Automotive, Hospitality, Health Care, Retail, Real Estate, etc. To ease the process for local businesses, Milestone Reviews fetches reviews and delivers responses real-time via API from core channels such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook and monitors vertical specific channels and review platforms such as Priceline, Agoda, Cars.com, Expedia, etc.
Key Features and Highlights of Milestone Reviews
Milestone Reviews doesn’t stop at just fetching reviews from multiple channels and giving business the ability to respond to reviews in real-time, but consists of features that makes the process seamless and gives the business overall insights to improve its offerings and reach to its potential customers. Here are the key features:
Trending keywords Using this feature, your business can track common keywords across all your reviews.
For example, if the keyword ‘location’ is used frequently in your reviews, then it helps you assess the accessibility of your business to customers.
Custom TagsUsing Configurable Custom Tags, you can use labels to mark all incoming and existing reviews to manage your workflow a lot more efficiently.
Monitor Reviews & RatingsOn a single screen you can monitor reviews and ratings for multiple business locations across multiple review channels and platforms.
Apply FiltersUse filters such as date range, location, review source, ratings and custom tags to narrow down your search for particular reviews you wish to respond to.
Review ResponseRespond to reviews fetched from core channels such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook in real-time.
Intelligent ResponsesChoose from sentiment-based and personal response templates to reduce the effort of manually composing responses for each of your reviews.
Competitor ReviewsDeep dive into what customers are saying about your competitors and measure your rating against that of your competitors for each location and on each channel. For example, if your competitor is lauded for quick call backs for scheduling a booking, then it’s probably a facet of your business that needs improvement to compete.
Alerts & NotificationsGet real-time notifications on incoming reviews to ensure that your responses are carried out in a time-bound manner. This will help you drive engagement on review channels and improve your ratings as well.
In-depth AnalyticsTrack your business’s review performance and analytics across all channels by identifying your aggregate or channel-wise performance, review count, number of reviews that you have responded to, top keywords, etc.
According to the Online Reputation Management Survey3, 76% of local marketers plan to spend more time on local reputation management in the next year, which emphasizes on the importance that Review Management is having on a business’s presence online, its ability to drive conversions and instill trust in customers to constantly vouch for a business’s product and services.
To know more about Milestone Reviews and how it can improve your reputation and standing on search, reach out to us at [email protected] or call us on +1 408 200 2211.
Data sources: 1, 2 & 3- BrightLocal