Online Reviews Matter...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 | Jeff Davis

"85% of customers use the Internet to research before making a purchase" according to a recent article on

What are consumers finding when they search for reviews on your products and services?

The importance of positive reviews is undeniable. Google has been including reviews in its SERP rankings since 2010. Bright Local is reporting that "92% now read online reviews versus 88% in 2014".

So how do I improve my ratings? Equally as important, how can I manage my reviews? 

So there are two ways of improving your online reviews. First - always provide superior flawless service. Make sure that you and your staff never make an error.

That certainly is an admirable, though unachievable, goal. 

Another way is to take control of the review process by encouraging customers to post reviews on your website. You cannot stop customers from going to sites like Yelp, Facebook and Google, but you can make it easy for them to fill out a review on your site. Below is a widget we added to a client's website.


As you can see, it asks the reviewer to answer the question, "How did we do?" by using a five star rating system. It then asks for the reviewers Name, Email, Title for their review (since it is going to be posted next to the Review Widget) and allows for a free form comment.

The first rule of review management is to answer every review. Do it your self, train someone on your staff to do it or hire someone like Thrive to it. The important part is to do it.

"I can see how it would be important to answer reviews for negative comments, but I don't have time to answer all the positive reviews." Then you probably don't have time to be a successful business person. If a customer walked up to you and said "I love your XYZ.", don't you have time to say thank you? Of course you do. Reviews are the online version of customers walking up and saying they like you. Find a few minutes to tell them thank you. You don't need to write a dissertation, just say thanks.

"How do I handle negative reviews?" Move them off line. Don't get into an online discussion that you cannot control. 

Which brings us to the other benefit of the Review Widget. You control which reviews are posted on your website. As part of the back office tools, you can decide to only posts reviews that have three or more stars. Reviews that are one or two stars are not posted. Or you could just post reviews of four or more stars. It is under your control.

"A difference of one star in the average rating in a typical online business profile can lead to a 5–9% difference in revenues."

You still need to deal with negative reviews, but since this is your website, you do not have to post them. Reviews on your site are a promotion designed to put your business in the very best light. Act accordingly.

Another benefit, you can automatically ask the individuals who post positive reviews to then share their review on other review sites like Facebook, Yelp, Google, etc. As soon as they hit the submit button, they see the following message.


You can also send the reviewer an email with links to your favorite social media and review sites with the same ability for them to post your positive reviews. 

In our next post, we will look at how to handle reviews posted on other website.

In the meantime, if you would like to find out how we can install the Review Widget on your website, give us a call at 419-776-7000 or click on the button below to send us your contact information. We will give you a call!

"The very best marketing comes from observing consumer behavior and inserting your message into their behavior."





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