Whether it’s a restaurant, hotel, attraction or even a make-up range – you bet it, I’ve already done my research!

Personally, online pr reviews are my go-to tool when making a purchase, with a considerable amount of time often spent scouring Google to check out customer ratings to aid my decision. Depending on price, sourcing as many reviews as possible usually brings some kind of satisfaction that it’s worth whipping the purse out for.

Even with just a simple decision on what takeaway to order, it’s hard to resist whizzing over the online reviews to ensure I won’t end up with a stale naan or overcooked chicken tikka.

My slight obsession with looking at reviews first, has led to some absolute steals, but of course some fails too. However, online reviews have first-hand proved to me that they can provide an indication of quality and overall customer satisfaction.

Reviews influence purchase decisions

People look for social proof – online reviews provide customers with a source for indications of credibility and trustworthiness. A survey showed that at least 93% of consumers say online reviews impact purchase decisions. Moreover, it’s not just about the rating, but the quantity of the rating which massively has an impact on how a company is perceived. If you only have ten ratings, one bad rating can easily knock off half a star. The more reviews a company has with ratings above four stars, then the more likely they are to be seen as a trustworthy source. Due to the quantity (tied in with quality) of testimonials, it convinces the potential customer that the product is worth buying.

Reviews increase online visibility

Not only do reviews give businesses major brownie points in terms of credibility, but they also make them more visible. According to research by Moz, reviews account for 15% of Google’s search ranking factors when considering which results to return.

Most likely, people will use search engines like Google when on the hunt for something to purchase. This is important for SEO, because positive content effects the results on return as “algorithms and people alike tend to see your website as an authority in your industry, which also leads to more exposure”. This in turn creates more website traffic and overall more attention brought upon your site. What’s even better, is if a business manages to achieve reviews on a variety of websites, as it helps to boost their all-round reputation.

Reviews provide feedback at no cost

Not only is it good to encourage reviews from customers, but it’s important to show you care as there is now an expectation for companies to reply to customer reviews. These reviews provide a platform for businesses and consumers to show gratitude for when there is a positive experience – but also for businesses to respond to negative reviews, take on constructive criticism and look to learn and improve. When it comes to online ratings nowadays, there’s no escape. So, it’s important to keep on top of them and be responsive.

Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialises in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PRFood PRRetail PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at www.escapadepr.com/about-us