Online reviews can boost business

Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2020 by Gary Hunt

By Abigail Draper, OSCPA communication and engagement manager

Online reviews are one of the most important ways to attract new business, experts say.

“When consumers are looking to find a new or local business, they almost always start with a search engine like Google. This is an especially critical moment for brands to make meaningful connections with consumers, and online reviews are playing an increasingly important role in influencing perceptions and driving purchase behavior,” states “Building a Better Reputation with Reviews,” a guide by Google and Sprout Social.Reviews2001

The same guide reported that “93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions, and 78% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”

This means if you have positive online reviews, potential clients are more likely to trust you with their business.

Not only receiving reviews but responding to them can increase your reputation and even where you show up in Google search results.

The guide says, “Responding to reviews helps improve your SEO so that your listing appears more frequently (and higher up) in search results.”

If you happen to get a negative review, but you respond and resolve the issue, the reviewer is likely to change the review and make it positive, the guide says.

This applies to all businesses, including CPA firms and other accounting organizations.

Hope Siebert, office manager at Siebert & Reynolds CPA’s in Columbus, said they worked with a consultant to build their reputation and the consultant emphasized the importance of online reviews.

The firm has 18 online reviews, across Google, Yelp and Facebook.

Siebert said they had a lot of phone calls for 1040 clients last year, which she suspects is a result of asking for and getting more reviews.

Even though she doesn’t know for sure if there is a correlation between more reviews and more calls, Sibert said, “It does make us look good in general online.”

2 comments

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  1. Abby Draper | Feb 06, 2020
    Hi Denise, I've seen people request reviews through email after a service is completed. You could also send personal texts or work with a marketing automation company that can help with that. It just depends on how your clients prefer to be contacted! I hope that helps.
  2. Denise Brenner | Feb 03, 2020
    Anyone have any suggestions for tactfully requesting positive reviews from clients? Any words of wisdom or success stories you're willing to share?

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