Why online reviews matter? 5 (not so obvious) reasons

If you think that online reviews get dispersed in the Internet noise, think twice.
Customer reviews appear to be one of the most important factors for your venue’s credibility – and a powerful marketing tool.

In order to improve your revenue, you need to start using them right. The first step is understanding: here are 5 reasons why reviews are crucial for any hospitality business.

1. They provide feedback at no cost

Stop struggling with complicated metrics: in the digital era, people give you feedback for free and to the point, with online reviews!

The power of online reviews is endless: thanks to good reviews you can embrace your strong points and, when sharing positive feedback, motivate your team to do better and better.

Thanks to negative reviews, on the other hand, you can identify gaps and weaknesses of your business and fix them, in order to ensure the best experience for your guests.

2. They help you reach more people

In the era of digital word-of-mouth, people normally check online reviews before choosing a restaurant, hotel or cafè.
Take a look at some data we collected:

  • 91% of consumers read online reviews on a regular basis
  • 49% would not book a hotel with no reviews
  • 62% consider online reviews the most influential factor when making a restaurant reservation
  • 88% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Referrals from friends or acquaintances have always had a considerable impact on the decision on where to dine at, it’s just that with the Internet the circle of trust is significantly becoming wider. Online reviews developed into the businesscard of your business.

The reason why people rely on online reviews is simple: they are authentic, trustworthy experiences. Therefore, make sure you DO NOT hide the negative reviews nor post fake good reviews.
Why? First of all, search engines and review sites are increasingly optimizing controls and preventing users from bluffing. Besides, you shouldn’t underestimate your guests: they will probably notice it and the credibility of your restaurant will collapse. Focus instead on getting more real reviews: read 6 tips to get more reviews from your guests.

3. Negative reviews (sometimes) improve your credibility

It’s not only about positive reviews: also the negative ones represent a potential benefit for your business. How? Providing a wider, organic picture of your product or service. According to research, 95% of consumer would not book at a restaurant with only positive reviews, as they get a too one-sided image of it.

It is crucial, though, that you manage negative reviews successfully (read 10 tips to respond to negative reviews)

4. They boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Google likes reviews. Indeed, they’re one of the most influential factors when it comes to ranking your business in search results. Google collects and scores the number and the quality of your reviews to determine your position in user searches. So, in order to attract more guests, make sure you monitor and manage all your reviews properly.

5. They improve your local findability

Similar to organic searches, Google relies on reviews when ranking results on Maps (read How Google decides what to show on Maps to learn more).

Contrary to what you might think, proximity is just one of the many factors involved in the process: the customer reviews, instead, appear to have a more decisive impact on the ranking.

It may be that a restaurant that’s farther away from the location term of the search is displayed above yours, just because it has better ratings. That’s why you should care about online reviews in order to improve your local findability. Read why local findability is important for your business and discover how to better be found by your guests.

Want to know more on online reviews and how to manage them? Leave your email below, and we’ll get in touch with you.