Online Reviews – Why and How they matter:

It is very well known that the parameters of online marketing is ever changing. This is mainly caused due to change in consumer behaviour on search engines, change in technology (new devices like smartphones) and the emerging new generation.

Why getting to First page of Google is not enough?

Let’s take a comparison case study:

Comparison between search behaviour of a consumer 5 to 10 years before (Person A) and a consumer today (mostly younger generation) (Person B):

Let’s say both of them are looking for a good restaurant in certain suburb.

Person A would head over to Google and search for a good restaurant in that suburb. Google gives him top results on first page. He trusts the order of the results, let’s say he scrolls through top 7-10 results. Then he picks up any one and drives there for a dinner. He never gives his feedback – except to his close friend and family. If he liked the food and service, he would visit that restaurant again, otherwise not. The entire scene is between the business and the customer, not affected by other people. The business got a customer because they ranked on first page of Google.

Now, consider Person B:

This person ‘googles’ good restaurant in that suburb (mostly from his smartphone). He quickly scrolls through top results and picks up 2-3 names of restaurants. Now, he is not bothered to click on the links of those restaurants. He would start a new search as ‘restaurant A reviews’, then ‘restaurant B reviews etc. He then browses and reads through the reviews and decide the restaurant where he would go for dinner. This restaurant (Business) may be at number 10, still got the client, as they had good reviews on the net. The restaurant (business) with number 1 spot on Google could not get the client as they didn’t have any review for their business.

What should be the strategy for the Business?

The business should have a good website, but it’s not enough.

The business should get SEO done for the site and rank high on Google page 1, but still it’s not enough.

The business should get good reviews – NOT on their own site, but on third party sites like Google Places, Yelp, True Local, Urbanspoon (for restaurants), or any review site which is believed to be authentic and having good momentum.