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Yahoo’s abrupt substitution of Yelp reviews for its pre-existing Yahoo Local Reviews has had some small business owners yelping in pain and indignation. As Angus Loten reported in the Wall Street Journal, in some cases, positive Yahoo reviews that had built up over the years simply vanished—leaving a content void or, worse yet, much lower-rated reviews. And, this is a problem because good reviews matter. It’s that simple.
In a recent study by Dimensional Research on behalf of Zendesk, 90% of participants who recalled seeing positive reviews stated the review affected their buying decisions. The number affected by negative reviews was nearly as high (86%). Earlier research by Harvard Business School assistant professor Michael Luca found that a one-star increase in a Yelp rating translated into a 5% to 9% increase in revenue of independent restaurants. His findings that chain-restaurants did not show a similar benefit and that chain restaurant market share declined as Yelp penetration increased provides further evidence of the important of positive revenues for the small business owner.
While you might not be able to compel Yahoo to change its user-review strategy, you can be aggressive in rebuilding and enhancing your online presence. Here are 5 ways to manage your online reputation and capitalize on the power of positive reviews.
The first step in online reputation management is to know where you currently stand. To do this, you need to monitor and participate in review sites.
While you can’t write glowing reviews yourself or actively solicit customers to write them for you, you can take steps to increase the probability that you will get favorable reviews.
Creating impressive review site profiles takes time and rests primarily upon excellent customer service and a quality product. Although the progress is gradual, you should begin to reap the benefits of increased sales and inquiries as your online reputation soars.