By |Published On: August 4, 2012|

Encouraging customers to post online reviews may be your best form of marketing yet

For years, marketers have extolled the selling power of testimonials, but personally, I’ve always been skeptical. Apparently, I’m not alone. A recent study revealed that 90 percent of consumers feel the same.

The problem with testimonials is they lack third-party credibility. Consumers aren’t stupid—they know that only the best testimonials are the ones that get published and may even wonder if some haven’t been made up.

Independent reviews on third-party websites like Yahoo! and Yelp, on the other hand, carry more weight. In fact, the majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

That’s both good and bad news, because customers can leave negative comments on websites you didn’t even know existed.

There are two good reasons to actively solicit reviews from your customers. The first is that 52 percent of consumers said positive online comments make them more likely to use a local business.

Reason number two is that it gives you a boost in the search engines. Google likes businesses with more reviews and tends to rank them higher than those without any.

So instead of soliciting customer testimonials that most people won’t believe anyway, focus on getting customers to leave you positive feedback.

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