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Online Reviews Can Make a Big Difference — But What Kind of Difference Is Up to You!

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We hope today’s blog finds everyone feeling well-rested from the weekend. Ready to tackle the week in front of you with enthusiasm? Okay, maybe not — it’s another Monday, after all. Many of us are stuck somewhere between thinking about the weekend just completed, and counting down the hours until the next weekend begins. In that light, let’s warm up for all that lies ahead by getting our minds sharpened and better-focused. Sound like a reasonable plan? I hope so!

Here is your Monday morning pop quiz: What country is home to the world’s oldest continuously-operating business? What type of business are they?

This is not Jeopardy, so your answer need not be in the form of a question. Of course, had this actually been an episode of Jeopardy, someone would’ve buzzed in by now with the correct answer — question, we mean. And with that, the rest of us would’ve scratched our heads in wonder: How the h*ll did they know that? 

We delayed providing the answer to our pop quiz just long enough to give you a moment to come up with a response. Others used this time to scroll down to see the answer without putting any thought into it. But either way, it’s time for the big reveal:

The answer is Japan, and the business is building Buddhist temples. But you knew that already, didn’t you? Kongo Gumi was founded in 578 A.D. by a Korean immigrant, who was commissioned by the reigning Prince to build a temple in Japan. Almost as impressive as the 1,400+ years of experience that their corporate resume can boast? Kongo Gumi was a family-owned and operated business from its inception until 2006, when it was acquired by a Japanese construction conglomerate. 

We suppose that any company with over 1,400 years of experience doesn’t need to pay much attention to online customer reviews! (Not that many Buddhist monks are frequenting the Yelp review pages, mind you.) They hardly need Reputation Management — their reputation likely manages itself by now. It’s unlikely that they are focused on what keywords they should target for their Search Engine Optimization. But the point is that unless your business has an unmatched resume similar to the one Kongo Gumi does, the rest of us should actually care about customer reviews as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.

Since no company in the Philadelphia and Central New Jersey region can even come close to that kind of experience (or even within 1,000 years close), let’s talk about why your business needs quality reviews.

Once there was a time when consumers would try out a new restaurant, retail store, or service company, based on a combination of effective advertising and a “good feeling” about them. These days, there’s hardly a soul that doesn’t pay attention to the reviews found on Social Media pages like Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter, and allow what previous customers have said to influence their next steps. Suppose someone opts to not read written reviews and instead asks a friend, neighbor, or relative for their opinion regarding a particular business. That’s okay — and that’s also a review of the company, just provided verbally instead of in writing. If the verbal review is positive, and the consumer decides to give it a shot, guess what? That’s not only a review, but also a referral! 

Regardless of whether you call them reviews or referrals, the bottom line is that opinions matter, or should matter, to you and your business. Depending on the opinions expressed, they can go a long way into helping a struggling business take a new step in the right direction. However, they can also assist an established business in taking one step towards hanging an “out of business” sign on their main entrance. This week, we’re going to focus on the power of reviews, and our daily vertical blogs will explore the top ways your type of business can get reviews — and hopefully the right kind!

By the way: In case you were wondering details about the 2nd oldest continuously-operating business in the world? It’s also in Japan, and it is a hotel that first opened for business in 705 A.D. What makes it so remarkable is that after 1,315 years in business, it is still family-owned and operated. Can you imagine working with your family for over 1,300 years? 

Have a great week, and see you on the blog pages!
 Need some professional assistance in managing your online reviews and reputation? Contact 1SEO’s experts for a free digital marketing assessment today!

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