It’s absolutely mind blowing the value in online reviews in today’s business world. A large portion of the population uses review sites before they purchase and item or hire someone to do a service. Good reviews can create a solid foundation for future business, while too many negative reviews can lead to the demise of your business. The number of online consumers who read and trust online reviews is increasing. According to a recent survey, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, which is astounding, considering most online reviews are posted by total strangers. The same survey found that only 12 percent of the population did not regularly read reviews for consumer products. What this means is that not offering user reviews (or ignoring them as a potential marketing opportunity) is akin to alienating 88 percent of your buying population, depriving them of information they want to help them make their buying decisions. There’s a long list of review sites and ecom sites where reviews are left for different products. The review sites you need to be a part of are determined by your industry. If you’re a sailing or fishing charter business you’ll want to be listed on sites such Tripadvisor, while restaurants all know the importance of sites like Yelp, and service businesses like carpet cleaning or lawn care can take advantage of angieslist or thumbtack. There are a lot of different ways you can go about getting reviews anywhere from asking your customers after you finish the work or target them on social media. If reviews aren’t something you’ve taken time to nail down don’t wait another minute, you don’t want your competition to get so far ahead of you that you can’t ever catch up. Sites like Tripadvisor and hotels.com rank you according to your reviews, so that tells you the importance.