Most local business owners know that positive online reviews are good for business, but many aren’t aware of just how much of an impact they have.
Some local business owners think just because they serve a local customer base that what people are saying about them on the internet is not important.
The truth is that the online reviews on sites like Yelp and Facebook can mean the difference between making a sale or losing one. Today’s consumers increasingly rely on reviews to make decisions about the products and services they purchase.
In the last ten years significant shifts have occurred in the way consumers seek out and use customer reviews when searching for and selecting a local business. They are becoming more review-savvy, preferring businesses that receive lots of high-scoring reviews.
• 70% of consumers wrote a local business review when asked
• 67% of consumers say that at least half of their searches result in a visit to a local business
• 63% of consumers trust businesses with overall ratings of 4 or 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Getting reviews of your business is a great way to demonstrate proof that your company does what it says it does and that your customers are happy and willing to share their experiences.
With all the scams out there these days, people want to be reassured that your business is legit when they’re searching for products and services online.
They’re looking for a reason to choose you over the competition, so you need to give them one.
The key to getting reviews is to be proactive and to make it easy for customers to review you.
You need positive reviews to boost your local SEO efforts. SEO dictates which businesses your customers see first when they search online for a specific product or service. In addition, Google takes reviews into consideration as one of the things that determines which businesses show up in the Local 3-pack.
For the biggest impact, reviews on Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp are a must.
As can be seen in the graphic (left), Google My Business displays lots of information in the Knowledge Panel. Not only do they show the star ratings, they also display snippets from some of the actual reviews. They also show ratings from Houzz.com and HomeAdvisor.com.
You can’t afford to ignore the benefits of online reviews. What customers say about your business in their online reviews – and how you respond to them – can influence purchase decisions more than just about any other marketing tactic.
Think of online reviews as modern day referrals; having them available for your prospects to see is a great way to stand out from your competitors.
People will always trust what is said about you more than what is said by you.