The Ultimate Guide to Online Reviews for Local Business
Table of Contents
When you search online what exactly is it that sways your decision to visit a restaurant, pick a product, chose an attraction, or buy from a business?
There may be a few steps you take when considering whether to buy a product or service or not - is one of your checks to read the reviews? If yes, then you’re not alone. 93% of people read reviews before buying a product.
It’s no real surprise when you think about it. Most decisions we make in life revolve around getting reassurance before we do something. In a normal situation we may get the opinion from our family or friends. Online, consumers want reassurance from customers who have already tried and tested whatever it is you want to get.
The importance of reviews for your business
97% of consumers go online to research a product or service in their local area. Online reviews are something they will be checking for sure.
There are two ways to view online reviews:
- Customers expressing their opinion of your product or service.
- Customers communicating their experience with other customers.
Your potential customers turn to online reviews to learn all about your business and the product you sell or service you provide. They do this before they ‘take a risk’ with you.
The impact of positive reviews
Trust and confidence in you
This is what all consumers want. Trust, reliability, and to feel at ease. Reviews give consumers confidence. If other customers have been left satisfied, then they will be too.
Reviews are not just a benefit for your potential customers, they’re a direct line to your customers. A chance to gain honest and valuable insight about your service and product. With that information, you can evolve your offering.
Brownie points with search engines
Online customer reviews for your business boosts the chance of your business appearing for relevant searches. Reviews offer a weighting (6.47%) in organic local searches; meaning they positively improve your chances of appearing in local customer searches.
Where your customers are looking for reassurance about your business
Not every review website will be quite right for your business, but there’s many options out there for you.
Google My Business is key for businesses, and it’s gaining more traction with its latest television advertisement. The more reviews you have, the more likely your business page will show up for a relevant, local search.
Consider this - Google wants to show the best result for their user. A great way for them to assess whether a business is good or not is through its reviews!
Facebook is an enticing marketplace for sole traders and small businesses. With local buying and selling groups, and the ability to really get your name out across the local area through family and friends, it’s perfect for those starting out or those looking to expand.
On top of this, 5 star reviews on Facebook can make all the difference to tempting a customer to take a chance on you. Even better, those reviews are visible on Google search and other lead gen platforms, including Bark.
For customers looking for insight into the quality of a local business, Yelp is often a review site that they end up at; particularly when prepping for a physical visit to a store.
Tripadvisor has really built a name for itself as the world’s largest travel platform. You can look up local businesses and even plan and book holidays or weekend trips. So if you’re in the hospitality or travel sector, Tripadvisor is a must!
I think there’s just about every industry covered by Trustpilot. From animal & pets to technology, whatever your business, you can get it listed on Trustpilot. In fact, many businesses base their KPIs on their Trustpilot scores - it’s a great place to point customers to to gain valuable and honest feedback from them, or to show off your great score!
There are many sites for customers to review businesses online, generic websites along with industry-based sites, like Checkatrade - which is aimed at trade businesses.
Reviews make your business appealing to consumers
Love them or hate them, reviews matter. Not having any online reviews to show for your business is a big risk. A risk that is not worth taking.
Tom is the co-founder of TRACX, a no-code marketing platform that allows local business owners to collect customer feedback and create engaging marketing campaigns. With over 17 years of experience in entrepreneurship, product development, and marketing for businesses large and small, Tom is currently responsible for developing product and marketing strategies for TRACX.