Online reviews have become an important symbol of trust and integrity for all businesses. You have seen it on large eCommerce sites like Amazon, where each product has a different review. However, for most local businesses, the best way to generate online reviews is with the help of Google My Business.
But how important are online reviews for local businesses?
The Importance of Online Reviews
Online reviews are necessary for a local company’s success. Almost 90% of the consumers read reviews of local businesses before availing their products and/or services. The consumers tend to choose businesses that have large number of positive reviews.
This is why your local business needs to put resource and time to manage its online reputation. You will also get better search engine rankings and a loyal customer base if you continue to put effort in generating reviews. Lastly, you can build the tone of your brand by interacting with the reviewers.
Generating Online Reviews
A local business, even if it has its own website, should primarily rely on Google My Business to generate trustworthy reviews. Most customers will find local business options by searching on Google. Thus, they will rely on Google reviews before choosing their option.
There are, of course, other options, such as Facebook or Yelp. A local business should also consider building reviews on relevant industry sites. For example, if your local business is related to hotel industry, you need to build reviews on Tripadvisor.
Now, there are plenty of methods to generate reviews. All you need to do is ask. Literally!
The basic method is to just ask the customers in-person at your point of sale. Other than that, you can also send personalized message (email or text) to your customers, requesting them to leave a review. You can also go for more creative methods like printing your review links on your banner or other printed materials.
You should use different methods of generating reviews and decide for yourself which ones are working for you.
How to Manage the Negative Ones
Large companies can manage one or two negative reviews. But for a local business, every review counts.
If you get a negative review, treat it like a positive review and try to respond to it as soon as possible. Remember that everyone can read your response. So be polite and professional. If the customer is complaining about a problem, try to provide a solution,
Here is a good example of managing negative review.
Notice that the owner has been polite and suggested an alternative product.
To conclude, managing online reviews is hard, but it’s a necessary method to keep your local business visible online.
Take A Look At The Below – Local SEO: Guide to Improve Your Local Search, Related Other Chapters
Chapter 1: The Fundamentals of Local SEO
Chapter 2: Who Needs Local SEO?
Chapter 3: Local SEO Keywords Research
Chapter 4: Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Chapter 5: What is a Local SEO citation
Chapter 7: On-Site SEO for Local Businesses
Chapter 8: Basics of Local Link Building
Chapter 9: Local SEO Reporting