It Pays for a Small Business to Develop Their Local Reputations

Reviews for Local SEO

Good Reviews Lead to More Sales

Local small business owners need to be focusing their online marketing efforts on earning a steady stream of customer reviews. Customer reviews can improve a business’s rankings on Google, and there is plenty of consumer research suggests they are a key piece of the purchase decision process.

  • Nielsen’s Analytics Panel conducted a study revealing that mobile users cite good reviews as one of the top 3 key factors in choosing which company get their business.
  • A Harvard Business School study found that a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5% to 9% increase in revenue for small businesses.

Let’s investigate some tangible steps small businesses can take to get more online reviews.

Step 1: Need to commit to the process.

  • This is not something you do for a few months and stop.

Step 2: If you are not already, get listed on the big review sites and a few industry specific sites .

  • Yelp, Google My Business, Better Business Bureau, Yahoo Local, Facebook Rating & Review, Manta
  • TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, Homeadvisor, Urbanspoon, Foursquare, OpenTable

Step 3: It is easy for customers to leave a review for your business?

  • Use call to action buttons from your site to link to your review listings
  • Use regular communication pieces like invoices or receipts to encourage reviews
  • Use your email signature, link to your review listings

Step 4: Pick five of your customers and ask them to give you a review

  • Follow up a week or two later to see who posted a review. Thank any customers who did and  reconnect with the ones who didn’t.
  • Pick a new group of 5 each month.

Step5: Set up an email system to stay in contact with your customers.

  • Use tools like GetfiveStars. They make is easy to reach out to customers and track your progress
  • Another option is to get setup with an email service like MailChimp or ConstantContact

Things you should not do… use review stations at your place of business, writing fake reviews, pay a third party for reviews, and don’t get too many reviews at once. That may trip filters which will cause your reviews to be deleted.

Social Reviews

Conclusion

Don’t leave your online reviews up to chance. There is way too much at stake. Depending on which survey you see, somewhere between 75% and 90% of consumers read online reviews when considering a purchase. Also, just a one-star improvement could lead to a 5% to 9% increase in revenue.

It is essential for small businesses to invest the time needed to get more positive reviews over time in order to develop their local online reputation, rather than just managing it.

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