The Insane Power of Online Reviews for Local Businesses

By Sarah Giometti | Advertising

Sep 07

You’ve seen them before on all of those big companies. Star ratings are showing up on everything from products on Amazon, or hotels, a rental car company, to tourism destinations and apps for your phone. Along with these star ratings, if you’ve been looking lately, you’ll see lots of links to reviews. This whole system really initially got popularized by Yelp but it’s grown significantly from there. In fact, Google is putting more emphasis than ever on reviews now. They are becoming insanely powerful and you might just want to jump on board too!

While we’re talking about Google, let’s just clarify that this article is really about reviews and how they relate to local businesses. It’s not just about how that new curly cut spiral potato slicer is rated, or whether a movie was worth seeing in the theater. People want to know that when they are stepping out the door they are headed to a business that is going to be worthy of their hard earned money!

Make More Money
Speaking of money, one of the easy main reasons to increase your online reviews is to make more sales. Not only do reviews help people to determine whether or not your local business is worth going to, it can actually help increase sales of specific items or services. Somebody might be looking for a baker to buy a cake and sees reviews about how the cupcakes just have to be bought too and so they buy the cake for an event and the cupcakes for their own little treat. Do you have too much of something in stock? Try asking for reviews of that product from your customers and see if more people express interest in it.

Adapting
Businesses that are flexible in adapting to the fickle minds of consumers are the businesses that survive. There are many articles on the web that talk about maintaining your brand online by managing reviews, so you may want to look into that kind of information. Of equal importance is not just managing the review online. Take all reviews, both good and bad, and consider them in the process of running your business. A bad review might just be the one person that was honest enough to tell you that your soup always has too much salt in it, or that you should clean your windows so people will think you care about your business. Sometimes the truth hurts, and an honest review may not rate well, but it sure can be an opportunity for growth.

SEO
Google has one job and that is to get you the most relevant information in response to what you asked about. Online reviews are amazing SEO ammo because they repeat all of the keyword information that people are using when they’re searching for your kind of company. Reviews on your own site confirm for Google that the website is really what people were searching for. Reviews on other websites also confirm that you’re the most relevant to their search and the links from those reviews back to your site also tell Google that people are talking about you, so you must be relevant.

Multiplication
Getting some reviews leads to getting other reviews and once the dominos start dropping, they then to come on faster. The more reviews you have, the more legitimate people believe the reviews are and the more likely they are to leave their own reviews. For this reason, I refer you back to the other three powerful things about reviews. They feed on themselves and they create great opportunities for your business.

Getting your online reviews to grow takes some dedication but it becomes easier. Ignoring online reviews because they only apply to online businesses is a myth. Don’t believe the myth, in this case, believe the hype. Online reviews are insanely powerful.

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