How to get more reviews for local based companies
Getting positive online reviews is, it has to be said, something that every business should be seized with. Just consider the fact that 90% of consumers around the world are now influenced in their purchasing decisions by online reviews and you will understand what we are talking about here. But why are reviews so important and how can you get reviews for local based companies?
Why online reviews matter
So, why is it that everyone is talking about online reviews? The thing to understand is that the reviews that are left by people online regarding your business are, more or less, an extension of the word-of-mouth phenomenon that has been around since time immemorial.
Even in prehistoric times, early humans used to gather around the fire to share stories about their favorite hunting grounds.
Today, online reviews matter, because the internet has become the hearth; the fireplace around which multitudes gather to exchanges stories about this or that product.
Reviews play a role in SEO
Though there is debate over significance of their impact, there can be no doubting the fact that reviews are one of the factors that are used by Google when assigning a rank to a website. In fact, review signals, according to Moz, can contribute up to 9.8% to your overalls SEO score.
Your Reviews have to be genuine
Though you may be tempted to game the system, that is hardly going to be useful, considering that Google and other search engines can pick up and penalize fake reviews. It’s important, therefore, for you to only opt for genuine, organic reviews.
Reviews for Local Based Companies
One of the things that you need to understand is that not all companies that are out there operate in the same way. Let’s take the examples of a restaurant and an online retailer. What kind of reach is the restaurant going to have in terms of customer base? And what’s going to be the reach for the online retailer.
It should be clear, in any case, that a restaurant is only ever going to attract customers from so many miles around its physical location. In fact, expecting anyone to drive beyond 3 miles to visit a restaurant would be a bit too much to ask for.
The same cannot be said, however, for the online retailer. Indeed, the worldwide boom in internet connectivity has made it possible for this kind of business to have customers across the globe. Amazon is a good example of what we are talking about here. The company ships to almost all parts of the globe.
Getting Reviews for Local Based Companies
Getting reviews for your local based company has become extremely important, considering that Google now favors local companies when displaying results for local searches. Doing this allows people to get results that are a lot more relevant to their queries. So, how do you get more reviews for local based companies?
- Have a presence on review sites
The first thing that you need to do, as part of the process of gathering online reviews, is to have a presence on online review websites. Of these, the following are the most popular;
- Boost ReviewsYelp
- Google Maps
- Google My Business
- Shopper Approved
- Great customer service
The whole purpose of online reviews is to ensure that people get the best of what’s on offer out there. They are not there for you to game the system in one way or the other. And what better way of getting positive feedback than by offering the best in terms of service?
We have already given the example of a restaurant whose customer base is composed of people that live 3 miles around the physical location of the business.
Local businesses have their work cut out because it’s easier for word to get out. The only way that you are going to be able to attract the positive feedback that everyone is looking for is by giving people exactly what they are looking for in terms of service. Otherwise, you might as well shut down and try another line of business!
- Ask for reviews
The easiest way for you to begin gathering reviews for your local based company is by asking your customers to leave referrals. Most people in marketing assume that it’s enough to sit back and assume that reviews are going to come along without them taking any action.
In fact, a majority of the times, when someone goes through the trouble of writing an online review, it’s usually because they have something negative to say about a business.
Now, you definitely do not want to get this kind of review. The truth of the matter is, just as positive reviews are going to bring positive results to your company, negative reviews tend to have a devastating impact on your bottom line.
It’s simple enough to solicit for reviews from satisfied customers. You success or failure in this regard is going to depend, of course, on your subtlety when making the solicitation.
Is it Okay to Solicit for Reviews?
Whether or not it’s okay to solicit for reviews is going, of course, to be dependent on individual sites. Yelp, as an example, frowns upon the practice, while Google states that it’s okay to remind people to leave reviews.
- Build an email list
There is a reason why almost every business that’s out there is on the hunt for that comprehensive email list; it allows them to reach out to people at strategic moments in the customer lifecycle. It’s important, in any case, not to turn off your prospects by being a nag.
Depending on the nature of your business, it may be best for you to ask your customers to leave review either immediately after they have visited your business or days later.
- Don’t forget social media
In fact, social media is where it now mostly happening, as far as reviews for local companies are concerned. The purpose is not to solicit for reviews on social media per se. Rather, what you should be looking for is the engagement. The reviews will flow naturally from this engagement. Indeed, every interaction that you make with your customers should include mention of your social media pages.
- Claim your Yelp and Google My Business Pages
People are not going to be able to leave reviews about your business, of course, without you taking the steps to have a presence on review websites, including Yelp and Google My Business. Google My Business, in particular, allows you to claim your business page and, afterwards, have your local business appear when people make searches through Google Maps. This tends to be particularly useful for local business.
- Have links to review sites on your website
Finally, make it easy for people to review your business by having links to your review pages on your website and in the emails that you sent out to your customers. You can also include information about your review site pages on your business cards. You can, as an example, have your TripAdvisor URL printed on your business card!