Why Local Reviews are Important
Let’s face it; although we have long talked about the world becoming a global village, with companies having the ability to reach out to customers without regard for national boundaries, the fact still remains that a large part of the businesses that exist out there are localized in nature. Another thing that we have long talked about on this blog is the fact that getting online reviews for your business is crucial, and can be what determines its success or failure. So, how do local businesses approach this subject and how do they get local reviews?
The Nature of Local Businesses
Local businesses are ones whose reach is confined within a given geographical location. Good examples that immediately come to mind are restaurants, Cafés and Cinemas. Restaurants and Cafés in particular, can only serve people within a particular distance from their location. That is because not many people are going to want to walk to a Café at the other side of town.
Why are Local Reviews Important for Local Businesses?
There can be no doubting the fact that online reviews are of particular importance to the companies that we are talking about in this article. If you run a restaurant, you need to be able to make sure that as many of your regular customers as is possible give you positive feedback.
Reputation is important in this regard and your ability to attract and retain new customers depends on it. The thing that you need to take note of here is the fact that online reviews are a manifestation of the Word-of-Mouth phenomenon that, according to experts, drives 13% of the sales that are made out there.
What Google Says about Local Reviews
Google is always on the hunt for the best experience for its users. Part of this effort involves displaying business and product ratings in Google Shipping and in Google Product Listing Ads. The company uses a five star system to reflect the quality of the experience that customers have had with a particular company. We have previously written several articles in which we explain the process of getting Star Ratings in Google AdWords and in Google Shopping.
How to get Local Reviews
Google My Business
Google My Business represents another great way through which you can get local reviews for your business. The really great thing is that a listing on the platform puts you on Google Maps. What this means is that, if you are a restaurant, you will begin to appear on Google Maps whenever people search for restaurants near you. You can follow the steps that are in this article to get your business listed on Google My Business.
Yelp is one of the best known online review companies that can be found out there. A listing on the platform is, therefore, a must for those who are looking to gather local reviews. Chances a high that, whatever your business, your customers already have a presence on the platform.
A listing on the Yelp gives your potential customers the ability to find you. Not only that, but it also gives them useful insights into the kinds of interaction that they can expect when they visit your place, based on what other customers have been saying about you. All that you need to do in order to start collecting local reviews using Yelp is claim your business’ page.
When people talk about the importance of online reviews, they mostly look at the benefits that accrue for businesses, and neglect to mention that the customer actually stands to benefit the most. Not only do reviews keep businesses on their toes, as far as customer service is concerned, but they also offer a glimpse into the kind of service that a customer can expect from a particular business.
A listing for a business on Better Business Bureaus, as an example, goes a long way in bridging the trust divide that exists between businesses and their customers. BBB comes with a number of benefits and should be another target for local businesses that wish to increase their visibility;
- It sets standards for businesses
- Encourages best practices
- Calls out substandard behavior
- Creates a community of trusted businesses.
Many more listing
Today, there is no end to the ways through which local businesses can benefit from local reviews. The important thing to remember, however, is that local reviews are not just there to act as beacons for customers. They are actually an obligation for your business to give the best in terms of performance.