Local Business Reviews: How to Get Them and Build Reputation
Online reviews give a third-party opinion on the business. That’s why they are a handy tool for building credibility and establishing trust with new customers.
They are also a vital SEO factor because Google lays huge emphasis on the reputation of websites. However, getting local reviews seems like a daunting task. The fear of getting negative reviews can cripple any business owner, and many people don’t know how to get reviews.
But fear not, because this chapter throws light on how you can get online reviews on your local business to build credibility and trust with your audience.
Before we begin, let us first discuss their importance:
Why local business reviews are important?
Crucial for SEO
Local business reviews are essential for local SEO. They are considered a local SEO factor, which means, they directly impact your ranking in SERPs.
People read reviews
A BrightLocal’s survey found out that 85% of local consumers read reviews of the businesses. It is a huge number and it shows how important it is to get reviews on your business.
Affects your Business’s Reputation
The number of positive reviews your business influences its reputation. Your business’s goodwill is an intangible asset you shouldn’t ignore. They are essential for the word-to-mouth marketing of your business. The more reviews you have, the better are the chances of your business getting popular.
How to get local business reviews?
There are a few things you can do as the business owner to get more business reviews:
Ask your Customers
Your customers might not be aware that you’re available online. Or, they might not know that you value their feedback.
A simple reminder and request for a review can do wonders. You can ask your existing customers to give feedback on your services or products. You’ll be surprised to see the number of reviews you can get with this simple strategy. You can build an email list or contact list of your existing customers and reach out to them asking for feedback. Some of them might not reply, but it’s certain that you’ll get a few reviews this way.
You can hang a sign in your shop or office, encouraging your customers to give feedback online as well. Many people don’t notice that a business is also available online. Don’t say that you need a positive review only. Ask for genuine feedback. It’ll show your transparency and sincerity.
Simplify the Process
Make it easier for people to leave reviews on your business and you’ll boost their quantity.
If leaving a review on your business is a cumbersome process, people won’t do it. That’s why you should make it as simple as possible.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Add the link of review in your emails. This way, your customers can get there with one click.
- Tell the customers that your business is available on Google and other platforms.
- Have a dedicated page for leaving reviews on your website. If your customers visit your business website, they’ll know where to drop the review.
- If a customer messages you or emails you for suggestions or feedback, send the review link along with the reply.
- You can have a mobile-friendly complaint form on your local business website
Your goal is to make the process easy for your customers.
This is a great tactic used by certain apps and games. Like your local business, mobile apps also thrive on reviews. They need reviews for App Store Optimization. In order to encourage their users to leave a review, they give discounts and incentives. You can use this tactic as well. Give incentives such as offers, coupons or discounts for giving feedback on your business. Remember, you shouldn’t ask for ‘positive feedback’ when you’re running such an offer. It will seem like bribing. And so, it is not recommended.
Your offers should be good enough to encourage people. Ask them to give feedback on your business and give something in return. It’s a great way to boost the number of reviews on your local business.
Reply to the Reviews
Replying to the reviews is a great tactic you can use. Neil Patel believes it to be an amazing strategy. Don’t make reviews a monologue.
It’s a great tactic to engage with your customers and show the reliability of your customer service. You can thank the positive reviewers. According to marketers’ estimation, it costs you 25 times more to win a new customer than keep an existing one happy. Handling the reviews effectively will help you in this regard.
For negative reviews, you can reply positively and tell them that you’ll work on those areas. While replying to reviews keep these points in mind:
- Apologize for the bad experience of your customer
- Be professional and so, don’t use unprofessional language
- Don’t blame the customer or call names, be genuine and understanding
- Be honest about the cause of the mistake and inform them that it will not happen again
- Accept the responsibility of the issue
You can develop a strategy for replying to reviews. Replying to the reviews shows that your business cares about its customers.
Keep this up and your unsatisfied customers might update their reviews too.
Be Available on Multiple Platforms
Posting a review on your business should be easy. But if your business isn’t available where your customers want you to be, then you’ll be missing out on a great treasure. There are multiple review sites present on the web. Make sure you’re present on most of them.
Additionally, register on platforms which are within your industry. Otherwise, it’ll be a waste of your effort. You can register at Yelp, TrustPilot, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, Yellowpages, and Foursquare etc.
This way you’ll be able to get the maximum benefits from your SEO efforts.
Things you should never do:
There are some things you should never do in respect to online reviews. They are:
- Paying marketers to write a review for your business
- Asking for ‘positive reviews’
- Giving incentives for giving positive feedback
- Ignoring complaints. Instead, reply with empathy
- Neglecting the reviews. You should always stay alert and check on your reviews regularly
Online reviews are essential if you want to reach the top rank in local SERPs. In your journey, you’ll get both positive and negative reviews.
However, handle each of them professionally and empathy. It’ll help you establish trust and credibility with your prospective customers.
As the frequency of the reviews also matters, you should regularly nudge your customers for feedback. Both, the number and the frequency of the reviews are local SEO factors and so you should work on them regularly.
In the end, it’s all about delivering great customer service. In the next chapter, we’ll dive a little deeper and get your business some backlinks.