Do you feel like your online marketing efforts are lacking? Are you looking for ways to connect with potential customers and bring in more people?

The answer to both of your problems may be getting more online reviews for your business. Reviews do more than power websites like Yelp, they play an important role in helping people find local businesses.

If you want to learn more about reviews and how to get them, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to teach you about the power of reviews for small businesses, and how you can get more important review feedback from your customers.

Reasons Why Reviews Help People Find Local Businesses 

Reviews have become so ingrained into the way to operate it can be easy to take them for granted. You may not think that giving someone a rating or writing a comment on a popular website does much, but your opinion means a lot more than you’d think.

Comments and feedback from others have become important in today’s highly connected world. If you’re a small business that wants to grow or a business that’s hyper-local, reviews can be a powerful way for new people to find you.

Are you not convinced that reviews can be good for your business and lead more customers to you? After you read this list, you’ll be convinced about the power of reviews. 

1. Build Trust

Trust is an important part of every relationship you have. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to trust a brand or product as much as you’d be able to trust a friend.

If you want a way to build credibility and trust with people, you need to get honest reviews.

It’s important to stress how much honesty and trust can mean to people. Getting flooded with a lot of 5-star reviews can come across as untrustworthy to people. Overall, consumers want to know everything about your brand, and that means knowing everything from the good to the bad.

Having a steady stream of reviews that can show a variety of customer experiences can resonate with your customers and help build trust.

2. Gain Social Proof 

Do you ever wonder why a few reviews raving about trade school services or career placements from total strangers can mean something to you? The answer can be found in the concept of social proof. 

Social proof is the concept that revolves around feeling more comfortable with certain things as long as a lot of people support it. The more glowing reviews you see from people, the more clout you’re willing to give a business or product. 

There’s something about the power of the public that can help sway your buying decisions. 

If you’re looking for a school to attend or other education services, you may take a look at reviews before you commit to anything. You’re reading opinions from total strangers, but you still take into account if you see more 5-star reviews than 1-star. reviews 

It doesn’t matter if you’re reading a lot of reviews from people you’ve never met. All that matters is that multiple people think the product or service a business is offering is great, and that’s more than enough for people to make a purchasing decision. 

3. Improve Visibility

When you’re thinking about using a new product or service, you immediately get on search engines like Google or Bing and start to do some research on your own. You start scanning posts on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram to see what gets the most traction. 

Every popular website has its own way of indexing and showing content. Their methods may vary, but it’s safe to say that nearly every platform you can think of values reviews from actual users and customers.

Online reviews from customers can give you a reliable pipeline of content that can give people and algorithms essential information about your business.

The more positive reviews you have across different platforms, the more visible you’ll be across the web. You may even find that your organic traffic increases as you expand your presence on review websites.

4. Improve SEO

There are so many different platforms people can use to review your business. There are traditional search engines like Google and Bing, social media platforms like Facebook, and websites that are designed for reviews like Yelp and Angie’s List. 

The wide variety of places to review your business can work to your advantage.

If there’s one thing that algorithms love, it’s an abundance of data. The more reviews you have spread around online about your business, the bigger your online footprint will be. 

Bots will have more content to scan to learn more about your business. If you have a lot of reviews about your business associated with the right keywords, you may also be able to improve your SEO ranking.

5. Influence Buying Decisions 

Reviews have gotten so powerful that scientists have started researching how they can affect purchasing decisions. This may come as a surprise, but there’s now scientific evidence that what people see on sites like Google and Yelp can affect how they buy.

Younger people tend to be influenced by positive reviews, and older buyers seem to be more swayed by negative reviews. Regardless of which way your reviews tend to swing, they still matter to the average consumer.

6. Start Conversations

It’s possible for both good and bad things about businesses to spread online. Having a lot of positive reviews could get your business attention from local journalists that want to know about a hot new business. On the flip side, negative reviews could have people wondering what causes people to react so badly to your business.

Any way you put it, having an ample amount of reviews about your business can make people talk about what you’re doing. Ideally, you’d like to have more positive news than negative, but some people could argue that any news is good news.

7. Have a Direct Line to People 

One of the main benefits of review platforms is that it gives you a way to intimately connect to customers in ways you haven’t been able to do before. 

If someone leaves a positive review about your business, giving them a heartfelt thank you can do more to ensure that they become a returning customer. You’ll be able to give genuine responses to people and even answer any questions that may arise about your business in reviews. 

It’s also important to note that replying to reviews can be good on both sides of the spectrum. Replying to a bad review can be just as helpful as replying to a positive one. 

In the past, if someone had a negative experience at your business it would automatically be their word against yours. Instead of being charged in the court of public opinion, reviews give you a chance to control the narrative about things that happen at your business. 

If someone had a truly bad experience at your business, replying to a negative review and apologizing for what happened can help repair relationships. If they get a discount or come back and have a better experience, some people may even feel compelled to update their review!

Tips for Getting More Reviews for Your Business

Online reviews can do everything from helping you manage your business’s reputation online to bringing in new customers. Now that you know how powerful customer reviews can be, you may be wondering how to get more for business.

Luckily, it isn’t difficult for businesses of any size to get feedback from customers across a variety of different platforms. If you want to learn the best way to get feedback from customers, follow these simple tips.

Establish Your Profiles

If you haven’t claimed your business profiles on sites like Google My Business and Yelp, you shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t have a lot of reviews from customers.

When you claim your profiles you’ll be able to do much more than just respond to reviews that people leave you. After you gain access to your profiles you can upload pictures, input important information like your hours and ways to contact you, and can make improvements that can make the page more helpful to visitors.

Take some time to think about the review sites that matter to you the most, then make sure that your business has an active presence on them. 

Having an active and up to date profile can show visitors that you truly care about their own opinions. They may be more inclined to write a review if they think that you’re going to read it and reply. 

Make it Easy for Them 

Do you have links to your review profiles on your website? Are you including links to your review site profiles in e-mail blasts and newsletters? Have you tried simply asking your customers if they’d be willing to write a review for your business?

Sometimes the best way to handle things in life is with a direct approach. If you want your customers to leave reviews, you need to make it easy for them to do it. 

Make it known where you can be found on popular review websites. Consider offering small incentives to people that leave reviews like discounts or possibly giving them exclusive information on new products or upcoming deals.

You may find that it’s helpful to give people a little direction on what to write. You don’t have to guide them on what kind of review they write, but you can let them know if you want them to include information on what made them choose your business, or mention if they’d use your services again. 

Start off With Open Ended Questions

Sometimes asking people to immediately rate their experience as soon as they’re asked to leave a review may not be the best strategy for your business. To make things easier, you may want to consider leading up with an open-ended question.

Asking open-ended questions is a great way to collect customer feedback, and can give you a way to covertly ensure that a customer is happy before you ask them to submit a review. 

Don’t start off by asking them to rate their experience. Ask them how they’re liking their current learning experience, or if they’d consider referring your school to a friend or professional colleague. 

Once they trigger the right responses you can prompt them to leave a review on a chosen site. If it seems like they’re not having a good experience you can ask them to tell you how you could improve it in the future. 

Showcase Your Reviews

It’s good to have a solid review presence on different profiles, but you should do your best to make your review related content appear on your website.

Featuring reviews on your website can give people more content to browse on your website, and linking back to high authority sites can help improve your SEO rankings. 

It’s also possible that showcasing content on your website can encourage people to leave reviews. Putting reviews on your website can show people that you care about their opinions. Knowing that other people will see their thoughts may also encourage them to leave feedback. 

Showing positive reviews can also help improve your reputation. If people land on your website and see positive feedback about your products or services, they may be more inclined to use your business. 

Get Marketing Help Today

Online reviews can do a lot to help people find local business, and getting the reviews you need to increase your visibility, improve your online rankings, and find new potential customers will be simple if you follow everything in this guide. 

Getting more reviews can be helpful, but it isn’t the only way for you to improve your marketing work.

Do you think you could be doing more to reach your marketing goals for the year? Are you eager to learn the latest marketing techniques competitors in your sector are using?

Regardless of what you need, we’re here to help. Be sure to contact us today so we can start a conversation about the best marketing techniques for your business. 

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