So we all know important online reviews on Yelp, Google, and Facebook are, right? Hopefully you have given good reviews for businesses where you have had a great experience, since as a small business owner you understand what it can mean to your business to receive those good reviews. But just in case you’re not hip to what an amazing difference good reviews can make to a small business like yours, I’m going to make it crystal clear as to why online reviews from your customers are more than just a friendly pat on the back but an added layer of strength to your digital brand.
1. Better Google ranking will draw more prospects
Do a Google search for any type of business for your city. Do you see the business listings that are in the mid to top section of the page, to the left of the map? These are called “Google My Business” listings, for which Google gives priority to the businesses that have the most obvious relevance. And what is an obvious sign of relevance for a small business? Online Reviews. Okay, I’ll stop baiting for obvious answers now.
2. More customers will walk through your door
Want some swag? Get some good online reviews and you will definitely be feeling that swag, because it sure feels good to know that you don’t have to brag about yourself anymore, because other people are doing it for you! This swag is more than a good feeling though- now you are entitled to get one of those coveted decals for your storefront that says “Read our Reviews on Yelp”, or whatever clever sign you decide to create and post. If you don’t have a storefront, sorry- but you can include your reviews on your website and the results will be the same- curious people will take the next step and spend some money with you.
3. Reviewers tend to return
When I get great service, or a great product, or I just plain like the people I’m doing business with, I like to give them a nice review. I’ve realized something though after I’ve done this. I start to feel a certain sense of loyalty now to this business. After all, I’ve told the local community and the online world at large that I am partial to this business, so wouldn’t it be going against my own integrity to never return to that business? Not that I won’t ever deal with another business in their same category, such as a restaurant, but writing that review has made we want to stand behind it…it’s my word and I’m no cyber-chump reviewer, so….I’ll be back, and so will your customers when they decide to take 2 minutes to solidify their opinion of your business on the web.
4. People spend money at businesses they trust
I’ve saved the biggest moneymaker for last- the very point of online reviews. How many times have you read an online review and decided to spend money (or not spend money) somewhere particular because of other people’s comments? Now, if you’re fair, you’ll perceive extreme comments with a grain or salt, but you can bet that if the majority of comments are good, you will be swayed to give that business a shot. People trust referrals. We value other people’s opinions- a lot. Please do not underestimate how far a few sentences of an unbiased customer praising you on Yelp, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, or wherever, will go for your bottom line.
I’m guessing you’re on board with all this, and seeing the light of online reviews being an amazing tool for your business growth. Now it’s time to take some action- and ask your customers to take some action of their own by giving a few moments of their time to write something nice about your business. You better earn it though, because if not it will take a long time to heal from that hole you just shot in your own foot if you give someone poor service and then invite them to write about it. And there is another plug for reviews- it will keep you putting your best foot forward because, well, people love to write about that kind of thing. In a future blog, I will write about some ideas on how to get more customers to write good reviews for you.