It is quite obvious that Google is beginning to put more importance on the use of reviews. It’s about trying to bridge the gap between the social, web, e-commerce and brick and mortar, where sales themselves are becoming more and more social in themselves.
Given the high search priority to review communities like Google, Yelp, Yahoo Local and trip adviser it’s very important as a small business owner to focus some of your marketing ideas and time on generating reviews for your business.
Today local businesses are well used to seeking out reviews from customers. For those who are struggling to get customer reviews, you can always meet in the middle. Offer a free sample of your product or service in exchange for an honest, well written review.
Most of us have used online reviews to make a decision before – they’re almost impossible to miss. When you’re researching where or what to buy, when you’re out of town and looking for a place to eat, a site to see, a local business that is unique to that town or area if a business has a lot of positive reviews, new customers (you) feel more confident in giving them a try.
Beyond that, businesses with more reviews and ratings tend to show up higher in search results. For example, Google now offers Google Places results for location-based searches. That means that when you search a type of business along with a city or zip code, such as “dentist in Medford Oregon”, you will see listings similar to yellow pages within your search results (Give it a try – you will see a map with pins in it that correspond to business listings, including address and phone number). Notice the businesses that show up first have a lot of Google Reviews.
But how often do we actually write a positive review for a business that deserves it? Imagine if you made a habit of writing a positive review each time you had a really great experience with a business, almost like a digital thank you card?
So here is a challenge to you, take a couple minutes and write a review for one of your favorite local businesses, it will make a positive impact, not only for the business, but for new customers who shouldn’t be spending their dollars anywhere else.
What are you waiting for, hop on Google Places for Business and get started building that good karma.