The Importance of Online Reviews For Local Businesses

by Scott Brandley | March 14, 2020

    Why You Need Online Reviews For Your Local Business

  1. Better Ratings
  2. Greater Distribution
  3. Increase Review Frequency
  4. Improve SEO
  5. Better Review Quality
  6. Greater Diversity

 

Getting online reviews is as important to your business as ordering inventory or offering customer support. They’re the lifeblood of today’s most successful businesses, and you’re going to fall behind if you don’t start investing in your online reputation.

Some local businesses may think they can avoid the game of vying for online reviews, since they often rely on word of mouth to bring in customers. But if that is your mindset, we’ve got news for you: Online reviews are word-of-mouth marketing, and they’re driving the bulk of local business just as much as e-commerce.

Why are online reviews so important for local businesses? Here are just a few ways that go over online reviews importance in the modern world of marketing—yes, even for local businesses. The sheer volume of online reviews you have matters, and the following reasons outline why. 

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1. Better Ratings

Perhaps the most important reason local businesses should strive to get more online reviews is because more reviews will produce a higher average rating. Getting a better rating is beneficial to any business for a number of reasons. For one thing, it will directly impact the number of customers who walk through your doors and thus increase potential sales. The higher the rating, the more likely consumers will be to visit your business.

For example, 92% of users will go to a business that has a minimum 4-star rating. Your rating will affect how much customers trust your business and will influence whether or not they decide to make a purchase from you. In fact, customers are willing to spend up to 31% more at a business that has “excellent” reviews.

 

2. Greater Distribution

Getting more reviews also means that you can distribute those reviews across more review sites. This is a crucial component of building your online reputation, because today’s consumers have dozens of options when it comes to review platforms, and not all consumers will be visiting the same websites.

For example, some people might always go to Google reviews as their source of information, while other people rely on Yelp for the best local business recommendations. You can’t focus on the former and neglect the latter. After all, 98% of Yelp users have made a purchase from a business they found on Yelp.

So if your reviews aren’t getting to this audience, you’ll be missing a big marketing opportunity. But if you’re able to distribute your reviews across a wide range of review sites, you’ll get more visibility, build credibility, and increase website traffic.

Studies show that 72% of consumers will only take action once they’ve read a positive review about the business. Make sure you’re not missing a chance to influence potential customers on any review platform by increasing the number of reviews you have coming in.

 

3. Increase Review Frequency

In the world of scrolling and multi-tasking, hot and fresh content has never been more important. Today’s consumers want the latest and greatest information about the businesses they shop from, meaning a review that is even just a few weeks old may not have as great of an influence as a new review.

Amazingly, 40% of people only consider reviews that are two weeks old or less. Since most customers read an average of 4-6 reviews before they trust a business, they’ll be seeking at least a handful of current reviews before they feel comfortable making a purchase. Increasing the number of reviews you have coming in will ensure you always have fresh reviews to build trust with your customers.

 

4. Improve SEO

As they say, content is king. And though you may be working hard to create blog posts and social media content, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by focusing energy on getting more reviews. Why? Because Google is partial to user-generated content, and online reviews fall into this category.

Today’s consumers are looking for companies that offer reliability, expertise, and professionalism. They’ll be hitting the internet to find businesses that possess these qualities before they take a chance on purchasing from any of them. This drives businesses to compete harder than ever for those coveted top spots in search engine results. By focusing efforts in bringing in more online reviews, you’ll land a higher search ranking and bring in more web traffic over time.

 

5. Better Review Quality 

As more businesses focus on bringing in reviews, they sometimes get desperate and resort to incentivized or even fake reviews. For this reason, consumers are increasingly picky about the quality of the reviews they read. They’re looking for reviews that include thorough descriptions of the product and customer experience. They want to hear from influencers and experts so they can be sure about the purchase before forking over their hard-earned money.

Luckily, getting more online reviews will allow you to get higher quality reviews. You’ll have a bigger pool of long, detailed, specific, and well-written reviews that will be highly influential for consumers seeking a trustworthy source.

 

6. Greater Diversity

Nine out of 10 consumers say that an online review is as important as a personal recommendation, and those consumers want to find the right type of review to inform them before they make a purchase. Some companies choose to focus on bringing in seller reviews, while others might focus their efforts on product reviews. Each type of review serves a unique purpose and can impact the customer journey and conversion process at different points.

By choosing the right review collection tool, you’ll be able to collect both seller reviews and product reviews. This will allow you to diversify your online reviews and build a more solid reputation with all types of customers.

 

Get More Reviews Today

Now that you better understand the importance of online reviews, you might be anxious to start bringing in more reviews for your local business. But learning how to get more Google reviews can easily become overwhelming, and you might be looking for expert advice.

Check out Shopper Approved to get started today. Our clients get higher ratings and greater distribution, thanks to our innovative review software. Discover how we can help you get more online reviews.

Scott Brandley
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