Word of mouth has long been a marketing force to be reckoned with. Before the internet, people would rely on it to find plumbers and babysitters or when looking to purchase a new car or washing machine. Since then, things haven’t changed. We still rely heavily on the experiences of others – except now it takes place online. If you operate a business with an online footprint, you need to be actively managing this – and if you do it right, it can even positively impact your SEO.
Online reviews matter
Research shows us that most customers read reviews of a business before visiting it, and that the majority trust it as much as a personal recommendation. Close to 93% of customers say there purchasing decisions made online are impacted by online reviews. From Google to Facebook, as well as websites like Yelp allow people to rate everything from their dinner to their employer.
What do Reviews have to do with local SEO?
Online reviews are important for a number of reasons impacting not only:
- Your rankings in local search engines
- Which search results actually get clicked
- As well as consumer purchasing decisions
That makes online reviews as critical to your local SEO strategy as building citations and on-site optimisation.
Online Reviews are the New Word of Mouth
You need to start thinking of Google and Facebook reviews as the new Word Of Mouth, with over 84% of shoppers saying they trusted online business and product reviews as much as a personal recommendation from family or friends, which is crazy when you think about it. By building your reviews and focusing time on them you have the ability of directly influencing your prospective clients.
Understand Review Website Posting Policies
Other this that you need to consider is how the review sites polices work before you try and push people to them. Its always best to review these policy's prior to signing up. Yelp strictly forbids small businesses from soliciting online reviews.. While other platforms don't have any issues with businesses asking for a review.
Tips to Get More Customer Reviews
- Make sure your social networks are present on your website
- Link to your review profiles on your website
- Include review us on " Google/ Facebook" on printed material, promotional or even your invoices
- Train staff to ask for reviews when making the sale, or when completing a project.
- Make it really easy to add a review, have your Web developer add an easy call to action on your main page. Like "Please Review Us on your Favorite Platform".
Whats the best Australian Review sites and where to start
- Yellow Pages
- Word of Mouth
- True Local
- Start Local
- Product Review
- Reviews Mate
- Dizy Local