Local businesses rely heavily on word-of-mouth and reviews in order to be successful and attract more customers. That’s why business review sites like Yelp, Google Places and Yellow Pages are a must for any local business.
Local online reviews are just an extension of word of mouth marketing. It’s a permanent record of consumer’s thoughts of your business. These reviews influence who people do business with because they enable customers to publicly share their experiences (positive or negative) for others to see.
There are many benefits for local businesses to use business review sites, but we find these three to be the top ones:
- Let yourself be found by potential customers
Local review sites give customers another way to find new businesses. The millions of people who use these sites can gain their first exposure to your company through them.
With so many local products and services to choose from, customers like to do research before doing business with a company and they tend to trust other customer’s reviews before buying from a company. Let these reviews lead customers to you!
So having a presence on these review sites is a great way to create brand awareness and exposure. Most review sites are free to add your business, but for a fee you can even get your business on first page or make it stand out from the competition.
- Improve your website ranking and traffic
A good way to get your website ranking improving on Google is through having high quality links pointing to your website. By having a presence on these local review sites, you’re using link building to create those quality links, focusing on location.
So basically, you’re telling Google who you are, what you do and where you’re located; which will help to increase your site rankings. Having more traffic coming to your website as a result of being found both on Google and in these review sites will also help to increase your site rankings.
So, being in these review sites is a great SEO strategy for any local business.
- In order to achieve this, make sure that:
You have up-to-date contact information, physical address information, operation hours and photos on your listings and all the information matches exactly what you have in your website. Choose an accurate business category and use the right keywords for your business (the same you use in your website).
- Take feedback in order to improve
A great benefit of site reviews for businesses is the opportunity to know what their customers are saying about them (positive and negative).
Of course, every business wants good reviews, but in order to achieve that you need to deliver excellent products/services and an excellent customer service. Listening to what your customers say is a great way to find out what you’re doing right, but also to know what you can improve on. Those reviews are much valuable for any smart business.
Are you a local business taking advantage of review sites? Share with us your experience in the comment section below.