Last year, 93% of online shoppers used reviews to help their purchasing decisions.
If you don’t use reviews to promote your business, you’re missing out on a significant marketing opportunity. If the above 93% can’t find recommendations about your product your chances of making a sale will drastically reduce.
Keep reading to learn more about using local business reviews to boost your revenue.
Why Are Local Business Reviews Important?
You’ve seen the star rating of products on websites across the web, such as on Amazon. These reviews are left by customers who have tried and tested a product, so the readers feel they can trust what is said.
In fact, 84% of buyers trust online reviews as much as they would a referral from a friend. They don’t trust a brand’s marketing half as much, either.
Allowing users to review your local business online will help others to make an informed decision. It’s not you telling potential customers how amazing you are – but real-life recommendations coming from third parties.
The local aspect is particularly important. Potential customers will feel a greater connection with other locals recommending a service in their area.
A business with ‘excellent’ rated local reviews leads customers to spend an average of 31% more. Geographic commonality creates an additional bond and empathy to the review and this can turn into big bucks.
How to Use Reviews to Supercharge Your Marketing Strategy
There are four key ways to use reviews to boost your local business.
1. Ask Customers for Recommendations
It’s a simple task but many small businesses shy away from asking for feedback from customers. They fear that negative feedback will come out – but even if this happens, it gives you a clear direction on how to improve your business.
Ask your existing customers for recommendations. You can do this through email, on your Facebook page, or send them to a review service like Tripadvisor.
For example, the Liberty Mutual reviews on the Clearsurance site are independent. They provide immediate at-a-glance statistics to help users make quick decisions before they click on the website for more details.
You can always offer an incentive, such as providing a 10% discount off their next purchase if they send you a screenshot of their review.
2. Connect with Micro Influencers
Instagram and the blogging generation are fantastic for boosting local business revenue. These channels have provided great visibility for a wide range of products. It’s all because brands have reached out to influencers for reviews.
Send a product or provide your service to them in exchange for a blog or online review. You can offer a financial incentive too, such as running an influencer affiliate program. Here, the blogger is provided an individual referral link and will earn a commission on each sale the link generates.
3. Respond to Reviews
Check online review sites regularly and make sure you have personalized responses for each review. There is nothing worse than seeing hundreds of reviews about a business that have no response to them.
Engaging with reviewers shows that you care about their feedback. Plus, you appreciate the time they have taken to talk about your local business service.
4. Shout About Your Review Score
Install an independent review widget from a recognized service, such as FeeFoo, on your website, to show off your reviews without bragging about them.
A customer surfing your site is going to know that you have the confidence in your service to promote what other people are saying about you!
How Local Reviews Improve Your SEO
Google puts local search at the heart of results rankings. It considers local keywords related to a user’s location as essential to providing relevant search results.
Local business reviews allow search engines to recognize your website as a higher-authority domain, which will improve your ranking and domain authority.
Read our beginner’s guide to domain authority and SEO to learn more about integrating reviews to boost your online traffic.