Having an online presence is essential for any small business. With the right local SEO and marketing strategies, you can increase your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) to drive more customers to your store or website. One of the most important parts of this process? Local business reviews!
This local business reviews guide will help you understand why they’re so important, how to get more positive ones, what steps you should take when responding to negative reviews, plus tips on monitoring and promoting a strong online reputation. Read on for everything you need to know about leveraging local business reviews as part of your overall digital strategy!
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Why reviews are essential?
People want assurance that they are receiving the value they seek when searching for products and services online, given the prevalence of fraud today. You must give them a reason to choose you over the competition, as they are looking for one.
Traditional SEO techniques can help you reach the top of search engine results pages, but online reviews will help you close the deal.
In essence, online reviews are modern-day referrals, so having an abundance of them readily available for your audience to view is a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. No matter what you do for marketing, people will always place more trust in what is said about you than in what you say yourself.
The Benefits of Local Business Reviews
Local business reviews are an invaluable tool for small businesses. Reviews can help you increase your visibility, improve your search engine rankings, and build trust with potential customers. Here’s how:
Reviews are considered a local SEO ranking factor, and this is confirmed by Google itself.
Positive reviews of your business on local directories such as Google My Business or Yelp can help boost your ranking in local searches. This means that when people search for a product or service in your area, they’re more likely to find you first.
88% of consumers trust online reviews just as if they get personal recommendations
Potential customers often look at online reviews before making a purchase decision. Having positive customer feedback from real people gives them the confidence to choose you over other competitors in the area. It also shows that you value customer feedback and take it seriously – which is important for building trust with new customers.
Local business reviews are also great for increasing the overall visibility of your company within the community. People may be more likely to share their experiences if they have something positive to say about it – meaning even more potential customers will hear about what you offer! Hence, more reviews
Customers read a minimum of 10 reviews on average before making a decision confidently.
Overall, local business reviews are essential for any small business looking to grow its presence in the community and reach new customers online. They provide valuable insights into how well-received products or services are among current and past customers while helping boost search engine rankings and build trust with potential buyers at the same time.
#1. Create a Google Business Profile and Get Reviews There
Google Business Profile is a powerful tool for local businesses to increase their visibility online. It provides an easy way to get reviews from customers, which can be used as social proof and help build trust with potential customers.
A Google Business Profile is a free listing on Google that allows businesses to provide information about themselves, such as contact details, opening hours, website URL,, and more.
This profile helps customers find your business when they search for it on Google Maps or in the Knowledge Panel (the box of information that appears alongside organic search results).
The profile also includes customer reviews, photos,, and videos uploaded by users who have visited your business.
Creating a Google Business Profile gives you control over how your business appears in search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s important to make sure all the information listed is accurate so people can easily find you online.
Having an up-to-date profile will also give potential customers confidence in your brand before they even visit your website or store.
Finally, getting positive reviews from existing customers will show new visitors that other people are happy with what you offer – this ‘social proof’ could be just what someone needs to choose you over another company!
Setting up a GMB account is simple. Go to google.com/business and click “Start Now” at the top right corner of the page; enter some basic info about your business; verify ownership via postcard or phone call; then fill out any additional fields like hours of operation and payment methods accepted; finally, upload photos of products services offered or images related to location if applicable – once done hit publish!
Once set up correctly, it’s time to start collecting those all-important customer reviews!
Encourage satisfied clients customers who have had good experiences with your services products etc., by sending them links directly through email campaigns – these should include instructions on how they can leave feedback quickly & easily without having too much hassle (this makes it more likely they’ll do it!).
Additionally consider offering incentives like discounts or special offers for those who take part – this encourages more people to review positively & increases the chances success rate overall!
#2 Create a Business Profile on the appropriate Review Sites
Creating a business profile on the appropriate review sites is an important part of local marketing. It helps to build trust with potential customers and allows businesses to engage with their audience in meaningful ways.
Review sites are also great for gaining insights into customer sentiment, which can be used to inform decisions about product or service offerings.
Yelp is a popular review site that caters specifically to restaurants and other hospitality-related industries such as hotels and spas.
Like GMB, Yelp allows customers to leave reviews along with photos and videos related to their experiences at a particular establishment.
Reviews left on Yelp are visible both within its platform as well as through SERPs like Google’s when searching for specific establishments or types of businesses located in certain areas.
Facebook has become increasingly popular among small businesses looking for a way to engage with customers online without having them leave reviews directly on the company page itself (though this option does exist).
Instead, users can check-in at locations they visit or “like” posts made by companies in order to show support without leaving any written feedback behind – though it should be noted that these actions still influence how people perceive your brand overall!
Angie’s List is another great resource for local marketers who want access to to detailed customer ratings across various categories such as home improvement contractors, plumbers, electrici,ans, etc., making it easier than ever before find reliable professionals near you quickly and easily!
Plus Angie’s List offers special discounts from time-to-time so keep an eye out if you’re looking save some money while getting quality work done too!
Apple Maps Connect is yet another tool designedto to help small business owners get noticed online by allowing them to create listings directly within the Apple Maps app itself – something not many other platforms offer currently.
This means that anyone using Apple products will have direct access to your listing no matter where they’re located, giving you greater reach than ever before!
#3. Make Sure Review Platforms Let You Ask for Reviews.
Some review platforms do allow businesses to ask for reviews, while others have strict guidelines against them.
It’s important to understand the rules of each review platform before you ask customers for reviews. Yelp, for example, doesn’t allow businesses to solicit or incentivize reviews. On the other hand, Google and Trip Advisor do accept solicited reviews as long as they don’t violate their community guidelines. Be sure to read through each platform’s policies carefully so you can stay within their boundaries.
Google provides a way for businesses to generate links that they can use when asking customers for reviews. All you have to do is log in to your Google Business Profile, go to Customers > Reviews > Get more reviews, and generate a link that can be used in emails, chats, or on receipts. This makes it easy and convenient for customers who want to leave a review without having to search around online looking for your business profile page.
Once you’ve asked customers for reviews using these links you must verify them before posting them publicly on any of your social media accounts or websites. Many platforms provide ways of verifying customer identities so that only genuine feedback from real people is posted online about your business. Verifying customer identities also helps protect against malicious actors who may try and manipulate ratings by leaving fake negative comments about competitors’ products or services to boost their reputation at the expense of others’.
How to Make Asking for Reviews Easier
Asking for reviews can be a challenging task, but there are a few strategies you can use to make the process easier:
The best way to get people to leave reviews is by making the process as simple as possible. This means providing a link directly from your website, social media page, or email signature that takes them directly to the review site you want them to use. If you’re using a platform like Google My Business, make sure you include an easy-to-find “Write a Review” button on your profile page so customers can quickly click through and post their feedback without having to search around for how they should do it. Additionally, try creating a QR code that links directly to your review page so customers can easily scan it with their phones while they’re in the store if they don’t have time right then and there but still want an easy way of leaving feedback later on down the line.
People are more likely to take action when there is something in it for them. Consider offering some kind of rewards such as discounts on future purchases or loyalty points each time someone leaves a review—this could be especially effective if used in combination with automated requests sent out after each purchase made at your store or service location. You may also want to think about incentivizing people who already left reviews previously by giving them exclusive offers only available via email signup forms linked from those same online profiles where their reviews were posted originally—this could help bring more attention back onto those pages over time which would be beneficial for both customer retention and local SEO efforts alike.
Many businesses are now taking advantage of automated review request systems which send out emails asking customers how their experience was shortly after receiving services from you (or purchasing items at your store). This allows companies not only to save time by automating this task but also increase response rates since these messages come across as much more personal than generic marketing emails sent out en masse every week month etc… However, make sure any automated system being used complies with all applicable data protection laws before setting up anything too complex; otherwise, fines may result if found non-compliant later on down the road.
Review Don’ts: Tactics to Avoid
While local business reviews can be incredibly valuable, there are some tactics you should avoid when it comes to managing your reviews. Here are some review don’ts to keep in mind:
Paying for reviews is unethical and can have serious consequences, including penalties from review platforms and damage to your reputation.
Kiosks are another tactic to avoid when collecting customer feedback since many reviews coming from a single computer or mobile device tend to be filtered out by review sites like Google.
Businesses should also refrain from asking anyone who is not a customer for a review, including friends, relatives, employees,, or colleagues unless they are also customers themselves. Writing your review is strictly prohibited on all platforms too.
How to Get More Positive Local Business Reviews
Local businesses need to have positive reviews to attract new customers and grow their business. Reviews are a great way to show potential customers that your business is trustworthy and reliable. Here are some tips on how to get more positive local business reviews:
1. Offer Quality Products or Services: The most important factor when it comes to getting good reviews is offering quality products or services that will satisfy your customers. Make sure you take the time to ensure that everything you offer meets customer expectations, so they’ll be more likely to leave a positive review after their experience with your business.
2. Ask Satisfied Customers for Reviews: Once you’ve provided an excellent product or service, don’t forget to ask satisfied customers if they would be willing to leave a review for your business online. This can be done through email, social media messages, or even in person at the point of sale. It may seem like a small gesture but it could make all the difference when it comes time for potential customers to decide whether or not they should choose your company over another one!
3. Respond Quickly & Professionally To Negative Reviews: Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try there will always be those few people who won’t be happy with our products/services and might decide to post negative reviews about us online – this is why we must respond quickly and professionally whenever these types of comments arise on our page(s). Address the customer’s concerns directly and apologize if necessary; this shows other potential clients that you care about providing them with an exceptional experience as well!
Lastly, once you’ve built up some positive feedback from happy customers, don’t forget to promote it. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind sharing their experiences with others by posting on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter (with permission). This can help spread awareness of your brand while also helping build trust among potential buyers who may come across these posts organically during their search process.
How to Respond to Negative Local Business Reviews
When it comes to responding to negative local business reviews, the key is to stay calm and professional. It can be difficult not to take criticism personally, but small business owners need to remember that a customer’s experience should always come first.
Why You Should Monitor Your Online Reputation
Small businesses must watch their online reputation to avoid unwanted reviews. Social media has made customers more likely to submit reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. To handle issues immediately, visit these sites for mentions about your business periodically.
Promoting great customer experiences can boost your online reputation. Encourage satisfied customers to submit reviews on prominent review sites to enhance your reputation and keep potential consumers coming back. Whenever someone posts a critical comment about your business online, apologize and offer solutions. This informs potential consumers that you care about great service and will go above and above when needed.
In addition to monitoring third-party customer evaluations, small business owners should set up Google Alerts or a similar tool to receive notifications when their company name appears in search results or news articles about them. This helps companies to be updated about what people are saying about their brand without having to manually search every day and respond quickly if something bad appears in the news cycle about their company’s activities or products/services.
Finally, check your website as well as external sources. Ensure sure all content, especially contact information like phone numbers and addresses, is accurate and up-to-date. By monitoring your digital reputation internally and externally, you may separate from competitors and develop trust with present and prospective clients.
Tips for Promoting Your Positive Online Reputation
It’s important to monitor your online reputation, as it can have a major impact on the success of your business. Reviews and ratings are one of the most influential factors when customers decide whether or not to do business with you. Here are some tips for promoting a positive online reputation:
One way to promote your positive online reputation is by creating quality content that adds value to potential customers and clients. This could include blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, ebooks,, and more. Make sure each piece of content is well-written and informative so that readers will be encouraged to share it with their networks.
Ask happy customers or clients if they would be willing to leave a review about their experience working with you on sites like Google My Business or Yelp. You should also respond quickly and professionally whenever someone leaves a negative review to address any issues they may have had before other potential customers see them.
Engaging with your audience on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is another great way to promote a positive online presence for your business. Responding promptly when people comment or ask questions shows that you care about customer service which can help build trust between you and potential buyers/clients over time.
Finally, make sure you’re regularly monitoring what people are saying about your business online by setting up Google Alerts for mentions of both yourself and the company name. This way, any negative reviews can be addressed quickly before they spread too far across the web.
Monitor Your Online Reviews
Monitoring your online reviews is essential for any business. It allows you to stay on top of customer feedback and ensure that your brand’s reputation remains intact.
Fortunately, there are a variety of review monitoring softwares and tools available to help you keep track of what people are saying about your business.
One popular tool is Google Alerts. This free service from Google sends email notifications whenever new content related to the keywords you specify appears online.
You can use it to monitor mentions of your company name or other relevant terms, such as “product X review” or “service Y feedback” so that you can quickly respond if necessary.
Another great option is Social Mention, which aggregates user-generated content from across the web into one convenient dashboard view.
With this tool, you can easily track conversations about your brand in real-time and even get an idea of how positively (or negatively) customers perceive it by analyzing sentiment scores associated with each mention.
If you want more comprehensive coverage than these two services provide, then consider using a paid solution like Hootsuite Insights or Brandwatch Analytics instead.
These platforms offer powerful features like automated sentiment analysis and keyword tracking across multiple channels—including social media sites like Twitter and Facebook—so that nothing slips through the cracks when it comes to managing customer relationships online.
FAQs about Local Business Reviews Guide
In conclusion, local business reviews are an important part of your online reputation and should be taken seriously. With the right strategies in place, you can get more positive reviews and respond to negative ones quickly. Monitoring your online reputation is essential for any small business owner, as it will help you stay ahead of potential issues before they become a problem. Following our local business reviews guide will ensure that you have the best chance of success with managing your online presence.