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Why User Reviews Can Make, or Break, Your Business

February 29, 2016

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Because of the endless amount of options available out there, people need some kind of reassurance and validity to make a choice. This is where user reviews come into play, and why they’re so important for your local search engine optimization.

What reviews to focus on:

Google reviews are the most accountable. Because these results are what users will see first, they are the most organic and the reviews that are most relied on by consumers. The Google My Business listings are so dominant that many users won’t even click to another review site.

Although Google is important, don’t ignore the other review sites. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zagat and so on are important because these reviews will link together, create signals and reassure Google’s reviews on your business. These sites prove consistency and they backup Google’s reviews.

How to attract reviews:

Google My Business is essential for clickthrough success and local search. It’s free to set up and extremely user friendly. To make your business look reliable and valid, make sure to have the following attributes featured:

  • A unique description of your business.
  • Consistent open and closed hours.
  • Enticing imagery.
  • Regular updates.
  • Phone number and address.
  • Website link.
  • Recent reviews from customers.

Although Google My Business is important, you first need to obtain reviews to give this any validity. There are a few ways to go about doing this:

  • Ensuring excellent customer service. People only leave reviews for either great or terrible service, make sure to be in the great category.
  • Ask customers who had a good experience to leave a positive review, but don’t offer incentives.
  • Prizes are against most review site’s guidelines.
  • Email customers to ask for reviews.
  • Reply to negative reviews. This shows that you care and will sometimes prompt the customer to update their bad review.
  • Add notices in your store to encourage guests to leave a review.

Don’t try and fake reviews by asking friends and family to leave positive comments. Although this may seem like a good idea, a steady flow of reviews looks more realistic from a user point of view. Try to not get discouraged. Remember success doesn’t happen overnight!