Internet review sites are growing rapidly and so is their importance for your business. Sites like Yelp, City Search, Insider Pages, Judy’s Books and many others help customers decide where to take their business. Just like testimonials on your website, online reviews are great tools to help promote your business. In a survey conducted between 2010 and 2012 there has been positive growth in the number of people that are actively using online reviews to help determine which business to choose.
In this graphic we can see that in 2012 more consumers are willing to trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This speaks volumes as to the importance of having your customers review your business online.
- 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
Positive client recommendations are always going to be best for your business. As we see from the survey, more people trust online positive reviews then don’t. But how do we gather these reviews? Make an offer to clients who review your business online. If you customer returns with a review they posted offer them something for it, a discount on the next visit. This will give people an incentive to review your business. Many businesses have people write reviews at the shop. Hair salons are a great place for recommendations. They are going to look their best at the moment they leave the salon so record their review right at that moment.
- 58% of consumers trust a business which has positive online reviews (vs. 55% in 2010)
One would think that price and location would play the greatest role in determining which business to go to. In the review community this is not the case. We are seeing a growing number of people decide where to go based on reviews over both price and location. In this survey there is a 10% decrease in a two year span for those who choose price and location over other factors.
- 52% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if they have positive reviews
- Just 28% of consumers cite location &/or price as main decision making factor (vs. 28% in 2010)
So we understand that having positive reviews can lead directly to new business and that online customers are using reviews more and more to help make choices. But where should customers write reviews? The short answer is anywhere. All online review sites are going to be positive for your business. We clearly want to target those sites that get the most traffic. Yelp.com is one the largest online review sites. The site gathers roughly 17.5 million hits per month. The majority of these people fall into the 18-44 age demographic. The main complaint with Yelp is that they actively filter their reviews pulling out any reviews they deem to be fraudulent. We see that many times these reviews come from real customers and were filtered by accident. But there are many other options other than Yelp!
“Google Places” is a great place for your customers to review your business. They do no filter reviews from your customers and the content of each review is also used to help boost your SEO. Google will actually pull keywords from customer reviews to help determine where to place your Google local listing in search results. Since Google currently has the largest search engine market share, more people will be able to read your reviews and select your business.
– Matt Wilkos
If you are interested in more SEO techniques or would like to hire us to manage your reputation online contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 857.526.0096.
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