Why Local Reviews Matter and How to Get Them

With local business, reputation is everything. One of the most powerful tools to build and maintain that reputation is local reviews. These reviews are more than just an online pat on the back—they can make or break your business. In this post, we’ll dive into why local reviews are crucial and share some fresh, up-to-date tips on how to get them, emphasizing the importance of being a reputable, honest, and trustworthy business.

Why Local Reviews Matter

1. Trust and Credibility

Local reviews provide social proof, which is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior. When potential customers see positive reviews, they are more likely to trust your business. According to surveys, upwards of 80% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and another 80% say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This trust is built on the perception that your business is reputable and honest.

2. SEO Benefits

Search engines love fresh, relevant content. Local reviews contribute to this by continuously adding new content about your business. Google, in particular, favors businesses with positive reviews and higher ratings, which can improve your search rankings. This means your business becomes more visible to potential customers searching for services or products you offer.

3. Customer Insights

Reviews provide valuable feedback from your customers. They can highlight what you’re doing well and where you might need improvement. By paying attention to reviews, you can make informed decisions to enhance your services, products, and overall customer experience. Showing that you value and act on customer feedback underscores your commitment to honesty and improvement.

4. Engagement and Interaction

Responding to reviews—both positive and negative—shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving. This interaction can foster a loyal customer base and demonstrate excellent customer service to potential clients. A business that actively engages with its customers is perceived as trustworthy and dedicated to their satisfaction.

How to Get More Local Reviews

Now that we’ve established why local reviews are so important, let’s explore some fresh, effective ways to encourage more customers to leave them while reinforcing your reputation as a reputable, honest, and trustworthy business.

1. Make It Easy and Accessible

One of the biggest barriers to getting reviews is making the process too complicated. Simplify it by providing direct links to your review profiles on Google and other relevant platforms. You can include these links in follow-up emails, thank-you messages, and even on your website.

Tip: Create a QR code that customers can scan with their smartphones, directing them to your review page. Place this code on receipts, business cards, or at your checkout counter.

2. Ask at the Right Time

Timing is everything. Ask for a review when the customer is most satisfied with your service. This could be immediately after a purchase, a successful project completion, or a positive customer service interaction.

Tip: Use point-of-sale systems to prompt staff to ask for reviews at checkout. A simple, “If you enjoyed our service today, we’d appreciate a review,” can go a long way.

3. Personalize Your Requests

A personalized request can make a big difference. Instead of sending generic review requests, personalize them with the customer’s name and specific details about their purchase or service experience.

Tip: Follow up with a thank-you email that includes a personalized message and a direct link to leave a review. Mention something specific about their visit or purchase to show you genuinely value their feedback.

4. Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms are excellent for encouraging reviews. Share positive reviews on your profiles and invite followers to share their own experiences. You can also run campaigns encouraging reviews, offering small incentives like discounts or entry into a prize draw.

Tip: Create a dedicated hashtag for your business’s reviews and encourage customers to use it. This not only helps gather reviews but also increases your social media engagement.

5. Respond to Reviews

Engage with every review, whether positive or negative. Thank customers for their positive feedback and address any issues raised in negative reviews. This shows that you care about your customers’ experiences and are willing to make improvements.

Tip: Set up notifications for new reviews so you can respond promptly. A quick and thoughtful response can turn a negative experience into a positive one.

6. Host Events and Ask in Person

Hosting events such as workshops, open houses, or customer appreciation days provides an excellent opportunity to ask for reviews in person. This personal touch can be very effective.

Tip: Have a dedicated review station at your event with tablets or laptops where attendees can leave reviews on the spot. Make it fun and engaging with a small incentive for those who participate.

7. Use Review Management Tools

There are several tools available that can help you manage and solicit reviews more effectively. Platforms like Birdseye, Podium, and Trustpilot offer features that automate the review request process, track responses, and analyze feedback.

Tip: Integrate these tools with your CRM or point-of-sale system to streamline the review collection process and ensure no customer feedback opportunity is missed.

8. Provide Excellent Service

This might seem obvious, but the best way to get positive reviews is to provide excellent service consistently. Happy customers are more likely to leave positive reviews, especially if you go above and beyond their expectations.

Tip: Train your staff to prioritize customer satisfaction and empower them to make decisions that enhance the customer experience. A friendly, helpful interaction can significantly increase the likelihood of a positive review.

9. Be Transparent and Honest

Always be upfront with your customers about your services, pricing, and policies. Transparency fosters trust, and customers are more likely to leave positive reviews for businesses they perceive as honest and reliable.

Tip: If something goes wrong, own up to it and make it right. Handling mistakes with integrity can turn a potentially negative situation into a positive review.

Keep Customers Coming Back

Local reviews are a powerful asset for any business. They build trust, improve your SEO, provide valuable insights, and facilitate customer engagement. By making it easy for customers to leave reviews, asking at the right times, personalizing your requests, leveraging social media, responding to reviews, hosting events, using review management tools, providing excellent service, and being transparent and honest, you can boost your local review count and, in turn, your business’s reputation.

So, start today—engage with your customers and encourage them to share their experiences. The benefits are immense, and the effort will pay off in the long run. Remember, every review is an opportunity to improve and grow your business. Being reputable, honest, and trustworthy will always set you apart and keep customers coming back.


FAQs

Why are local reviews important? Local reviews are crucial because they build trust and credibility, improve your search engine rankings, provide valuable customer insights, and facilitate engagement and interaction with your audience. Positive reviews act as social proof, encouraging more potential customers to choose your business.

How to get reviews for local businesses? To get reviews for your local business, make the process easy and accessible by providing direct links to your review profiles. Ask for reviews at the right time, personalize your requests, leverage social media, respond to all reviews, host events and ask in person, use review management tools, provide excellent service, and maintain transparency and honesty.

How does Google decide which reviews are relevant? Google determines the relevance of reviews based on several factors, including the review’s recency, the credibility of the reviewer, the review’s content and length, and how many reviews your business has overall. Engaging with and responding to reviews also signals to Google that you value customer feedback, which can enhance the relevance and impact of those reviews.

How do I increase my local SEO rank with Google reviews? To increase your local SEO rank with Google reviews, encourage customers to leave detailed and honest reviews, respond promptly to all reviews, maintain a high average rating, and continuously gather new reviews. Additionally, ensure that your business information is accurate and consistent across all online platforms, and leverage review management tools to track and analyze feedback effectively.

Free Website Audit

Is your website at its best? Our free website audit will guide you through boosting performance and wowing your visitors.

More To Explore

The Ultimate Beginner’s SEO Guide

Learn SEO basics and get your website to rank for keywords with this beginner-friendly guide. Improve your online visibility and attract more customers with Graticle Design.

Send us a quick message

Count on a friendly reply from our crew within the next business day. Looking forward to chatting with you! 🎉