If you have a local business, it is important that you get reviews (positive if possible) from your customers on the major local review sites. Potential customers are turning more and more to sites like Yelp and Facebook to see what previous customers have said about the business. If there are no reviews for your business, it is likely a lot of people won’t want to do business with you because they don’t know that they can trust you. If you do have reviews, the more positive reviews you can get, the better. There are a lot of statistics from recent studies that show that people are MUCH more likely to do business at a local business with 4 or more stars on average than at a business with 3 or fewer stars. Having reviews brings you validation and people will trust that they are going to the right place. Simply getting more reviews and making sure they are positive ones will give you a huge opportunity to increase your revenue.
Aside from the discussion above, getting reviews can actually help your local search engine rankings, both in the organic results and in the special map results. We have tested this multiple times. The more reviews you get on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, etc., the better you will rank on Google in the maps section and in the organic section. We have also noticed that having specific keywords in reviews will help you rank better in the maps section for those keywords. Long story short, more reviews means better rankings.
So what should you do if I’ve convinced you that reviews are very important? Well, the best thing to do is train the person who is responsible for customer service to try to solicit reviews from happy customers. There are different software solutions as well that can help automate the process. You should just aim to be as on top of your reputation online as possible. If you get a bad Yelp review, you should immediately reach out to that person and see what you can do to rectify the situation.
Take control of your online reputation and try to get as many good reviews on as many sites as possible. Your SEO and your business in general will be much better off because of it.