Are All Small Business Reviews Created Equal?
Positive reviews for your business are pretty much always a good thing. The question remains, however, how much of a good thing? Depending on the venue that your customers choose to give feedback, the value of their reviews may be lesser or greater, as they will be more or less visible in SERPs, or in App directories. A review that is posted on a site that gets next to no traffic (or literally no traffic, as the case may be) isn’t really worth that much to a small business. The most powerful reviews are positive reviews that appear on popular directories or high in search results. While you can’t necessarily move a review from where your customers write it, it is possible to direct their reviews to the areas where they will be most useful.
G+ business pages are great for collecting positive reviews. The reason that G+ in particular is good for hosting reviews is because when a business is looked up using Google, if they have a completed business page it is often one of the first things that their customers will see at the top of their search results, making it very useful.
Yelp reviews also can accumulate a high volume of impressions. Yelp is a popular business directory that features its reviews as a way for people using their app or website to evaluate multiple businesses side by side, and then learn more about them if their interest is piqued. For local businesses in particular, a strong Yelp presence can often bring a lot of business in the door, making good reviews on this site particularly valuable.
There are many directory sites out there, and if you get a great review on one, consider reaching out the customer who left it. If your business does get a glowing review, but on a site that doesn’t have much value for you, then do your best to reach out the customer who left it. First of all, you should thank them for taking the time to write something positive. After this, you can ask them if they would be willing to post their revue to a more popular directory, or let you host it on your own site as a testimonial.
If you are not sure which sites and directories your business is showing up on, check your referral traffic. By looking at the referrals your business is getting, you can identify where your customers are searching for and finding your business. Once you have decided which review site is the strongest for your business, you can request that your customers leave reviews there in particular. A “leave a review” button on your site, or even a call to action on printed materials such as menus or white papers can help direct customers to where their input will be the most helpful.
Photo Credit to Kristina Alexanderson on Flickr