Reviews, which are becoming a massive part of the web and are essential for online retailers, are also rapidly becoming important for companies that want to promote themselves on a more local scale. Google uses results cards for a lot of location-based searches and one of the things it pushes when it is deciding which companies to rank well is online reviews, with the establishments with the best reviews ranking higher than the ones that do not have good reviews. After looking at Google+ reviews, the next thing that appears in the SERPs tends to be review sites − this is especially true for businesses such as hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities. Yelp, TripAdvisor and other similar services rank very well and often above the websites that belong to the companies they are reviewing. This means that if you want to get noticed by customers, you need to work on building good rankings.
Reviews in the internet age are a form of social proof, reassuring prospective visitors that they are about to make a good decision. They encourage people to actually go and try that new fast food place or to buy that new product, especially if they are currently feeling curious but don’t quite have the confidence to make the purchase. It is easy to decide that something is a safe choice if there are hundreds of other people who agree with you. On the other hand, if something has a rash of bad reviews, then the prospective visitor is likely to feel put off. If something has just a handful of good reviews, people may wonder why there are only a few. Were the reviews bought? How long has the company been around? According to BrightLocal, 88% of surfers read reviews before visiting local businesses. Given that reviews are so important for footfall and that Google includes reviews as a part of its algorithm for ranking websites, it makes sense to encourage your customers to leave honest reviews of your business. It only takes a few seconds to leave a review on Google Maps, while a lot of users have accounts on other third-party review sites that they can use to rate the business. Make sure that your website is categorised correctly and work on getting some reviews today. You will be glad that you did in the long run.