With the shift from local marketing techniques to online advertising, many local business owners are still in the learning stages. After all, they’ve been using the Yellow Pages and community newspaper advertising for years and it can be difficult to change directions and begin using an entirely new method of local marketing.
But times have changed and successful local shop and restaurant owners have made the switch.
Successful Local Business Marketing in 2018 and Beyond
The biggest change in local marketing is the need for local shops, service businesses, and restaurants is that shoppers no longer look for local business in the old-school places, but now go online when they want to find US local business.
And one of the biggest things they look for is online reviews. There have been a lot of studies on the subject, but they all boil down to this: today’s shoppers don’t want to do business with a shop or restaurant unless they have first read some positive online reviews about it.
Here are five facts about online reviews that should have you asking every customer to leave one on your free
Online Reviews Matter to Shoppers
It may not seem like such a big thing to get a stranger’s opinion of a local business before you buy from them, but consumers think otherwise. In fact, one study shows that 6 percent of the people surveyed say that online reviews make a big enough difference that they influence the decision about whether or not to visit the business. This is just one reason why it’s so important to ask your customers to go to your local business listing and leave online reviews.
Online Reviews with Stars Lead to Increased Click Through Rates
When you create your local listing, make sure the local business directory you use incorporates star reviews in it’s review section. This is important because studies have shown that when a review uses the star system, it increases the click through rate by 25 percent. In other words, one in four people will click on your website address to learn more about your local business. Want another reason to use local business listing that contain star reviews? Another study shows that those stars also help increase search engine rankings with the major search engines.
Shoppers Trust Online Reviews
One of the most significant studies about online reviews to come out in a long time shows that people trust the reviews more than they do the people closest to them. In the study, they said that they would trust an online review as much as they would trust a personal recommendation about a local business from a friend or family member. It’s just another great reason to ask your customers to leave those precious online reviews at the local business directory you’re listed on!
Shoppers Value Online Reviews More than Deals or Discounts
Yes, you read that correctly. One study shows that 50 percent of consumers actively seek out online reviews when they are deciding whether or not to buy from a local store or eat at a local restaurant. Contrast that to the number of people looking for coupons or deals. That same study shows that only 34 percent of those people actively seek out deals or coupons when thinking about visiting a local shop or restaurant.
Consumers Expect Businesses to Have Positive Online Reviews
Finally, if you’re going to ask your customers to leave an online review on your local business listing, it better be a good one. Another study shows the differences in how shoppers react to star reviews. In it, only 56 percent of shoppers will visit a store if the online reviews show a 3 star rating. Contrast that with the 94 percent of people who will visit a local shop if they have 4 start or higher reviews.
Online reviews are an important aspect of local business marketing, but you’ll also need to provide a place for customers to leave those reviews. FindUsLocal.com is a credible local business directory that allows small and local business owners to create free local business listings. It only takes ten minutes to set up, and once it’s finished, you can ask your customers to go there and leave reviews. Who knows, it may result in a great sales increase in the near future!