By now you’ve heard about how important it is for small, local business owners to have an online presence. Today’s consumers look for local businesses by using their smartphones, tablets, and laptops-even if the business they’re looking for is right around the corner.
The days are gone when small business owners can rely on local ads in the Yellow Pages or community newspaper to bring in new customers. Instead, they have to be online in order to get new business.
And one of the most important aspects of an online presence is the ability to get online reviews. There have been many studies showing that consumers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations from friends and family. And other studies show that many consumers won’t even consider doing business with a local business until they have read some positive reviews about it.
So, how do you get online reviews for your local business? We have some tips to help you spread the word.
1. Give Customers a Place to Leave Online Reviews
In order for customers to leave online reviews, you have to set up a free local business listing to point them to. For example, you can create a free business listing at FindUsLocal.com and then point your customers there.
2. Ask Your Customers to Leave Online Reviews
Many small business owners are leery of asking customers to leave online reviews because they think it will inconvenience them. But studies show just the opposite. In fact, one study shows that more than 70 percent of consumers are willing to leave an online review if they are asked. That’s why you see so many business owners making it a habit to ask customers during the checkout process.
If you haven’t instituted this procedure in your store or restaurant, you really should start it now.
3. Offer Printed Materials with the URL of the Free Local Business Listing
Not everyone is going to remember where you’ve asked them to leave an online review, and that’s why it’s important to give them something with the web address on it. For example, you can include it on your business cards, a special flyer you hand to customers as they’re checking, or if you own a local restaurant, you can print it on your menus. The more information you give your customers, the easier it will be for them, and that leads to better odds that they’ll leave that online reviews.
Once a customer leaves an online review for your local business, be sure to thank them. This will not only ensure a great relationship with them, but they’ll feel appreciated as a customer—and that can only be good for business.
If you don’t have a free local business listing, head on over to FindUsLocal.com and set one up. It only takes a few minutes and once it’s complete, you’ll have someplace to send your customers to leave those all-important online reviews.