Local businesses survive, thrive, or wither away based on the number and quality of local business reviews they receive. Make no mistake; if you have a bunch of stellar local business reviews singing your company’s praises, you’ll find more people than ever willing to give your brand a shot. But it can be tough to see those benefits if you’re having trouble getting people to leave reviews in the first place. Today, let’s explore how to get more local business reviews with local SEO in St. Augustine for your brand.
The Importance of Local Business Reviews in Local SEO in St. Augustine
Local business reviews are critical. Why?
Simply put, many people won’t try a new business or brand (online or in person) unless it has positive reviews associated with it. According to Search Engine Journal, 99% of customers read reviews when they shop online.1 On top of that, 49% of consumers trust reviews just as much as personal recommendations from family members or friends.
Given this fact, the reviews associated with your business will heavily impact its traffic, the number of customers, and your profits at the end of the year. The better your reviews are, the easier time you’ll have staying in the black. Of course, the reverse is also true – if you have many bad reviews, many customers won’t give your business the time of day if they aren’t already committed to your brand.
You’ll find that it’s much easier to get new traffic or customers at your brick-and-mortar local business if you have quality business reviews across various sites, like Google, Yelp, and more.
How do you do this? Work with professionals who specialize in local SEO in St. Augustine, FL.
How to Get More Local Business Reviews for Your Small Business
So, how can you make sure that people leave reviews more often than not? Fortunately, you can use several strategies and tips to maximize local review collection in St. Augustine and beyond.
Verify Your Business Profile and All Company Information
First and foremost, you need to verify your business profile on Google and on its own website. This will make your business info appear on Google services like Maps and Search. It also enables you to reply to reviews with a verified business profile.
Similarly, go on Yelp, Facebook, and elsewhere and make sure that all of your business’s contact information is accurate and the same. Minor errors could confuse customers and turn them off by visiting your brand, purchasing, or leaving a review.
According to Google,2 this is highly important because it affects Google’s search engine accuracy for your brand and makes it easy for prospective customers to find your retail storefront. Bottom line: always ensure your business profile and company information are accurate across all online sites and sources.
Remind Customers to Leave Reviews Online
Next, reminding your customers to leave reviews online whenever you interact with them is always helpful. For example, if a salesperson interacts positively with a customer at your local business, they can request a review from that customer.
Many customers won’t think to independently leave reviews unless they have something to complain about. Therefore, if you want to cultivate positive reviews, you have to remind customers that you really appreciate it and that positive reviews do wonders for the success of your brand.
Respond to All Reviews No Matter What
Even if people leave you less than stellar reviews online, be sure to respond to them. Responding to every review that someone leaves you provides you with a few significant benefits:
- First, it lets you change a customer’s mind or promise to improve. Sometimes, a disgruntled customer might decide to update their review and leave a better score just by seeing that they have your attention.
- Second, it shows other customers watching that you treat every customer’s input as valuable, even if it is negative. That’ll give your target audience members a more charitable view of your business, even in light of criticism.
- Third, it inspires other customers to chime in, positively or negatively, helping you collect more reviews over time.
Double Down on Customer Service
Naturally, customer service is incredibly important, but it’s especially vital if you want to get more local business reviews in St. Augustine. The better your customer service, the more likely your target audience will leave a positive review.
Strong customer service, personalized help, and attentiveness when finding a product or solving a technical issue form an emotional connection between customers and your brand. It also helps your business stand out from other local enterprises in your area, enabling you to build a loyal customer base and maximize your profits over the long term.
Make it Easy to Review
Customers want to leave positive or negative reviews if it’s too difficult to do so. To that end, you should make it easy to leave a review by:
- Including a basic review form on your website that only takes one to two minutes to complete
- Leaving a link to your business’s Google or Yelp profile on your website so customers only have to click one button to get to the review page
Offer Incentives for Reviewers
Want to maximize review rates? You can offer incentives to customers who leave reviews for your brand. For example, you can have a special online offer that gives everyone a $5 discount on their next purchase if they leave a review of any kind on your Google business profile.
There’s one caveat: you can’t offer an incentive for explicitly positive reviews. Be sure to phrase your review request and incentive offer carefully. Saying that a customer gets something for leaving any review is perfectly fine. Telling customers they will receive a discount if they leave a positive review is illegal and could damage your brand’s reputation.
Leverage Social Media
Don’t forget to use social media to excellent effect! Social media is a fantastic way to communicate with your target customers online, and it’s the perfect avenue to remind them that you are looking for reviews.
You can also get creative with this. For example, you can ask customers a question – such as if they miss an old product or if there is one thing they would recommend your brand do to improve its services – and request a review alongside that prompt. Customers will give you the targeted feedback you want and simultaneously leave more reviews for you.
Maximize Local SEO in St. Augustine with Full Circle SEM
Of course, it might be challenging to adopt all of these strategies and get more local business reviews if you are already strapped for money and workforce. That’s why it might be wise to partner with a local search engine optimization agency in St. Augustine.
Full Circle SEM is just the partner for you. Our experienced, talented staff members can create review campaigns and help you gather positive customer reviews through SEO, social media marketing, and much more. Contact one of our representatives today to learn how we can assist your brand!