Think back to the last time you received excellent service from a local business in your neighborhood. What did you do to show your appreciation? Did you know that writing a local business review on websites such as Google Places, Yelp and Citysearch is one of the best things you can do to bring in new customers for your favorite merchants? Let's take a look at why local business reviews are so powerful and how to write one on three popular business review services.
The Benefits of Local Business Reviews
Local business reviews help persuade potential consumers that your favorite local business is better than the competition and worthy of new business. Seeing positive reviews for a business sends a powerful psychological signal to our brain that allows the content of the reviews to shape and guide our decision, bypassing many steps in the research process.
Local business reviews also have far-reaching effects within search engine rankings. Search engine optimization (SEO) practitioners advocate tactics that include leaving reviews to help a business appear higher in search engine results and thus bring in more website traffic and customers.
How to Write a Local Business Review
A one-time tip or single word-of-mouth referral is a nice gesture, but to really help your favorite neighborhood establishment get new business, nothing beats writing a local business review. It takes just minutes and you can leave one on a dozens of local business directories. Here are a few brief tutorials on how to write a local business review on the most popular review destinations: Google Places, Yelp, and Citysearch.
How to Write a Local Business Review on Google Places
How to Leave a Local Business Review on Yelp
How to Leave a Local Business Review on Citysearch
A Strategic Note for Local Businesses
With all the benefits of local business reviews, you're missing out if you don't make requesting them from your customers part of your marketing strategy. And while it is against Google's policy to compensate customers for a review, many will happily oblige if you simply ask them to do it.
Create an email template, one-page document or a page on your website that explains the value of a review and demonstrates how to do it (you can link to this blog post and videos if it helps). Be sure you kindly and respectfuly request that they leave a review on one or more local business review websites if they enjoyed their service and thank them for their patronage.
Local business reviews are the new gratuity. Writing one goes much further than telling a friend or two or even leaving a generous tip (although those things are nice too). The next time you experience excellent service from a local establishment, be sure to leave a review on a local business directory such as Google Places, Yelp and Citysearch.