If you’ve been trying to grow your online presence, then chances are you’ve come across local reviews. Or maybe you’ve stared in awe at other businesses who have hundreds of local reviews.

No matter how many reviews you currently have, one thing is certain, local reviews matter a lot. If you’re looking to increase your number of online leads, or even improve your site’s rankings, then reviews are going to play a role in that.

Below we look at the reasons why local reviews are so important and offer a few ways you can start growing your total number of reviews.

The Importance of Local Reviews

The value of local reviews can’t be overlooked. Below we look at the two main reasons you need to start growing your local reviews.

1. They Influence Buying Decisions

When a customer starts to search for a solution to their problem online one of the first things they do is read reviews. In fact, according to a recent study by Bright Local over 85% of consumers read online reviews, and judge the business accordingly. This is the same whether they’re buying a product, a service, or finding a local business. When you don’t have any local reviews, then you don’t have any trust built-up.

Having a solid amount of positive reviews will help to influence potential customers in a positive way.

2. They Impact Local SEO

According to the Moz Local Ranking Factors report online reviews make up 10% of local rankings factors. Put simply, businesses that have more positive reviews will rank higher than you in the search results. Since Google and other search engine are trying to provide searchers with the highest-quality results, they’re going to recommend businesses that customers trust. How do they determine this trust? Via real customer reviews.

If you want an SEO Virginia Beach strategy that actually gets you rankings, then sourcing high-quality reviews needs to be a part of it.

Ways to Get More Local Reviews

Before you start creating a plan to start generating local reviews you need to be aware of a few things. First, there are various platforms where your customers can leave online reviews, like Yelp, Google, Yellow Pages, and more. Second, customer reviews that are left on your Google Business page will represent the star review of your company, this is an important indicator of the quality of your business. Third, some sites like Yelp forbid businesses from actively sourcing reviews, it goes against their terms of service. So, make sure you examine the terms first before you begin asking for reviews on specific platforms.

With all of the above in mind, it’s time to start generating local reviews. Below you’ll find two methods that can be effective in helping you gain local reviews.

1. Ask in Person

There are a few different ways to make the ask for reviews in-person. First, if you have a brick and mortar business, you can create a simple print out that your customers can see whenever they make a purchase, that encourages them to leave a review.

Second, you can train your employees to make the ask once the transaction is over. Make sure you’re not pressuring your customers to leave a positive review, but instead an honest review.

Third, if you’re in a service-based business, then you can make the review ask yourself. You can frame it as a token of gratitude if your customer or client is satisfied with your service.

2. Ask Online

Another way to ask for reviews is to go online. If you have a solid social media presence on sites like Twitter or Facebook, then you can simply ask your followers to leave their feedback about your company in the form of a review.

Second, you can find locally-relevant Twitter communities and hashtags, and local Facebook groups and ask the users if they wouldn’t mind giving feedback about your business. Your followers can even leave reviews directly on your business’s Facebook page. You’d be surprised how many local consumers use Facebook to find out about local businesses.

We hope the tips above have helped you realize the importance of local reviews and how to start generating them for your business. If you want a handcrafted strategy to help grow your local rankings and get more reviews in the process, then reach out to our Virginia Beach SEO team today.

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