Reviews for SEO…do They Count?

In the next few posts I will focus on using reviews to gain more business and to build a good reputation online, particularly for local businesses.

The internet has changed the way we look for products/services in a big way.  Today we all seek out online reviews, social media based reviews, online video and extensive product details as we look to make a purchase.

As an example, I will not book a hotel until I have scanned through at least a few months worth of reviews on Tripadvisor.  The information is accessible and real feedback which helps me make my choice.  In the past, this process was limited to searching for hotels, restaurants etc etc .  But what we are finding is that now this behaviour is rife across many areas of business including finding a plumber or a skip for hire.  The ‘amazon type’ journey is now an expectation for anyone looking to make a purchase online, right through to  finding a tradesperson.

So what should you do as a local business?

My advice is to get listed on as many review sites as possible, below I have listed a few to get you started.  Remember. you will need to create listings in the first place to be able to allow acces for users to leave reviews but not only will this help with inbound links but also the presence online reviews give you online.  We will cover some of these sites in more detail over time but there are .

As a local business the aim is to attract the right kind of reviews and possibly incentivise customers to leave genuine reviews.  Use this platform as a means to tune into how customers feel about your business whether it be positive or negative.

Where negative, respond to feedback on the sites and also internally within the business.  Manage you online reputation making sure you are presented in the best light to prospective customers.