Local search engines love online reviews for one primary reason, consumers love online reviews. They’re number one goal is to provide people on-the-go or at home with the most accurate information that will help them make buying decisions. The faster they can do that, the more consumers will turn to them time and time again. Have a look at a screenshot of results from Yelp for the keywords “mexican restaurants Cedar Rapids, IA”.
According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews are thought to make up 8.4% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results. Check out this pie chart provided by MOZ for the visual break down of the different ranking variables:
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Before you embark on creating strategy for acquiring new reviews, it’s a good idea to give some thoughts on which review platforms would work best for your business.
To determine that, simply start by going to Google and doing the following search, “[Industry] + reviews” and see which sites pop-up on the first page. For example, have a look at what shows up for “mexican restaurant reviews”:
Before we talk about how to obtain more reviews, it’s important to understand the different review policies each platform has that you will need to abide by. For example, Yelp strictly forbids small businesses from soliciting online reviews and will act swiftly if it detects something fishy. While some other platforms don’t really have any issues with businesses making the ask.
Here are some review guidelines for some of the most critical review platforms that you should read through and understand:
Once you’ve had a quick look through those, here are 4 tips to help you get started acquiring great reviews: