Yesterday’s USA Today had a feature story about the effect of online reviews for businesses leading to acquiring new clients. The focus of the article was a Los Angeles area chiropractor who actively encourages clients to write reviews on Google, Yelp, Yahoo and other local sites that allow reviews. His business has increased from people finding the reviews and choosing his practice over the others in the local search results.
I think having a few reviews for Five would be of help to local businesses seeking our web expertise. (note to self)
Last year when traveling to San Francisco for the first time I read a lot of online reviews on Yelp to find a few fun places to dine. It was extremely useful and I just sent a few links to a friend today who is headed out there Friday (lucky guy). The ability to get a wide range of opinions and filter through that information to make my own decision is a great thing. Obviously not every comment or opinion will be glowing or even positive, but with more than a handful of reviews you can make your own deductions from the added value of reviews.
For me, that’s what it is all about. Having a few other angles to consider when making a decision. I have used online reviews not only for my SF trip, but for many hotel reservations, dinner choices and electronics purchases in the last few years.
I hope that attention like the USA Today article and other avenues lead to more user content/feedback on small businesses, not just products or hotels. Of course we will see some “review spam”, just as we see with every other Internet marketing, but the big picture is very solid.
Remember though, to even have a shot at getting reviewed you must be correctly listed in the local directories of these sites. Paul Jahn of LocalMN has a great post on local search basics you should check out if this is all new to you and your business. You should also do a search on your business in the main ones, add yourself or correct info as needed. Here are the links below:
Believe me, this small bit of effort is worth it, local search is gaining more power and search real estate every day.