Consumers enjoy reading reviews and recommendations for local small businesses online, and there are multiple methods available to them for finding them.
In 2022, consumers who regularly read online business reviews were relatively stable from year to year; however, when it comes to which platforms users most frequently visited for this task?
Google Maps is a powerful platform used by more than 86% of consumers to locate businesses, and is used by brick-and-mortar establishments as the foundation for their online presence. To maximize reach, local businesses should devise an in-depth Google maps marketing strategy.
An essential step in this process is creating a Google business profile. This free service enables businesses to add their contact details, interact with customers and receive reviews – providing potential customers with essential information about your business as well as increasing search engine rankings; verified profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their websites than non-verified profiles.
Google prioritizes listings with high customer ratings. Therefore, positive reviews on your website and various review aggregators such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook Places etc are absolutely necessary for ranking highly on search engines like Google.
Apart from having a high star rating on Google Listing, your location and goods/services provided can also play a vital role in getting noticed by prospective customers. For instance, being located in an appealing neighborhood could draw in customers searching for nearby shops and restaurants; similarly, offering something unusual or exciting can draw in those searching for new experiences.
Add an image of your storefront or product offerings to your Google listing to draw potential customers in and convert them to buyers. Also important: include your local phone number so potential customers trust you as a local business and become buyers themselves.
Yelp provides users with a platform to share their experiences with local businesses, which helps potential customers make informed decisions and trust the business. But even though Yelp is popular and successful, other platforms pose fierce competition to it in the marketplace; by employing advertising, customer reviews (just like reviews on https://centiment.io does for the listed platforms), and community forums Yelp hopes to maintain its edge and stay ahead.
Yelp provides many advantages to consumers, but it can also be an invaluable resource for small businesses looking to strengthen their online presence and visibility. A current profile on Yelp can increase search engine optimization (SEO), drive more traffic, and increase customer acquisition rates – but be wary that negative feedback may damage your brand if handled improperly.
Yelp has a relatively straightforward policy regarding negative reviews: They won’t remove one unless there is proof that it is invalid; furthermore, employees aren’t allowed to post reviews for themselves or their own business and reviews must come from real customers only.
Yelp provides businesses with many advantages for managing reviews of their business online, one being its ease of flagging inaccurate reviews. This feature can come in particularly handy when someone posts false reviews meant to damage them; raising a dispute with moderators allows you to have it removed more quickly. Unfortunately, too much of this disputing could backfire if customers become aware that companies pay to have negative reviews removed – therefore collecting more positive reviews in order to bury negative ones more quickly.
Facebook remains one of the most effective tools for local marketing. Consumers utilize it to connect with friends, find businesses and share recommendations – something which aligns well with consumer buying decisions which often rely heavily on personal recommendations.
As such, brick-and-mortar brands must ensure they’re taking steps to maximize their reach on Facebook. One key way is encouraging fans and customers to use the Facebook Check-In feature when visiting locations; doing this exposes your business to its entire social network, encouraging more visitors. Consequently, this creates brand recognition and trust – thus driving additional foot traffic towards local stores.
Make sure your local pages are optimized and active – unclaimed pages skew search results on Google and other networks, reducing your chance of being discovered when consumers perform local searches. Take the time to claim, clean and properly manage each local page to help protect against inefficiencies caused by unclaimed ones.
Notably, consumer use of review sites such as Yelp has decreased for two consecutive years; yet 46% still rely on them when evaluating local businesses. YouTube and local news are other popular sources used by consumers when selecting local companies; with their popularity continuing to increase it’s important for small businesses to leverage all that these tools provide; including creating engaging Stories, soliciting Recommendations, and making sure Apple Maps listings are claimed and optimized.
The Yellow Pages are an alphabetized directory of businesses and organizations organized alphabetically by category. Originally printed on yellow paper to easily distinguish it from other directories or phone books, today most Yellow Pages can be found online and many still use it to locate local businesses – you can search by name or products/services offered; additionally it offers photos and brief descriptions. It remains one of the most widely-used ways for older consumers to locate business information.
The phrase “yellow pages” is misleading as most of its information consists of black text and white space. Publishers make money selling advertising spaces to local businesses via sales forces; then distribute a booklet of ads directly to homes within their coverage areas.
Traditional yellow page directors have undergone changes over time, yet remain among the most useful tools for small businesses. Many companies that once owned Yellow Pages brand now specialize in digital marketing or have developed proprietary technology (such as Thryv) that competes in the digital business directory market (such as Thryv).
Print yellow pages remain one of the best ways to reach potential customers who are ready to purchase. Their high ROI makes them one of the cost-effective strategies to reach out to local prospects searching for products or services like yours; additionally they’re great ways of generating leads and referrals.
Local directories have become an essential element of search engine optimization (SEO). They enable businesses to establish an authoritative online presence by providing accurate information and reviews, and search engines use them as ranking signals in local searches – so it is vitally important that businesses get listed as widely as possible across directories – however managing all these listings manually may prove challenging; there are tools and services that make it simpler than ever to update and monitor multiple directory listings simultaneously.
Many local directories provide a list of businesses, with their addresses and phone numbers, consumer reviews, recommendations and hours of operation for each. These websites and apps can be useful when searching for somewhere to eat or purchase something.
Google Maps is another incredibly useful website, offering users an advanced search function to locate restaurants, hair salons, and other types of services with ease. Once users enter keywords such as restaurants or hair salons into the search function, Google Maps displays a list of businesses matching up with those keywords along with photos and customer reviews – an effective way to locate reliable businesses near them.
Tripadvisor, Yelp and Better Business Bureau (BBB) are also widely-used websites and apps that feature trusted reviews of hotels; Yelp excels when it comes to food & drink businesses; while BBB provides an exhaustive database of registered companies and monitors scam reports by location.
Consumers rely heavily on traditional business directories as their main source of local business information; however, YouTube and local news are less commonly consulted than these methods. When seeking recommendations from friends or family, consumers tend to consult online reviews over asking directly. This trend could reflect economic concerns as consumers remain wary when spending disposable income.