Every good business owner knows how important reviews are, especially when it comes to recruiting new customers through the testimonials of existing customers. A 2014 study by BrightLocal revealed that 88% of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a local business, and that figure has likely increased since then. Collecting online reviews is an important part of business practice, and it can drastically improve local SEO as well as rapport.
But with so many possible channels to try and collect reviews through, determining which platforms will be most useful in showcasing customer reviews can get tricky, and that leads to a lot of questions. Where should you direct customers to when they want to post a review? Where do you tell potential customers to check out reviews?
There are tons of review sites online, but a major problem is that almost none of them are set up to display the reviews on one another. In other words, in order for your customers to get the full picture of your business, they’d have to visit all the sites with posted reviews.
With the exception of Yelp, more and more users are using Google and Facebook as their primary review platforms (Yelp is a beast of its own as it requires users to have accounts and complicates the review process). The challenge then becomes choosing a platform to channel your review efforts towards and using those reviews to enhance your brand. Let’s take a look at A) where Google and Facebook’s review functions differ and B) how you can use them as a business owner.
Google reviews are an important part of local SEO. For example, if I’m in a new city and want to eat somewhere, I might search “Mexican restaurants near me” from my phone. I’m likely to factor a couple things into my decision: the distance the restaurant is from me, and the number of stars it’s given based on the reviews other customers have left. In fact, that’s how the majority of mobile searches work.
Having more content for you business on Google is never a bad thing, and as they’ve continued to tweak their review component, it’s become easier and easier for businesses to encourage customers to leave reviews.
Despite Google’s dominance as the content king, studies have shown that many users prefer leaving reviews on Facebook. An increasing number of people use Facebook as a one-stop-shop content source, because they can get their news, shopping, and social fix all in one platform.
The nice thing about having your customers leave their reviews on Facebook is that it’s really easy to interact with them and have a larger group see it. Plus, it factors into Google, so you’re not losing any content value.