In my last blog post, I presented a list of 25 local directory websites where you can set up a business profile. Many of these websites that I listed allow for clients to leave reviews. I’ll be coming up with more local directory websites to set up profiles on shortly, but I wanted to talk about the importance of online reviews first.

Online reviews are extremely important. My market is small businesses in the Atlanta area. I provide Web Design and Local SEO services to small businesses, and the majority of my potential clients are located in the Atlanta area. I have been told several times by potential clients that they researched me before calling me. More than likely, they read my online reviews. How do I know that? Because often times, Google places the local results above the organic results, and the local results have reviews in them.

A local business’ online reviews are often times the deciding factor on whether a potential client is going to give that business their hard earned dollars or not. Check out this infographic from PeopleClaim, a complaint resolution company, for some statistics to back up what I just said:

PeopleClaim Online Reviews Infographic

Where Should Your Customers Leave Online Reviews

Google Plus is an obvious choice to get reviews from your customers, but you need to get reviews from other websites as well. In the past, Google used to reference reviews from other local directory websites. I’m sure these websites still play a factor in their local search results. Here are some other popular choices.

When you and your customer have completed a business transaction or two, ask them to leave your business a review on one of these websites. Never give your customer or client a reward in return for the review. They should leave a review because they want to. Also, never impersonate a customer and leave a fake review. Doing this just ruins the credibility of the websites.

Building up reviews takes time, but it will pay off in the long run. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section.