The #1 Way To Support Small Businesses for Free
There are more than a few ways you can support your favorite small businesses. Obviously, buying their goods or services is among the best ways to do that. However, when your own times are tough, that may not be an option. With Small Business Saturday coming up, we wanted to promote the best way to support small businesses without spending a dime: online reviews.
Why Reviews Help Small Businesses
Word of mouth marketing is probably the most powerful marketing phenomenon out there. You’d be hard pressed to outperform a good recommendation from a potential customer’s friend. Reviews are a replacement for personal recommendations. They may not be left by your friends, but they give you a sense of what others’ experiences have been like. When a business averages a positive experience across numerous reviews, that tells potential customers that business is worth it.
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Best Places to Review Small Businesses
Google My Business Reviews
If you ask us, Google My Business is the best place to leave reviews. 5.6 billion searches per day are run through Google, and Google My Business will appear right on the search results page. The profile will give all the key bits of information to the user without them having to find your website. Reviews are also featured, with key phrases bolded for emphasis.
Additionally, a review on Google My Business could help improve the search engine optimization for that business’ website, making that more easily found as well. A lot of quality reviews means this business is trusted by users, so they’re website will likely be helpful, too. Lastly, if your review contains any key phrases or search terms, it increases the likelihood the business will show up in search for those words or phrases.
With all that being said, if you’re a business owner that hasn’t set up your Google My Business profile. Stop reading right now and go do that. We’ll still be here when you get back.
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Another popular place for businesses to collect reviews is through Facebook. For small, local businesses, Facebook’s community focused nature makes it a natural center for their digital strategy. The Review tab on their business Facebook page is a natural place for them to collect and share reviews.
If a user is specifically looking for business reviews, they’ll likely turn to review sites like Yelp. Being able to easily sort local businesses by their review ratings, helps the consumer that wants to know what people really think of a business. Because of this, reviews on Yelp can hold more weight than one left in other places.
Other Review Sites
Lastly, we want to point out how there are endless review platforms and websites for every niche and market. There could be a specific place where the business would prefer you leave your review. These places are often linked on their website, in receipts or emails after making a purchase, or listed on their FAQ. If you’re not sure of where to leave your review, ask! As we’ve mentioned, reviews can really help small businesses so they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.
ImageWorks Creative encourages you to #ShopSmall this holiday season and Small Business Saturday is the perfect time to do just that.
By Jordan Latham