How to leave an online review and support small businesses
When was the last time you left an online review? Was it a negative review? It's human nature to want to vent when you are not happy with a product or service - but we are less inclined to go out of our way to praise a business. However, it is these reviews that are so important to small businesses and those just starting out.
Why are online reviews so important?
- The more reviews a business has - the more trustworthy a potential customer views them.
- 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.
- 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
So in case you need a little bit of help leaving the all important reviews, or want to know more about the importance of online reviews - here's a quick guide.
Google reviews are the ones that come up when you are searching within Google or Google maps - and they look like this:
Why are Google reviews so important?
- Google is the most popular search engine (as of 2019).
- Reviews help with SEO - meaning the business will show up higher in Google searches.
- Google reviews receive more views than any other review site - 63%.
How to leave a online review on Google
Follow this simple 4 step process and you can leave lovely positive reviews for all the local businesses you love.
- Open Google Maps and make sure you're signed in. If you don't have an account you can sign up for a new Google account.
- Search for a place.
- On the left, scroll down and click Write a review.
- In the window that appears, click the stars to score the place. You can also write a review.
The process is slightly different on mobiles - see the Google support pages for full details.
Facebook is the largest social media network in the world so Facebook reviews are hugely important to a small business. You can review a page by following the links on the left navigation or clicking the stars on the right. On a mobile select the 'Reviews' tab.
Why are Facebook reviews so important?
- Facebook has over 2 billion users worldwide - all potential customers!
- Users like the social aspect that reviews can easily be seen, shared and responded to by the business.
For those of you not familiar with Etsy, it is an online sales platform for independent makers and small businesses such as myself. It is great for finding unusual or bespoke items.
As the above image shows, I've sold 140 items on Etsy, but only received 27 reviews. This is actually quite good as an average review rate is around 10%. However the problem with Etsy is that if you check out as a "guest" instead of creating an account you can not leave reviews. This is extremely frustrating as a seller as it's hard enough to get reviews without Etsy putting more barriers up!
If you have an account simply look for the "Purchases and Reviews" tab and you can easily leave a review. And if you checked out as a guest - then why not review them on Google or Facebook instead! More info on Etsy reviews available on their help pages.
Folksy is another online marketplace for independent small businesses, but just for the UK audience. It's another great place to find weird and wonderful unique gifts.
Similar to Etsy, you can not leave a review unless you join Folksy. If you are a user, simply login and all your purchases will be in your dashboard with an option to review. Full review details on reviews on the Folksy blog.
Here is an example of how the Folksy reviews look - a very thinly veiled excuse to show off a great review!
Help small businesses by giving them an online review!
Now you know how important reviews are I really hope you will take a few minutes to review your purchases. Even if you are not happy, leaving a negative review will help the business respond and hopefully rectify the situation and wow you with their customer service skills instead.
Of course, if you are one of my lovely customers - I would always appreciate a review on one of my platforms.