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If You Have a Local Organization, You Need to Do This

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There’s a restaurant in my area called Pane Rustica that’s great.  Ok, I haven’t actually eaten there, but I’d really like to.


That’s a great question.  You might think it’s because when I searched for great restaurants in Tampa, it was one of the first restaurants listed and you’d be partially right.

Or perhaps you’d think it’s because I went to their website and it had beautiful pictures of their food and their dining area?  That didn’t hurt, but it’s not really the reason I want to go eat there.

So, why do I want to eat at Pane Rustica even though I’ve never eaten there before?

It’s real simple.  They had good online reviews…lots and lots of good, positive reviews.

If you have a local organization, you need to be getting positive online reviews.  Positive reviews do a ton of good for your organization.  So much so that I couldn’t really put it all into one blog post.  I will, however, tell you three ways positive reviews will help your organization.


3 Ways Positive Reviews Help Local Organizations:

1. They Improve Local Search Rankings.
One of the signals Google, Bing, and others use as a factor in how well you rank for searches is the number and tone of reviews.  So, a local organization with lots of positive reviews will tend to rank better than one with few or no reviews.  It’s not the only factor, granted.  Location, name, description, categories, links, and many others still affect rankings, but reviews are one of the stronger factors.  Along with reviews, positive ratings (the star ratings) also help to provide a boost.  The two usually go hand in hand.

2. They Provide Social Validation.
Why do I want to go to Pane Rustica?  Because a lot of people have posted reviews saying how great a restaurant it is.  Other than that, I have no connection to the restaurant at all.  People love to see reviews.  In fact, a recent study shows that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.  Every organization loves word of mouth promotion.   For some, it’s their entire strategy for growth.  This study shows that online reviews are the same as personal word of mouth recommendations for most people.  If someone was on the fence about you before, some good positive reviews can give them that extra push to visit.  If someone has no previous connection to you, seeing a lot of positive reviews can convince them your organization is worth checking out.  Everyone else loves you, they probably will, too.

3. They Engage Your Members/Customers.
Reviews aren’t just about non-members or potential customers.  They are also beneficial for your members/customers.  A person who takes the extra step to posting a positive review, is also taking the step from consumer to fan.  They are officially forming a connection with you.  It’s like when two people are dating.  It’s a somewhat casual, uncommitted relationship until they say those words…”I love you.”  That takes the relationship to a whole new level.  Similarly, when someone posts a positive online review, it’s the online customer version of saying “I love you.”  It creates a new level of loyalty or, in the case of churches, ownership.  This is my church and I think it’s great!

Don’t Waste Time…Get to It!
Reviews are huge for local organizations and it’s time you started working to get some positive online reviews.  No, wait…not “some”… LOTS of positive reviews.  Overwhelm people with how awesome people think you are.  If your not sure how to get positive online reviews, check out our Ultimate Guide to Get Positive Online Reviews for Your Church.  If your organization isn’t a church, don’t worry, most of the principles are the same and you can get a lot out of that guide.  So, get to it!!

Share Your Thoughts:

  • What do you think of online reviews?  Are you influenced by them?  Do you trust them?
  • Share some things you have done to get positive reviews.

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    About the author

    Kurt Steinbrueck

    Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .