Anyone marketing a child care center, dance studio or any after school program understands the value of referrals, testimonials and reviews. The opinion of parents is crucial to youth enrollment.
We all know this.
While nothing beats a friend’s recommendation, and the testimonials you gather for use on your site and materials are important, online reviews carry a LOT of weight these days.
Put simply, people are reading those reviews before they contact you or even go to your site.
According to Bright Local’s 2017 Local Consumer Survey:
- 97% of people read online reviews for local businesses in 2017
- 85% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Only 49% of people need a 4-Star rating or above before they choose to use a business
- Positive reviews make 73% of people trust a local business more
- People read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business
Additionally, they help improve your local search engine ranking!
According to MOZ’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors report, a bit over 10% of search engine results are based on online reviews.
That’s enough to include it in your SEO strategy.
TIP: While Yelp and Facebook reviews are favorites with consumers, Google likes Google Reviews and may place more weight on them when determining what businesses to show first. Those reviews will also appear right at the top in the local business search/map in Google, so pay some attention to getting Google reviews!
As if that weren’t enough to start a review campaign at your center, reviews also provide you feedback to help improve your program. Parents tend to be more frank online than they would be in-person. Use that criticism!
Reviews also allow you to have an honest conversation in an open forum (one you don’t have control of). In fact, according to a TripAdvisor survey, 78% of people believe a company that responds to online reviews cares more about their customers than those that do not respond.
So, get out there and ask your families for reviews!
Don’t wait for them to do it on their own. Only about 10% of people “always” or “almost always” review businesses online. But most will leave one if you ask!
Have you incorporated reviews in to your child care marketing plan? Have you seen any magic happen? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Until next time – Be Well. Be Happy. Shape Minds.