- The more reviews you have, the more Google trusts you, and the higher you show on search results page. Reviews help you get to Page 1, Positions 1-3, on Google! If you are a restaurant, they position you to the LEFT in the carousel.
- Customers use reviews to vet businesses. They do a quick Google or Yelp search, and then they read or scan your reviews. If you have many positive reviews, they'll pick up the phone and call, or they'll send you a quick email. If you have negative reviews, they will never call.
The Unk Unk's: You Don't Know What You Aren't Getting
As Donald Rumsfeld said, there are the "known knowns" and the "unknown unknowns" or "unk unks". Meaning, you do NOT know the customers you do NOT get because your reviews SUCK on Yelp or Google+.
They just do NOT call / contact you.
If you do nothing - here's what you'll get:
So, please: create a REVIEW strategy - ASK for reviews from happy customers. Simply asking for reviews is the best first step towards building a powerful review system for your local SEO.