411 Blog

How to Write Great Online Reviews to Help Small Business

Online reviews

When you’re making a purchase decision, whether it be shopping online or deciding on the best place to go for whatever you may need, chances are you’ve checked reviews on the company or product online first. You are just one of the 82% of people who look to online reviews of either a company or product to aid their purchase decisions. Online reviews are part of the foundation to a company’s success nowadays, and its importance continues to grow. It’s your duty as consumers to leave online reviews to aid the growth of small businesses. Don’t be afraid to leave positive or negative reviews, as both will help improve the product or service.

It’s also important to leave reviews the right way. Scolding or Ridiculing a company online if you didn’t have a good experience is never a good idea, just like it is dishonest to lie about a poor product or service to make it look better. Your job as a reviewer is to aid the business and every other potential customer. So what makes a great online review? Here are 3 simple suggestions:


1. Always be honest

Whether it’s on Google, Yelp or 411.ca,  people want to read your true, honest opinion about a business. First off, it’s important that you only write reviews for businesses you’ve actually been to or services you’ve actually used. And if you haven’t been to the business but you’ve dealt with the business owner and want to write about it, you can­—just be honest. Like previously mentioned, writing a positive and negative review will benefit the owner – so write something constructive both ways.


2. Be original 

Include as much information as you can. If you’re writing a review about a restaurant, include your opinion on the food, service, ambiance, and price. You can write up to 1,024 characters for each 411.ca review, which is plenty. A review with lots of details is helpful not just to users but to business owners, too. Oh yeah, don’t copy and paste previously published content from other websites or sources. And if you have strong opinions about the business, please ensure that you back up those opinions with solid facts.

Here are some questions to think about when writing a solid review:

How did I hear about the business?
When did I try it out?
Who did I go with?
What product or service did I buy?
How much did everything cost?
How satisfied was I with the product or service?
What makes the business special?
What did I like best about the business?
What did I like least?
How could the business improve?
Would I recommend the business to a friend? Why or why not?


3. Think about how your review would help

The meat of your content will be facts about your experience with the product or service, but leave room to think about people just like you. From reviews on and about 411.ca, people generally are more open to positive reviews, even if they’re negative by nature. For example, if you waited too long to be seated at a restaurant,  try and offer a suggestion or look into if it was worth the wait. Try “If you don’t mind the long wait, the pad thai is delicious.”

Online reviews are crucial to small business owners, they learn and thrive off of their customer’s word. So remember to always be honest and think about how you can help a business improve.