How Important Are Reviews to Local SEO for Cigar Lounges?

If you’re familiar with the industry, you know how exciting it can be to own a cigar shop. However, we’ve met many business owners who don’t realize the importance of local SEO for cigar lounges. Moreover, to thrive in today’s modern world, you need a solid online presence as much as great products and a loyal customer base. 

Recent cigar shop figures show that the industry is now worth a whopping $903 million, with a steady growth rate of 2.7% in recent years. If you want a bigger piece of this pie, cigar shop marketing is the key. Let’s discuss how doing it right can propel your business to new heights. 

What Is Local SEO for Cigar Lounges?

Search engine optimization (SEO) statistics reveal a jaw-dropping fact: 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. Naturally, most of them start with Google. This marketing process is essential in directing quality traffic toward your site. 

However, let’s say you only have one cigar shop in San Francisco. There is a more convenient way for you to rise to Google’s top recommendations for nearby clients local SEO. We recommend using this SEO subset to capture, engage, and convert local searchers into customers. If you succeed in these efforts, people searching for keywords like San Francisco cigar shops or cigar lounges near me can easily find your site. 

These are the four most essential components of a local cigar lounge marketing strategy:

  • Online reviews: Google values user reviews in finding reliable local companies. The search engine giant favors recent reviews over old ones. 
  • Business details: We highly recommend taking advantage of free online listings like Google My Business, LinkedIn Company Directory, and Facebook to boost your online presence. Keep your name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistent to avoid confusing search engines and potential customers.  
  • Captivating Content: Your website should inform, educate, and entertain visitors. You have to develop a top-quality site to guarantee success. 
  • Website links: Lastly, we recommend building internal and external links to help Google validate your authority in the cigar industry. 

Online reviews take the top spot for boosting your local SEO, but they also offer many other benefits. Read on to discover how they can transform your business. 

Benefits of Online Reviews

Have you ever read online reviews before checking out a product or service? You’re not alone. The latest online review statistics share that nine out of ten consumers do the same thing including for cigar shops and lounges. 

While we should aim for good reviews, 60% don’t easily trust perfect five-star reviews, and 62% will not support brands that censor them. Authentic positive Google, Amazon, and Yelp reviews do so much for your business. Let’s look at some of their advantages. 

Influence Purchases

For most potential customers, online reviews are like personal recommendations from family members and friends. Even if the suggestions come from strangers, buyers prefer that other people agree with their purchase decisions. When you get the chance, we recommend encouraging satisfied clients to leave reviews on review sites. 

Boost Credibility

One of the most relatable branding strategies is to tell stories — which informative, objective and honest reviews do. Keep in mind that different buyer personas for your cigars have varying needs, and reading testimonials from users with the same pain points resonates with them. Instead of always telling your clients how great you are, sometimes it’s best to let other customers do the talking. Potential customers value this kind of transparency that lets them share second-hand experiences with others. 

Improve Products and Processes

Whether cigar buyers leave positive or negative reviews, they provide you with the opportunity to address pain points and enhance business processes. Taking the time to read reviews provides companies with valuable first-hand information about clients. Don’t fear bad reviews; instead, use them as stepping stones to elevate customer experiences. 

Importance of Responding to Reviews

Now that you know how critical reviews are, it’s also necessary to talk about the importance of responding to them. Did you know that shoppers don’t just leave reviews for the benefit of other users?

These online review trends reveal some mind-blowing facts:

  • Most consumers who leave negative reviews treat them as formal complaints, and 53% of them expect a reply within a week. 
  • One out of three such users have a shorter time frame and expect a response within three days. 
  • In most cases, organizations fail in this regard. Only 63% of clients hear back from businesses about their concerns. 

As cigar shop and lounge clients use review sites to reach out to companies, we strongly suggest addressing good and bad reviews. What’s better than getting a new five-star review from a satisfied client? A response from you, that’s what.

Here are a few pro tips for replying to raving comments:

  • Thank users for your kind words. Thanking people for their praises is the polite thing to do, whether they do it physically or online. 
  • Respond to these reviews to give other users the chance to get to know your brand better. When you reply, leave a few keywords in to boost your local SEO ranking. 
  • Engage with positive online comments to encourage other happy customers to do the same. You can also use this free advertising opportunity to upsell or cross-sell to satisfied users.

On the other hand, here are ways to manage negative reviews:

  • Apologize for your shortcomings and sympathize with your customers. Let them know what you’re doing to make things right. 
  • Give readers a preview of what to expect. For example, “Our cigar lounge is popular for being spic and span. We’re sorry we missed the mark today.”
  • Keep your replies short and sweet, but move the conversation offline. If consumers feel your sincerity, they might end up removing negative reviews altogether. 

Capture Quality Customers Now

Perfecting local SEO for cigar lounges is a challenging feat, but the results are worth it. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to boost your leads, conversions, and sales. If you don’t have a marketing expert on your team, we recommend leaving it to the pros. 

It’s time to discover how a cigar marketing agency can propel your business to new heights. At Cigarketing, we help cigar lounges get people through the door, elevate their online presence, and sell-out events. Get in touch with us now to let consumers know about the best cigar shop in the city. 

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