The importance of reviews for small businesses

We are always very grateful for our readers – both of our books, and of our newsletter. It’s tough to emerge in such a congested field, where competition is fierce and where publishing is, for better or worse, accessible to everyone.

Blackwater is small but feisty, and we wouldn’t be here without you all. If you follow us, it’s because you believe in our ethics, in the quality of our books, in independent publishing being the alternative to the choral voice of the mainstream. It’s thanks to readers like you that we exist, and thrive.

We are well aware of the world we live in, though, and it’s a world where the loudest are heard, and the flashiest are seen. It’s not easy to build user relationship when there are so many competitors and alternatives demanding attention.

How can we gain credibility? Well, a big part is played by reviews. Think about it: if you have to buy…anything, say a saucepan, or a jumper; or if you have to choose a restaurant, which do you pick? The ones with lots of positive reviews, or the one with only a few (or, even worse, lots of negative reviews)? We know the answer to that, and it’s only natural. Apparently between 92 and 98% of users take online opinions into consideration to help establish their own. And we understand that!

But aside from helping others choose their next read, reviews are important because they bump up the business SEOs. Plainly put: user-generated content helps the business’ online presence remain relevant and fresh, so that if you’re looking, for example, for a book about recent Irish history, our own While Dragging Our Hearts Behind Us by Boni Thompson will come up in the top results. Imagine you’re looking online for something, and you type the words in the search engine: how many pages will you click on before you start deeming the rest of the results less relevant? Not many, and that’s all SEO doings.

So, if you have a moment, please consider leaving reviews for your local shop, your small business owners…or your favourite independent publisher – hint hint, wink wink! On any platform: our own website, Amazon, Goodreads, social media…anywhere. It means a lot to us, and it really helps us grow and stay afloat in a shark-infested waters.

One response to “The importance of reviews for small businesses”

  1. I am reading While Dragging Our Hearts Behind Us by Boni Thompson. This book rivals any historical narrative I have ever read. The descriptions of each personage brings them to life in my imagination. Thompson speaks in James Fitzgerald’s voice throughout giving a personal vantage point to particular historic events in Ireland. Thoroughly researched, the backdrop for the “troubles” extends from the time of St Padragh to the early 20th century. 5 thumbs up!!!

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