Reviews are a massive part of the web now, and an absolute essential for online retailers. 

They’re also vital for local businesses, whether or not they sell online, thanks to their sheer prominence in local search results.

 Just look at this mobile search for restaurants in Chicago. The best organic listings are taken by the restaurants with good reviews.

After this the next organic listings are mainly from review sites – Yelp, TripAdvisor, Time Out, Zagat, and so on. Only a couple of actual restaurant sites make it onto the first SERP.

While not every local search is exactly like this, the trend is clear. Indeed, the Google My Business listings are so dominant that many users will not even look at the other organic results. 

In summary, if you want a prominent position in the local SERPs, you need user reviews. 

If you want to encourage clickthroughs, or physical visits, you need good reviews.