The Impact of Online Reviews for Local Businesses
With 91% of consumers* regularly or occasionally reading online reviews of which 60%* say that negative reviews make them not want to engage with a company, you better make sure you have great online reviews. The impact of online reviews for local businesses is significant with 21% of people** saying that Google Reviews are one of the most important things they search for.
Over a third (35%).
of searches have local intent.
What Is Local Search?
Local search is the use of specialized Internet search engines that allow people to send geographically constrained searches against an ordered database of local business listings. Think of retail stores, physicians, restaurants, hotels and more. These results are based on ranking variables different than other organic results.
Why people search locally.
Most local searchers aren’t looking for general information. Instead, they’re interested in two types of actionable information:.
Listing details (store hours, phone numbers, busy ti
mes, menus, etc.).
Reputation data (star rating, service reviews, if the place is one of the “best” in the place, etc.).
How people search locally.
- 57% use mobile + tablet.
- 42% use desktop.
- 89% search local through an internet browser.
- 11% search local through a map based app, like google maps.
What they look for:
- 24% look at profile photos.
- 21% look for Google Reviews.
- 21% values the search engine result position (ranking).
The research from ReviewTrackers has shown that these three elements were considered as “most important” by local searchers.
How many people search for reviews.
- 91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews.
- 63% of people use a search engine to discover online reviews.
- 37% of people go directly to a review website to find online reviews
How people value reviews.
- 74% of people trust a local business more when finding positive reviews.
- 60% don’t want to engage with a company when finding negative reviews.
- A small 5% don’t pay interest in reviews.
- 90% of consumers go over ten reviews or less before trusting a business.
- 68% of consumers form an opinion by looking at just 1-6 reviews.
- Consumers tend to pay 31% more on products/services from companies with great reviews.
- 84% of people have faith in online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
- Businesses lose 22% of customers when just one negative review is found before buying.
- People are hesitant to buy from companies with no reviews or with too many negative reviews.
Do you have too many negative reviews?
If your business is impacted by negative online reviews, it might be time to ask your happy and satisfied customers to leave a review. (BrightLocal) research has shown that 50% of consumers that have been asked to leave a review about a business did indeed leave a review.
When you ask them, make it as easy as possible for them by providing a link straight to a review website or social media channel.
If you are dealing with Yelp and want to turn the low star ranking into a high star ranking, it get’s a bit more tricky. On Yelp, if a business gets too many reviews in a short period, the Yelp filter can spot that as being suspicious activity and can hide some or all of those reviews. So request reviews gradually, a few customers at a time.
Another good source for reviews is your Facebook company page. 47% of customers recommended a local business to people through Facebook. Because Facebook is growing so rapidly and there is a lot of engagement, obtaining reviews on Facebook can help reaching locals with good publicity about your business.
When asking your customers for reviews, you want to make it as easy as possible for them. We explained in a blog how to create a pre-filled 5 star Google review link that you can email to your customers, that links them straight to the review form.