Customers Read Online Reviews 

Today's customer is more savvy then ever!  Gone are the days of the phone book or newspaper to locate local businesses.  

As a matter of fact, 92% of perspective customers look for a product or service through online local searches.  

Their #1 objective is to locate a business and check out what their customers are saying.  

Online reviews are crucial to establishing credibility and improving your bottom line.


Perspective Customers Use Local Search to Find Products and Services.

The number of online consumers who read and trust online reviews is continually increasing. According to a 2016 consumer review survey by BrightLocal, 92% of consumers now read online reviews.  This means that a business without reviews, or ignoring them all together, is alienating 92% of their perspective buyers, sending them to their competition to purchase their products and services. 




Reviews Are Third Party Referrals for Perspective Buyers to See.

In the past, perspective buyers would seek out a referral from a friend or family member. Today, they go straight to searching for information on the Internet to make their purchasing decisions.  As a matter of fact, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.




Are Consumer Reviews Becoming More Important?

The importance of online reviews is becoming more and more crucial to small business. BrightLocal surveys continually show the importance of consumer reviews to buying decisions is significantly increasing each year. Google’s local SEO algorithm changes indicate an increased weight of consumer reviews in visibility and rankings. User reviews are becoming increasingly more important, and the longer you wait to start optimizing your reviews, the more you stand to lose.




How Can Reviews Impact My Overall Bottom Line?

In addition to driving traffic and generating sales, online reviews can also impact a business’ bottom line. Even the shrewdest customers may be willing to pay a bit more for a product or service with “excellent” reviews, appreciating the assurance of quality which comes from positive reviews. As a matter of fact, according to Invesp, consumers will pay up to a 31% premium to businesses with “excellent” reviews.




Will Having Online Reviews Yield Customer Conversation Rates?

Having more reviews, positive or negative, for a product will yield a higher conversion rate. That’s because the presence of bad reviews can also have a positive effect on your conversion rate. A blend of good reviews and bad reviews shows that you aren’t trying to hide anything, and makes the good reviews seem more sincere and real. As a matter of fact, 30% of consumers believe that in these cases, reviews could possibly be fake. The more reviews you have, and the more honest they are, the more products you’re going to sell—as long as the negative reviews don’t overwhelm the positive ones.




What Are the Benefits of Having Reviews on Other Sites Like TripAdvisor or Yelp?

The number of positive reviews you have on external websites, such as Yelp or TripAdvisor, might actually have a bigger impact on your rankings than the reviews on your own site. This is because Google’s local search algorithm incorporates data from a number of third-party directories and review sites. These sites tend to review entire businesses, rather than specific products, but this is what’s responsible for the higher impact. Rather than an aggregate review influencing a buyer’s decision regarding a single product, your business’s aggregate reviews could affect whether or not a consumer considers pursuing your brand in general.The more reviews you have on these sites, and the more positive they are, the higher chance you’ll have at ranking in Google’s local 3-pack, which is valuable, regardless of whether you only operate locally or work on a national scale.




How Do Reviews Impact My Google Local Search Ranking?

Currently, Google displays the top three most relevant businesses for any search. When multiple companies are available locally and meet the search criteria, Google turns to online reviews as a way to further determine which of the three businesses to display. According to CustomerThink, review signals have been ranked as the fifth most important search-engine ranking factor. Businesses with higher reviews will, therefore, be more likely to hit that coveted “top three” spot.      


Does It Matter How Many Reviews I Have or How Recent They Are?

BrightLocal’s 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey, stated that 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. It goes on to say that a minimum of 10 reviews are necessary before people believe the results. In conjunction with these results, 73% of consumers think that reviews older than three months are no longer relevant. In order to increase online visibility and credibility with perspective customers, businesses most consistently get reviews each month at these high-traffic sites.




What Is the Best Review Platform to Get Reviews Posted?

Google considers the source of the online reviews, going so far as to update their search algorithm to take reviews from popular review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and others into consideration when ranking local businesses. Google wants to provide users with the best possible feedback from real customer interactions with businesses, showing that they value reviews as much as consumers do.




How Can Negative Online Reviews Effect My Business?

Studies have shown there is a strong correlation between negative reviews and sales. Only 13% of consumers would considered using a business with a 1 or 2-Star Rating. However, 94% of consumers will consider using a business with a 4-Star Rating. Negative reviews can cost you a lot of business. According to a Convergys survey, one negative review can cost you up to 66% of the customers that read that review. They estimate that up to 45 consumers will read that negative review, suggesting that 30 customers will go elsewhere.




How Can Positive Online Reviews Help Grow My Business?

Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between positive reviews and sales. According to a WebRepublic survey, products and services with positive reviews sold 200% more than products and services with no ratings or reviews. Additionally, with each point increase in a star rating, businesses have seen as much as a 5-9% increase in revenue. Also, consumers are 3.9 times more likely to purchase a product or service, that is similar in price, but has a higher rating.




What Are the Key Elements Online Searchers Are Looking for During Their Local Search?

Reviews have become so imperative in a consumer’s research and buying process, that they are first and foremost looking for businesses who have buyer reviews and recommendations to help them make better decisions. According to BrightLocal’s 2016 Consumer Review Survey, star rating and review content, are the #1 factors used by consumers to judge a business.



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