In a past blog post, I covered the reasons why young consumers didn’t read local business reviews last year. This was based on the results of the Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by BrightLocal. Since this survey offers plenty of insights into how reviews are important for local businesses, I decided to expound on it a little.
As a digital marketer, you can’t afford to ignore whatever might give your clients’ businesses an edge in their respective industries. That’s why I normally advise the clients I work with to focus on their online reputation and ensure it’s mostly positive.
Insights from the Local Consumer Reviews Survey
Let’s see what the survey revealed how consumers are using local business reviews:
- 90% of consumers in 2019 used the internet to find local businesses with 33% searching for local businesses every day.
- 82% of consumers reported reading online reviews for local businesses. Those aged 35-54 reported the largest increase in relying on reviews before using a business rising to 52% from 28% in 2018.
- Consumers used a variety of devices from PCs/Macs and mobile browsers to tablets and mobile apps to read reviews.
- After reading positive reviews, the majority of consumers 32% go on to visit the business’s website.
- Key factors consumers pay attention to include how recent the reviews are, followed by the overall star rating the business has and the total number of reviews.
- Only 53% of consumers would consider using a business with less than 4 stars.
- A whopping 97% of review-reading consumers check the business’s response to reviews.
- 67% of consumers have been asked to write local business reviews online, mostly in person during a sale with 24% of these being offered cash, a discount or gift in return.
Key Takeaways On Local Consumer Reviews
From these statistics, we can see that local business reviews play a key role in whether customers interact with your business or not. Having a business without online reviews means that you risk losing a chunk of your potential customers.
While reviews are important, their recency matters. So don’t get comfortable with a few 5-star ratings from a few years ago. Ongoing reputation management is important to continue getting reviews to both impress consumers and assure them your business still offers a great experience.
Additionally, ensure that you have high star ratings. Low ratings could put off potential customers before they go through the rest of the reviews, impacting whether they decide to patronize your business. Your response to your reviews also matters. Responding politely, helpfully and promptly, even to negative reviews demonstrates how good your customer service is and might win you more customers.
Lastly, remember to ask your customers to leave you a review after making a sale. Try and direct them to review sites where you know your target customers hang out- Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook as well as other niche-specific sites could all boost your business. Refrain from offering gifts, discounts or other incentives so that customers can leave a review as it reflects badly on your business.
Schedule a consultation with me today and let’s work together on refining your online reputation to boost your business.