Reviews have always been a part of businesses – whether online, word of mouth, in a magazine, whatever it may be, they affect the way in which consumers make decisions. Sites like Google, Yelp and other directories pride themselves on their reliable reviews that help users make the best purchasing assessment! Gaining reviews has now become a way of life. And above all else, it’s a good business management practice to stress. Just recently, however, reviews really seem to be in the forefront of conversation- specifically online reviews. Small business owners need to make sure they’re taking advantage of all the different review options, making efforts to earn quality reviews, and communicating with the team about updating and managing comments.
We’ve written a blog on how to get reviews for your business and we’ve also written a blog on how to face the negative ones…. But do you know how important these reviews really are to your business success?
According to a new, 2014 study by BrightLocal, online reviews are more important than we could have ever imagined:
- 88% of people have read reviews to the determine the quality of a local business
- 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business even more
- A whopping 88% say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 72% of users will take an action after reading a positive review
- Reliability, expertise and professionalism are the most important reputation traits for a local business
In addition, BrightLocal also focused on how the actual star rating on a review can play a very large part in what consumers think of your business:
Here are some key takeaways:
- 20% more consumers are willing to look at a 4-star business over a 3-star one
- More women will use a business with a 3-star rating or less than men will
- 35-54 year olds are more likely to use a local business with a 2-star rating over any other age group