The 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey by Myles Anderson of BrightLocal was newly published on SearchEngineLand. There are specific straightforward and incontestable results that we can run with.
Four major takeaways from the study:
- More people are trusting online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. A full 79 percent (up from 72 percent just a year ago!) say that genuine online reviews (emphasis on genuine) carry the very same impact if not more than a recommendation from someone they know.
- Trust in online reviews is skyrocketing! An astonishing 72 percent now claim that positive client and customer reviews make them trust a business more. This is up from 58 percent just last year! It’s abundantly clear that buyers are taking more notice than in the past and are trusting them more. Only 12 percent of consumers said they pay no notice of any online reviews (down from 17 percent in 2012).
- Also, people are viewing far fewer reviews before making their buying decisions. Notably, 67 percent of consumers read 6 reviews or less, up from 52 percent in 2012. Consumers are also reading less than 7 reviews – 22 percent now vs. 35 percent in 2012.
- It’s more important than ever before to manage your online reputation. Since people are reading fewer reviews, and basing their buying decisions on them more, it’s important to make sure you are monitoring your online reputation very carefully. Because the most recent reviews are impacting the buying decisions the most, you’ll want to keep a watchful eye for anything appearing that is negative and possibly damaging. Institute a policy for dealing openly with negative reviews, and a suitable system for generating new, positive reviews that drive those negative reviews further down the page and not findable. Be sure to make these genuine, however, as people are ever more savvy with regards to spotting fake and corporate-generated “reviews”.
Use this information!
This is the type of information that can make a big difference, both positively and negatively, for your business. Thanks to Myles Anderson and the people at BrightLocal for this timely and enlightening study.