The 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey by Myles Anderson of BrightLocal was newly published on SearchEngineLand. There are specific straightforward and indisputable results that we can run with.
Four key takeaways from the study:
- More consumers are trusting online reviews 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 same impact if not more than a recommendation from someone they know.
- Trust in online reviews is skyrocketing! A whopping 72 percent now say that positive customer reviews make them trust a business more. This is up from 58 percent in 2012! It’s abundantly clear that consumers take 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).
- People are reading fewer reviews before they are making buying decisions. Now a full 67 percent of consumers read 6 reviews or less, up from 52 percent in 2012. Altogether far fewer consumers are reading more than 7 reviews – 22 percent now vs. 35 percent in 2012.
- It’s more critical than ever before to manage your online reputation. Since consumers are reading fewer reviews, and basing their buying decisions on them more, it’s vital to ensure you are monitoring your online reputation very carefully. Since the newest reviews are impacting the buying decisions the most, you’ll want to keep a watchful eye for anything cropping up that is negative and possibly damaging. Initiate a policy for dealing openly with negative reviews, and a complimentary system for generating new, positive reviews that drive those negative reviews further down the page and not as findable. Make sure you 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 sort of information that can make a big difference, both positively and negatively, for your business. Many thanks to Myles Anderson and the people at BrightLocal for this well-timed and informative study.