Join us for a panel discussion on unlocking the secret to getting more online reviews and ratings, managing your online brand, and responding to negative reviews:
Radical changes in the customer journey have resulted in more people than ever using online reviews to validate their purchase decisions. Reviews have always had the power to shape consumer behavior, but the ease at which we can now access them online has magnified their impact on local businesses.
We’re not just talking organic search and conversion rates here—this is bottom-line stuff. Here are some numbers from a September 2017 article published in Forbes Magazine:
- Every one-star increase in a Yelp rating means a 5 to 9% increase in revenue.
- One negative review on the first page of Google search results means a 22% loss of business.
- Four or more negative review in Google search results means a 70% drop in potential customers.
So if reviews can make or break a business, are they good news or not? Here’s why we say they matter:
(1) Reviews get you noticed on Google.
Google isn’t just the go-to website for search. Since it started showing star ratings in local searches in 2010, Google has outpaced all other review sites, with nearly 64% of consumers checking Google reviews before making a purchase. 21% of consumers also place Google reviews above price and SERP position in terms of the weight they carry in the decision-making process.
(2) Reviews are king in intent-driven local search.
Local searches, which account for a third of all searches on Google, are usually prompted by the decision and urgency to buy. The intent is already there; the main question then becomes which business to choose. In these types of searches, reviews are the key deciding factor.
Statistically, consumers will not default to whichever business is listed first on the map—not when another nearby business has more 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0-star reviews.
(3) Reviews create the social proof you need to drive sales.
Whether or not they are actively looking to buy, people take notice when a brand turns existing customers into advocates. Outside of firsthand experience, nothing builds trust better than online reviews. 90% of consumers say that positive reviews influence what they decide to buy, and 94% will choose a business with at least four stars.
Here’s more good news: It’s easier than you think to get reviews and build social proof. 68% of customers will leave a review if asked, and all it takes is six reviews for 73% of people to form an opinion about a business.
Bad reviews aren’t necessarily a death sentence, either: 45% percent of consumers are actually more likely to visit a business if it responds well to negative feedback. It’s all a matter of management!
Acquiring, monitoring and responding to online reviews can help you build goodwill, inspire customer loyalty and earn more referrals. Surefire Local offers a hardworking tool to help local business owners do all that from a single, secure login.
To learn more about the Surefire Cloud and how it fits into your online reputation management strategy, schedule a demo by calling 888-804-8685 or emailing email@example.com.