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How Online Reviews Can Impact Your Business

We get asked whether or not online reviews really matter quite a lot. The answer to this question is absolutely yes, online reviews do matter, and they make a big impact on all types of business – whether you’re a bricks-and-mortar business or an exclusively online brand.

Recent surveys have found that 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 54% of online shoppers checking reviews before committing to any online purchase. So, these reviews undoubtedly have the power and influence to make or break a potential sale for your business.

There are many studies on how reviews guide and manipulate consumer behaviour, but reviews are valuable in others way too. Online reviews help to inform your business about what is or isn’t working for your consumers, whether it be a particular process or product. These insights can help inform your internal decision-making, supporting you to make continual optimisations for your business.

In this guide, we’ve compiled some of the latest and most crucial statistics about online reviews. We will also dive into how to acquire new online reviews and explore how online reviews influence search engine rankings on local SEO. If you prefer visual content to written information, we’ve also prepared a handy infographic for you.

Table of Contents

Who is reading reviews?

How do online reviews impact businesses?

How do online reviews impact consumers?

Why should you respond to customer reviews?

Which is the best online review platform?

How to deal with negative reviews

How online reviews can impact SEO

Why you need online reviews and how to ask for one

Online Reviews Infographic

Who is reading reviews?

– 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. (Bright Local)

how many users read reviews infographic

– 78% of consumers use the Internet to find out information about local businesses more than once a week. (Bright Local)

– 88% of online shoppers will read at least 3 reviews before making a purchase. (Digital.com)

– 54% of these online shoppers will read reviews for everything they purchase (Digital.com)

– 26% of shoppers say good reviews have the most influence over online their purchases. (Digital.com)

– Review interaction is up by 50% from pre-pandemic levels. (Review Trackers)

How do online reviews impact businesses?

– Businesses with more reviews generate 54% more revenue than the average. (Search Engine Land)

businesses with more reviews generate 52% more revenue

– 62% of consumers are more likely to purchase if they see photos and videos of other customers. (Emarketer)

– 56% of customers say a company’s response to a review changed their perspective of the business. (Podium)

– 94% of customers say they have avoided a business due to negative reviews. (Review Trackers)

– Businesses risk losing up to 22% of customers when just one negative article pops up when searching for a product. (Moz)

How do online reviews impact consumers?

– 81% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses, up from 63%. (Bright Local)

81% of consumers use google to evaluate local businesses

– In 2021, 77% of consumers ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read reviews when browsing for a local business. (Bright Local)

– Just 3% of consumers said they would consider using a business with an average star rating of two or fewer stars. (Bright Local)

– 83% of customers say reviews must be relevant and recent to be trustworthy. (Podium)

Why you should respond to customer reviews?

– 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews. (Review Trackers)

45% of consumers say they're more likely to visit a business if they respond to negative reviews

– 56% of customers say a company’s response to a review changed their perspective of the business (Podium)

– 57% of consumers say they would be ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ likely to use a business that doesn’t respond to reviews at all. (Bright Local)

– Not replying to reviews risks increasing customer churn (customers ceasing purchasing from or visiting the business) by up to 15%. (Chatmeter)

– 53% of customers expect businesses to reply to their online reviews within seven days. (Review Trackers)

– 41% of consumers say that brands replying to reviews make them believe the company really cares about their customers. (Bazaarvoice)

– 62% of consumers say that they won’t support brands that engage in review censorship (Review Trackers)

Which is the best online review platform?

– Google is still the review site of choice. (Review Trackers)

google is the no.1 review website

– 6 in 10 consumers now look to Google for reviews before contacting the business. (Review Trackers)

– According to studies, Google dominates nearly 60% of online reviews and reviewers are also more likely to leave reviews on Google than elsewhere. (Review Trackers)

– With Google dominating the review market, consumers today are most likely to search for local businesses, finding information about the company and make their visit all without leaving Google. It’ll be more important than ever for businesses to understand how that works and pay close attention to their local search and rating on Google.

– According to a recent analysis by ReviewTrackers, only 4 websites are responsible for 88% of all online reviews, with Google accounting for 73% of this.

How to deal with negative reviews

We all know that negative reviews will hurt your business and it happens to almost every business owner. However, responding to negative reviews can generate positive results. Statistics show that customers who posted negative reviews have changed their mind with positive feedback after receiving a reply from the business. Below are some tips on how to turn a negative review into positive action for your business.

– Respond quickly.

– Be sympathetic and put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

– Keep it polite and professional.

– Take action and offer to make it right.

How online reviews can impact SEO

Now we know the stats and facts about customer reviews let’s take a look at online reviews from the SEO perspective and see how important it is to utilise the power of customer feedback.

The evidence of the growing importance of online reviews is undeniable. An official statement from the Google Business Profile support page titled ‘How-to improve your local ranking on Google’ confirms this. “Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’s local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so search engine optimization (SEO) best practices apply”.

Why you need online reviews and how to ask for one

In today’s digital world, the voice of the consumer is louder than ever. With the ease of leaving a review online, more and more consumers are seeking out online reviews in order to decide upon their purchase decisions. This basically means that consumers are more likely to do business with you if they know that other customers have reported a good experience. So, finding ways to acquire more reviews will increase your business credibility, boost your brand reputation and truly differentiate your business from the competition.

Now that you know how online reviews influence consumer decisions and the benefits of having online reviews, it’s time to build your own online reputation management strategy. Below are a few practical tips to get you started on asking your customers to leave a review for your business.

1. Send out a survey to find out how your customers feel about your products or service.

2. Follow up with a thank you email and ask for a review.

3. Make it super easy for your customers to leave you a review by including a custom link to your business’s review page. For Google Reviews, you can use this quick guide which directs you on how to share your review link across all online platforms.

4. Encourage customers to rate their experience of the services that you have provided along with your brand mention as this will generally include the niche keywords that you wish to rank for.

5. Make sure you give the customer a guideline to follow as it will have a positive impact on the return rate.

6. Reply to the review. According to research, by responding to reviews, you are not only building trust with your customers but also gaining trust from search engines like Google. As we all know that Google likes to show credible sites on the search results page, just make sure you use your keywords naturally in the reply.

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In summary, the importance of online reviews is hard to ignore. Although we can’t prevent fake reviews, this does not detract from good, honest reviews’ power in helping consumers make their buying decisions. This, in turn, will help businesses generate more revenue from customers that feel assured about the quality and service they can expect from your company, meaning happy customers that will return to your business again and again.

Want to share these statistics with others? Why not download our ‘How reviews impact your business’ infographic? You can get your digital download here.

Digital Marketing at Loop Digital

Securing positive business reviews should be a part of your wider marketing strategy. Customer feedback links directly to the ‘Delight’ stage of the customer journey, emphasising the importance of generating great user experiences for everyone who interacts with your business.

In the delight stage, you want your existing customers to serve as brand advocates for your business, encouraging others to explore your products and services, reviews serve as the perfect platform for this. If you want to build your authority and visibility online, check out our SEO or wider digital marketing services today.

Riain Kerly

Another 2020 recruit introduced to the Loop Digital team. Riain joined us an Inbound Marketing Executive, he’s responsible for looking after all of our channels of communication ensuring our brand messaging, image and culture is maintained and stays true to our core values whilst ultimately supporting the business to achieve goals.

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