The impact of online reviews

BrightLocal has just published an interesting report which examines the impact of online reviews on local businesses. The survey, in its fifth year, is North American based but the insights are likely to be applicable to other markets including NZ.

Below are some key summaries of the research:

  • 92% of consumers now read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014)
  • Star rating is the top factor used by consumers to judge a business
  • Only 13% of consumers consider using a business that has a 1 or 2 star rating
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews (vs. 29% in 2014)
  • 44% say a review must be written within 1 month to be relevant
  • 68% say positive reviews make them trust a local business more (vs. 72% in 2014)
  • Consumers are becoming more concerned about fake reviews

local-reviews  local-review-stars

Why should you care?

Clearly online reviews have an impact on the attitudes of consumers looking for local businesses.

We recommend you read the complete report, especially if your business is one of the following which are the types of local businesses that consumers are always interested in reading reviews for: Restaurants, Cafes, Doctors, Dentists, Clothes Shops & Hotels.

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About the Author Mark Sceats

Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).

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