Survey shows that 85% of consumers use the Internet for local business search and they are trusting the recommendations and online reviews of other shoppers. Google Places and local directories are the most seen reviews for local businesses.
“The findings of this year’s Local Consumer Review Survey (2012) show a positive shift in consumer trust and appreciation of online reviews.
Approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.” Myles Anderson – Search Engineland.
Graph from “The Local Consumer Review Survey 2012″ – SearchEngineLand.com. The rest of the survey is a must read for anyone concerned with how they appear online.
Important Local Business Reviews
1. The Reviews in Google Places matter, especially when it comes to local search. Google Places will often be the first thing local business searchers find. They are often at the top of the page and the star rating make them stand out.
2. The Local Business Directories count. During organic searches, your business will show up with reviews from directories like, Yelp, TipAdvisor, and YahooLocal. It is hard to control these reviews if you have not registered with each directory.
3. Bad Reviews can kill your business. It doesn’t take much to stop business from coming your way when you consider the statistics in the above graph. A few complaints can make you look bad quick.
While doing research for a new Utah Web Design site, we found that most businesses are not paying attention to what was being said about them in Reviews. For example, take a look at these Google Places Reviews we found for an emergency preparedness business:
Which review would you trust?
So I order some potassium iodide as a precaution to possible fallout from failed nuclear plants in Japan and being downstream from them. Nowhere on their page did they tell me to expect a 6 week wait for my order, and when I called them (twice, the first time the woman on the phone sounded concerned and was very courteous, but never returned my call), I was told that they were receiving a new order tomorrow but there was no way to expedite the order, even knowing that if I and my family end up needing them, that we will have cancer by the time they get around to shipping them. They seem to have some messed up priorities, find a different business to buy from if you want the company you may depend on for your very survival to be concerned about you and your families well being.
Responding quickly to bad reviews will show that you really do care about your customers, their needs and wants.
Google Places is FREE! Wouldn’t you agree it is one tool you do not want to ignore
You know you have to make a decision. How will you control reviews?
P.S. Coming up, I will show you how to create snippets in Google search that show you are writing a review…perfect for review sites, product sites and local business reviews. This is a tool I am learning and excited to teach you.