Is It True That Consumers Trust Online Reviews More Than Word Of Mouth?
Well, according to Myles Anderson of BrightLocal, who released the 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey on SearchEngineLand, there are some stats, figures, and results that we definitely need to be paying attention to. I’ll give you the nitty gritty overview of the survey in this post. So read to the end, and then I’ll apply it to your Yakima valley business.
What we learned offers us four interesting and distinct takeaways
- More and more folks trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. In fact, 79 percent (that’s practically 8 out of 10 people) are saying that sincere online reviews (I emphasize sincere) carry for them the same, if not more, weight as a personal recommendation from a person they know. Read that again if you need to. It’s staggering! Especially if you are the type that says, “I only get business through referrals.”
- Trust coming from online reviews is growing big time. A shocking 72 percent believe that sincere positive online reviews will help them trust a business more. In 2012 it was only 58 percent! That tells me that people who are searching for something to buy are spending a lot time online researching and reading reviews to help educate them and build trust in a company – all before they pull out their credit card. Need a different kind of stat? Well 12 percent of the people said they don’t pay any attention to online reviews. Did you know that is down from 17 percent in 2012.
- Shoppers are reading less reviews than they used to before they buy. The report reveals that 67 percent of consumers read only 6 reviews or even less. There’s a lot less people reading more than 7 reviews anymore – 22 percent now vs. 35 percent in 2012.
- Doing Online Reputation Management is more vital now than ever before. Since the number of online reviews that people are reading is getting to be less and less per search, and the impact of each of those reviews is getting greater, it’s very important that you are staying on top of what is going on around your reputation. It’s the newest reviews that sway the searchers decision whether to buy or not, and so you need to know if anything negative gets posted so that you can take action immediately. You should develop a process or even a policy of how you will deal with negative reviews in an open manner, and a nice easy to use branded review engine to get new reviews that are positive and more desirable to be seen. By generating healthy positive reviews often, any negative reviews that get posted will be sent down under where they belong. Getting sincere and genuine reviews are paramount because folks are getting more and more keen to sense fake or self-made reviews.
*Special Thanks to Myles Anderson and the people at BrightLocal for this insightful study.
How does this apply to your Yakima Valley Business?
Well, if I were you, I would take this research and insight and apply it to your business. Take those four bullet points above and work down through them applying them to your business. The bottom line is that you need to take it very seriously. Google your business name, and see what kind of reviews are coming up. Even if you have no reviews yet, that could signal a negative connotation as well. So I would recommend that you get started with online reputation management sooner rather than later.
If you would like to learn more, you can read about our online reputation management service, or call us at 509-590-2458 and we’d be happy to discuss your situation.
*I recently wrote a post on Mobile Marketing with Foursquare and how it can be used in Yakima. Did you read it?