August 1, 2013

Do Consumers Read Online Reviews? Hold On to Your Hat!

The 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey by Myles Anderson of BrightLocal was recently published on SearchEngineLand. There are several obvious and incontestable results that we can run with.

Four major takeaways from the study:

  • Far more individuals are saying that they trust online reviews as much or more in comparison to personal recommendations. A full 79 percent (up from 72 percent only a year ago!) answered by saying online reviews carry the same import if not more than a recommendation from people they know or trust.
  • Trust in online reviews is skyrocketing! An astonishing 72 percent now say that positive customer reviews make them trust a company more. This is up from 58 percent just last year! It’s abundantly clear that buyers take more notice than ever before and are trusting them more. Only 12 percent of respondents said they pay no notice of any online reviews (down from 17 percent in 2012).
  • Also, people are viewing far fewer reviews before they generate their buying decisions. Remarkably, 67 percent of consumers read 6 reviews or less, up from 52 percent in 2012. Consumers are also reading less than 7 reviews – 22 percent now vs. 35 percent in 2012.
  • It’s more critical than ever to manage your online reputation. Since people are reading fewer reviews, and basing their buying decisions on them more, it’s vital to ensure you are monitoring your online reputation carefully. Because the newest reviews are impacting the buying decisions the most, you’ll need to keep a watchful eye for anything cropping up that is negative and possibly damaging. Initiate a policy for dealing openly with negative reviews, and a complimentary system for generating new, positive reviews that drive those negative reviews further down the page and not as findable. Be sure to make these genuine, however, as people are ever more savvy when it comes to spotting fake and corporate-generated “reviews”.

Take this and run with it!

Information such as this is pure gold, and clearly actionable. Kudos to Myles Anderson and the folks at BrightLocal for this valuable and eye-opening study.


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