7 Stats Showing How Online Reviews Affect Your Business

BY: ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2018

What’s the first thing you do when considering a new product or service?

Unless you’re making a spontaneous purchase (because kitten slippers are always an absolute necessity), you’re probably either doing research or asking your friends for their opinions.

The business world works the same way.

Before even considering your business, most consumers tend to turn to online reviews to learn if your company is worth the time and investment. But unfortunately, many businesses fail to understand just how important these reviews can be – whether it’s for closing a $50 transaction or landing a million-dollar account.

The Undeniable Power of Online Reviews

While online reviews won’t make or break your company (usually), they are a powerful tool that you can use to leverage additional sales or lure in new customers.

Here are seven statistics that show why you need to be paying attention to online reviews and make them a priority for your company.

1. 96% of Adults Between 30-49 Use the Internet

This stat from the Pew Research Center really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Basically, almost everyone in the world is connected. This means there are about 7.4 billion people out there with the ability to find information – or provide information – about your business online.

2. People with a Bad Experience are 50% More Likely to Share Online

This is another statistic that shouldn’t surprise you because you’ve probably been there.

If you’re angry or upset about something, you’re definitely more likely to vent or complain about it. For the most part, consumers expect to receive a positive experience, so unless that service goes above and beyond, chances are they won’t leave a review about it.

3. 85% of Consumers Trust Online Reviews as Much as a Personal Recommendation

If you can’t ask someone directly, what’s the next best thing? According to a consumer review survey, online reviews.

Even when customers don’t know the person who is providing the review, they will generally trust that person’s opinion. That’s because the reviewer likely had firsthand experience with a company or product and can provide an unbiased opinion that you won’t receive from company collateral or marketing materials.

4. 67% of Consumers Are Influenced by Reviews

In addition to trusting online reviews, 2/3 of customers will take an action based on those recommendations.

Hopefully for your business, that action is making a purchase. But if a company is overwhelmed with bad or negative comments, that action might be for consumers to take their business elsewhere.

5. Revenues Increase by Up to 9% for Every Star Increase on Yelp

This finding from Harvard Business School puts an actual dollar amount on the financial power of online reviews.

Consider this – if your company is making $1 million with a three-star Yelp rating, your revenue will increase by as much as $90,000 with four stars and $188,000 if you reach five stars. That’s pretty significant.

6. 64% of People Go to Google First for Reviews

Even though Yelp is known for its online reviews, the majority of consumers go to Google first to read testimonials about companies.

This is significant because it appears Google is becoming even more important in determining your company’s success – at least from SEO and reviews. The main takeaway from this statistic is that you really need to pay attention to how your company is being perceived on Google – both in user reviews and placement on search engine results pages.

7. Negative Reviews Can Harm Your Search Engine Optimization

Ranking highly in local online search results can do wonders for your business. If someone types in “[your industry] company near me,” you want to be one of the few results that Google gives along with a map pin to your location.

A recent study of Google’s local search results criteria determined that online reviews can play a major role in the position in which your company is ranked. Essentially, Google wants to provide users with companies that tend to offer positive experiences to customers. So, the more positive reviews your business receives, the greater chance you have to rank in one of the top positions.

Of course, this isn’t the only factor that Google will use to determine its local rankings. You need to also follow SEO best practices in terms of providing a helpful user experience and relevant content.

What You Can Do About Reviews

The bottom line: the better your online reviews, the more positive impact on your business.

That’s not to say that you’re doomed if you have a few negative marks on your site. This gives you an indication of certain areas in which you can improve. You can also attempt to turn your negative reviews into positive ones.

It may take a little work, but by leveraging your online reviews, you can begin to improve your business and increase your revenue.

Get a ChamberofCommerce.com business listing today and receive a free Online Visibility Report. The report scans the internet to tell you where your business is listed, how complete and accurate your information is and what review your customers are leaving about your business across the web.

About the Author

Matt Shealy

Matt Shealy is a Social Media evangelist and technologist based out of Orlando, FL and the President of SwayyEm. Matt's passion is to help connect brands with consumers in a meaningful, authentic way.

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