Consumers are starting to rely more and more on peer-to-peer feedback platforms to make decisions. In fact, 90% of consumers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by reviews, and 86% say that negative reviews influence what they buy. In order to connect with consumers, your brand needs to understand how customers use reviews, and then establish processes for managing, monitoring, and responding to reviews.
For most consumers the decision journey for a local purchase involves multiple information sources and devices, but search outperforms any other source by more than double. When developing a reviews strategy in the context of search marketing, it is essential that brands understand the three levels of reviews and their distinct impact on consumers.
- Brand Reviews: reviews of your company or brand displayed on your Facebook brand page or on business reputation sites, such as Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB). Brand reviews impact reputation.
- Product Reviews: reviews of a specific product on your own website, or on an ecommerce site, such as Amazon.com. These impact demand for your products.
- Location Reviews: reviews of a specific business location displayed in search results, mapping apps, or local search sites, like Yelp. These impact behavior because they drive foot traffic to business locations.
In addition to consumer reliance on reviews, search engines also devote significant real estate to displaying reviews and ratings. As a result, reviews have to be considered a key component of your business’s search marketing strategy. Reviews displayed in search have two key impacts on your brand, your marketing efforts, and your success with local search and reviews:
- Search and map results now include star ratings of your locations. Crucial to the search user experience, these star ratings need to be represented and reflect the true consumer perception of your business. If you aren’t “starring in search,” you’re missing an opportunity to make your brand more visible to consumers.
- After consumers look at star ratings, they’ll leave search results to dig in a little deeper into your business and will often end up on a reviews site like Yelp. There, consumer attention shifts from star ratings to written reviews about your business.
Download our latest whitepaper, How To Win Digital and Real-World Traffic with Local Reviews, written by reviews experts Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin from Convince & Convert, to learn how to position trustworthy content in the right context for consumers to see it, remember it, and act on it.