As a business owner, or someone in Marketing & Sales, they key to knowing how to reach your target market is to know your target market. A large part of that knowledge is understanding their buying process and for many years, online reviews have been a huge part of the consumer buying process.
A study on the buying habits of women showed that a staggering 91% of women conducted online research before making a purchase. What would these women find when they start researching your company? What are they looking for when researching your company? According to a study by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. The summary from this study was very transparent.
“So for local businesses in all sectors, this underlines the importance of reviews & the priority that business owners should put on managing their reputation and ensuring their online reviews are plentiful, positive & fresh”
People are turning to Google as their #1 choice for search results, and 71% of consumers value and actively use local search results. Read more about how Consumers are searching for local businesses here. Knowing that the vast majority of people are doing online research is a big step in determining where to find your target market and where to spend marketing dollars. If 71% of buyers are online, that is probably a good place to start.
Google is capable to producing all kinds of results for people’s searches. As a business owner, you need to know two things: What is the consumer looking for and how is Google going to provide that consumer the information. According to a study conducted by YouGov, 87% of Americans find the review star ratings important and 90% find the written review to be important. Google also places importance on reviews. A study conducted by Digital Marketing Works determined that ‘Carousel rank correlates highly with Google review ratings, as well as quantity of Google reviews.’ Read more about Google ranking factors here. With such large majorities of American consumers searching on Google and both consumers and Google placing high value on online reviews, it is pretty easy to determine where you need to be marketing.
Before we wrap this up, I want to dive into how and why consumers are using online reviews. The YouGov study also found the main reasons consumers were using reviews during the buying process.
- 79% use them to ensure the product or service is of good quality,
- 61% that it works
- 53% to make sure the purchaser doesn’t get ripped off.
It is also important to know how many reviews are needed for consumers. eMarketer reports that 7% of consumers read at least 20 online reviews before they put enough trust in a business, and most only read between 4 and 6 reviews. They key here is going to be the age of the review. If your only online reviews are from years ago, or even several months, then that does not adequately represent your current business. It looks like you used to be recommended, assuming they are positive, of course. As mentioned from the BrightLocal survey, it is very important to have online reviews that are “plentiful, positive, & fresh.”
If you have tried to utilize the power of reviews but not been able to get your real, happy, customers to leave you reviews on Google, Yelp or any other review site, check out an online demo here. This tool is the only one on the market that can change your online reviews from being 29% 1-star and 56% 5-star, to 80% 5-star reviews and just 2% 1-star. Source