How Online Reviews Affect Local Businesses

With 35% of searches having local intent, local searching is big, to say the least. Of those local searches, 21% of consumers regularly or occasionally viewing online reviews of which 60% wouldn’t engage with a business when they find negative reviews. This shows just how important online reviews are and the impact negative reviews can have on local online businesses. Especially Google reviews seem to be important, given that 21% of people say they view Google reviews the most.

Local Search

With local search, people can submit geographically constrained searches against a database of local businesses like restaurants, hotels, doctors etc.

Why search locally?

Most local searchers aren’t seeking for general information. Instead, they’re interested in two types of actionable details:.

Listing details (store hours, phone numbers, busy times, menus, etc.).

Reputation data (star rating, service reviews, if the place is one of the “best” in the place, etc.).

How people search locally.

57% use mobile + tablet.
42% use desktop.

89% search local through an internet browser.
11% search local through a map-based app, like google maps.

What they look for:

Reviewtrackers found that:

24% look at profile photos.
21%view Google Reviews.
21% put trust in businesses due to the search engine result ranking
These three elements were thought of as “most important” by local searchers.

How many people search for reviews.

BrightLocal found that:

91% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews.
63% of people use a search engine to find online reviews.
37% of consumers go directly to a review website to find online reviews (

How reviews impact people

74% of consumers put more trust in a local business when finding positive reviews.
60% don’t want to engage with a company when they find negative reviews.
Only 5% doesn’t care about reviews.

90% of people go over ten reviews or less before trusting a business.
68% of consumers develop an opinion by reading 1-6 reviews

Consumers tend to spend 31% more on products/services when they find great reviews.
84% of consumers put more faith in online reviews than a personal recommendation.
Businesses lose 22% of customers when customers find just one negative review before purchase.
People are hesitant to buy from businesses with no reviews or with too many negative reviews.

Do you have too many negative reviews?

If you are losing customers because people walk away due to negative reviews online, maybe it is time to ask your happy and satisfied customers to leave a review. (BrightLocal) research has shown that 50% of consumers that have been asked to leave a review about a business, product or service, actually left a review.

When asking for a review, make it as easy as possible for your customers by providing a link that links them straight to a review website or social media channel.

Negative Yelp reviews.

Turning negative reviews on Yelp into positive ones is a bit more tricky. When a local company gets a lot of reviews in a short time, the Yelp filter will filter those reviews or in some cases completely hide them. So when you ask customers for Yelp reviews, do this gradually to make it appear more natural.

Facebook reviews.

Another good source for reviews is your Facebook company page. 47% of customers recommended a local business to people through Facebook. Because Facebook is getting more and more popular for reviews, getting reviews on Facebook can have a significant impact in reaching locals.

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