Online Reputation Monitoring Highlights Modern ‘Word Of Mouth’

Online review activity is being watched and researched more than ever. A growing number of businesses are making building reviews online a business initiative where it did not exist before.

Below are the results of various research studies and surveys gathered from multiple sources to help provide a snap shot of the digital landscape and how reviews online fit into the mix.

Consider - Organic Search Drives the Value of Online Reviews & Vice Versa

    • 97% of consumers go online to find a local business or local services.**
    • 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine (SEJ, 2016)
    • 81% of shoppers conduct research online before buying.**
    • Studies show between 70-80% of people research a company online BEFORE visiting a small business or making a purchase with them.**
    • 80% of small businesses do not invest in content marketing, and experts warn that they are missing a key marketing opportunity (, 2018) (Reviews are content)
  • More than 7 out of 10 consumers say they have spent more money to do business with a company delivering great service. Reviews matter. **
  • Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic, followed by Yahoo at 2% and Bing at 1%. Google Search is also one of the most popular mobile apps in the U.S. (NetMarketShare, 2018)
  • 46% of all searches on Google have local intent (Google, 2018)
  • 59% of marketers say inbound produces the highest quality leads for their sales team. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2019) “Inbound” often means blogs, reviews, etc.

Online Reviews are Harmful When Ignored

    • A Harvard Business School study found a one-star rating decrease can reduce revenues by nearly 10%. It literally pays you to stay on top of all the posted reviews about your business.

    • 52% of consumers disqualify a business without “enough stars.” *Local Search Association (LSA)

    • 39% of businesses don’t recognize their online reputations “strongly influence” consumer decision-making* – a competitive opportunity for you!

Focusing On Online Reviews – An Important Piece Of The Puzzle

  • 66% of consumers said they perform research every time or almost every time before buying a product or service*
  • Over 70% of households use the internet as their go-to source when purchasing local products & services.
  • Positive online reviews are the most important purchase consideration vs. other types of information or sources in a consumer decision*

Top items influencing consumer purchasers*

  • Positive online ratings/reviews
  • Discounts/attractive pricing
  • Convenient business location
  • Recommendations or opinions of a friend
  • A strong website
66% 61% 50% 45% 44%
  • An advertisement I’ve seen/heard
  • How quickly a business responds to my inquiry
  • Social media content
  • They let me make a reservation/appointment  
  • Where they appear in search results
33% 30% 28% 21% 20%

Consumer Approach to Examining Reviews *

  • Most recent reviews 
  • Most critical reviews
  • Favorable reviews
  •  Number of stars
  • Total review count
  • Other information

Consumer Willingness to Change a Negative Review: *

Consumers are more often motivated to leave a review based on a positive rather than negative experience, by a factor of more than 2 to 1* 

  • Yes, but it would depend on the response from the business  
  • Yes, I would change it
  • No, I would not change the review
  • Other

Minimum Number of Stars Required by Consumers to contact a Business:*

  • I don’t have a minimum
  • 2 Stars
  • 5 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 5 Stars  16%
  • 4 Stars  35%
  • Above 4 Stars  17%

Small Business Review Acquisition Tactics* – Note 50% do not develop Reviews

  • I verbally ask my customers to review me
  • I ask my customers in email to review me
  • I offer contests or prizes as incentives for reviews
  • I don’t ask customers for reviews
  • We don’t have any online reviews 
  • Over half of consumers surveyed say good online reviews make them more likely to choose a local business.
  • 70% of customers trust a business with 6 to 10 reviews.
  • 72% of consumers say they trust good online reviews.
  • Anonymous posters are trusted as much as personal recommendations.
  • Looking forward, the need for good online reviews isn’t going away. (6 – 10 reviews is just the minimum)
  • Good online reviews are added by your satisfied customers – you produce them every day.
  • Reviews of your business are posted on search sites like Google, Facebook, Local Business Directories, Yelp and other review websites…you can leverage them!
  • When they consumers see companies with positive reviews, instant trust & credibility will make your phone ring.
  • Search Engines and Directory Sites want to deliver the best search outcomes for user.
  • Companies with dozens of glowing reviews are favored over companies with few or no reviews.

* Research/Survey done by The Local Search Association (LSA) – a not-for-profit industry association of media companies, agencies and technology providers who help businesses market to local consumers.

** Blue Corna Blog Post – an inbound web marketing, analytics and optimization company.

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