I. Online Reviews- Customers love them, actively look for them, and trust them.
- In 2014, 88% of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a local business, compared with 85% in 2013. 39% read reviews on a regular basis, compared with 32% in 2013. Reviews are an important element of a winning local SEO campaign.
- When consumers find them, they’re reading more reviews than ever before. 67% of consumers said they read up to 6 reviews, compared with 77% in 2013. 85% of consumers said they read up to 10 reviews, compared with 92% in 2013, and 7% of consumers said they read more than 20 reviews, compared with 2% in 2013.
- Positive reviews translate directly into positive business results: 57% of consumers will visit a local business website after reading a positive review, and 72% of consumers will take some sort of action after reading a positive review.
- Positive reviews directly impact the bottom line: A one-star improvement in Yelp ratings for a local business equated to a 5-9% increase in revenue in Professor Michael Luca’s Harvard Business School study – and that was in 2011!
- Just having reviews can produce a bump in sales: 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business which has online reviews.
- But having more reviews is better. Businesses with 50 or more reviews see an average 4.6% increase in conversions rates.
- In fact reviews are directly linked to consumer trust. 78% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, compared with 73% in 2013.
II. Social Media- People spend more time on social than any other online activity.
- 46% of web users look towards social media when making a purchase.
- 8 out of 10 SMBs use social media for their business to drive growth.
- 3 in 5 SMBs say they’ve gained new customers by using social media.
- Especially for B2C. 77% of B2C companies said they’d acquired a new customer from Facebook in 2014, compared with 43% of B2B companies.
- More people trust social media in emerging markets: 59% of users in emerging markets said they trusted social media most.
- 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from brands they follow on Twitter.
- Social networking is the top online activity in the US.
III. Online Business Listings- The accuracy of your online business listings affect your business’s credibility, as well as search engine ranking.
- 73% of people lose trust in brands due to inaccurate local business listings.
- 67% say the same if they get lost due to faulty location information.
- When business directory listings are incorrect in directories like Yelp, nearly one third blame the business.
- 71% of people surveyed say they look up and confirm the location of a business before going to it for the first time.
- 50% of local searches do not occur on search engines, but on directories and apps.
- 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.