Industry Expert Says Online Reviews for Local Businesses are Critical

by PRC Agency PR

According to a recent study conducted by BrightLocal, 92 percent of consumers read reviews for local businesses before deciding whether or not to do business with them. That’s an upward trend, as the prior study conducted in 2014 showed that only 88 percent of consumers relied on online reviews.

“Things are changing rapidly in the local business economy,” says a spokesman from FindUsLocal, a local business directory that uses GEO technology to match visitor’s locations with what they see on the screen. “If a local business doesn’t have good reviews these days, they’re probably missing out on a lot of business.”

The study goes on to show that 40 percent of people who rely on reviews form an opinion after reading just 1 to 3 reviews. And most people rely on the star rating system rather than written reviews.

“I’ve read the study,” says the spokesman, “and for me, the most significant factor was that 44 percent of people said a business’ reviews had to be within the past month for them to even be relevant. That means local business owners have to constantly work to get their customers to leave reviews.”

The study also shows that those businesses that have 1 and 2 star reviews will suffer when it comes to attracting new business. Only 13 percent of those surveyed say they would consider doing business with a company that had such a low rating.

“The bottom line is this,” says the spokesman. “If local business owners want to take advantage of the current shop local trend, they need to get listed on a local business directory, and then make sure they have plenty of reviews.”

About FindUsLocal: FindUsLocal uses geolocation technology in visitor’s browsers to construct a home page focused on their city, town or community. Right there on the front page, they’ll find local weather, sports results for their favorite teams, and announcements of the top musical acts and events coming to their city. Smart business owners list their businesses on the site to be seen by those who are specifically looking for businesses in their local area.

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