Everyone knows that local reviews can impact what a potential customer thinks about your business, but this study from BrightLocal reveals how consumers truly view local reviews.
Especially reviews that have been posted recently.
According to the study, 85% of consumers don’t really care about local reviews that were left over three months ago. In fact, 40% of consumers only take into account reviews that were submitted within the past two weeks.
The results of this study are very important because it suggests that old reviews, positive or negative, can have no bearing on your brand if they are more than three months old.
Here are some more interesting facts from this study.
Local Business Searches are Increasing
More consumers are now conducting searches for local businesses this year compared to last year.
- 27% of online consumers are regularly searching for local businesses, which is a percentage that has more than doubled from 2017.
- 69% of online consumers have searched online for local businesses monthly, which is up 54% from last year.
- 56% of online consumers searched for local businesses at least once a week, which is a 41% increase from 2017.
The study concluded that 18-34-year-olds are searching online for local businesses the most. More than half of them conduct a search every day, and 81% of them search every week.
This demographic is also reading the most reviews – 50% of 18-34-year-olds always read online reviews. Since more people are conducting online searches for local businesses, it stands to reason that more of them will read online reviews.
However, most consumers will only read about 4 online reviews from a local business. This means that your online reviews have a shelf life, whether they’re positive or negative.
Local Reviews are Still Powerful
Even in 2018, the influence of consumer reviews has never been more powerful. Check out these key findings on the influence of local business reviews.
- Positive reviews make a consumer 68% more likely to use a local business.
- Negative reviews make a consumer 40% more likely to stop in their tracks.
- 57% of consumers won’t use a local business with fewer than 4 stars.
- Consumers want to have more than 40 reviews before they trust the overall star rating.
Today, local business reviews can still make or break your business. While it’s no surprise that positive reviews can improve your chances of gaining a customer, this study is consistently showing that negative reviews can extremely deter a customer from even considering to do business with you.
Negative Reviews Can Now Be Tamed
Let’s face it. There isn’t a perfect business on the face of the Earth. Different customers have different user experiences, so every business likely has a few online reviews they aren’t proud of.
However, as time passes on, consumers will be more likely to skip over your negative reviews, or they won’t even read them at all if they are more than three months years old.
This just goes to serve as a reminder that time literally heals all wounds and that your reputation can manage itself over time.
If you’ve had a few negative reviews in the past, you can likely rest easy knowing that your potential customers won’t factor those into their decision to purchase your products or services.