How online reviews can make or break your local business

How online reviews can make or break your local business

5 startling statistics that show the importance of online reviews, and what to do about it

How many online reviews have you read this year? How have they influenced your buying decisions?

Like most consumers, online reviews are probably your first port of call when you want to learn more about a local business. And if the reviews aren’t good, chances are you’ll take your money elsewhere.

The power of online reviews can’t—and shouldn’t—be ignored.

Join us as we dive into some eye-opening statistics about how online reviews can make or break your local business, and what you can do about it.

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#1: 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses.[1]

Online reviews are hard to miss! When searching for any kind of business online, results from Google, Facebook, Yelp and others are likely to be some of the first things you come across.

If someone opens up Google Maps to search for a pizza restaurant, coffee shop or hair salon nearby, your rating will be displayed right there next to your business name.

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#2: 77% of consumers shared positive experiences with their friends, or on social media/review sites in the last year.[2]

Online reviews are the new word of mouth marketing! Now, it’s easier than ever to tap into tens or hundreds of opinions about your business at the click of a button.

Online reviews can be incredibly persuasive, too: 91% of 18–34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.[1]

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#3: Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.[1]

What local businesses may not realize is that having too few reviews can be just as damaging as having bad reviews.

Also surprising is that 68% of consumers actually trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores.[3] 30% of respondents from the same survey said they suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative opinions on the page.

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#4: 90% of people who have read online reviews say that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions.[4]

Meanwhile, 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews. The takeaway: if your business has great reviews – share them!

Your happy customers are your biggest advocates, and social proof can be very persuasive with today’s consumers. You can publish publicly posted reviews on your social media channels, on your website and in email newsletters.

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#5: 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past 2 weeks – with 85 percent saying reviews more than three months old are no longer relevant.[1]

Don’t rely on those old reviews! A lot can change within a business in a matter of months—so it makes sense that potential customers are much more likely to trust your more recent reviews.

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Need help with your online reviews?

A successful local business depends on a steady stream of authentic online reviews that will resonate with your prospective customers.

Whether you have average reviews, bad reviews, or no reviews—our online reputation management service can help.

Using thorough online reputation analysis and a strategically targeted campaign, you’ll generate genuine customer reviews where you need them most. Ask us to see the results of the successful online reputation campaigns we’ve already performed for our clients.

Ready to get started?

Contact us today to learn more.

Read more:
6 reasons why digital marketing is essential for restaurants
7 ways to stand out from the crowd
Online reputation management: what it is, and why you need it


  1. BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey (2018)
  2. HubSpot Research
  3. Econsultancy
  4. Zendesk
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