This is a really helpful long form article breaking down some of the Local SEO journey and the importance (and usage) of Reviews as part of that journey.
There are a couple of astounding factetttes in here, namely that apparently 96% of adults will read the local reviews relating to a business, and then 91% will go on to interact with the business in some way (web, call or visit). Without negating the importance of reviews to the journey, those numbers seem very big, especially when you consider that something like 1/3 of local search is fact-based, eg what’s the phone number / address / opening hours. I don’t doubt that they are true, but I wonder how they’ve been constructed as a dataset.
As I said, that’s not to negate the importance of reviews, especially when you consider the distrust of ad / brand messaging. Most new customers it seems will take a look at the reviews, but then the vast majority will contact you anyway.
So what this means is you need to take care of your reviews, try to generate decent ones, by having a great product or service, but don’t necessarily sweat the poor / bad / fake reviews, unless they highlight a genuine problem, or are part of a concerted spam / negative campaign. That’s when you really need to take action.
Talk to me about improving your Local SEO, or improving Local reviews.