How do you tell if a product/service is worth a try, at a glance? The quickest, most attention-grabbing way is star ratings. If you’re online, five stars, four stars, and even the half stars in between can make or break a consumer’s decision to learn more, or move on to the next result. Such is the power of online reviews.
There’s a reason dedicated review sites like Yelp exists, and that is to inform businesses a swift peek into what consumers like or dislike. Online reviews might sport the occasional typo – which sort of lends them a more authentic feel – but what matters to searchers is the thumbs up or down verdict.
Crunching the numbers
To legitimize the influence of online reviews, consider the frequency with which consumers seek them out. Eighty percent of them do product research on a weekly basis, meaning users are diligent with making intelligent purchases.
They’re also aware that not all vendors are honest and they will rarely try their luck on those who have dubious reputations. Thus, 90% don’t go past the first page of Google search results. This makes sense entirely because even though there are still legit web businesses on the second page, only the best make it to the first.
Besides having great reviews, first-page sites are optimized for people to find them quickly. For example, New Mexican restaurants use Denver-based SEO services to boost their local online presence; this lets hungry folks know they offer the best Colorado burritos in town.
Now, this is the kicker: 70% of the shopping masses trust what their fellow consumers post online. The logic here is undeniable; marketing serves to spin the product/service in an impressive angle. It doesn’t trump the fact that real, unbiased people will tell it like it is, good or bad.
Bonus fact for better decisions
To bring the point home, Google ranks business pages based on several factors, with online reviews given a 10% chunk. It’s a significant slice of the reputation/visibility pie, making you think twice about laughing at that reviewer’s funny username.