Earlier this week, the Online Reputation Management Survey by McKremie was released. The survey focused mostly on consumer behavior in regards to online reviews and how the consumers research companies online.
There are several noteworthy statistics including 87 percent of consumers will research a company online, and then 88 percent of those consumers will trust those reviews. Most people in the online marketing industry may find those numbers hard to swallow, especially since that 88 percent actually trust the reviews they are reading. Most marketers can easily spot fake reviews a mile away, but your average consumer may have a harder time.
Consumers Dig Deep
The biggest eye-opening part of the survey is the fact that 57 percent of consumers will hunt through three or more pages, looking for reviews about a company. This is why it is more important than ever to monitor what’s being said about your company and to have procedures in place to handle reviews.
Survey Question: While searching for reviews, how many pages in Google will you look through to find reviews about a company?
14% – First Page Only
29% – Up to Second Page
33% – Up to Third Page
10% – Up to Fourth Page
14% – Up to the Fifth Page
Customers are not just leaving negative reviews. An overwhelming 68 percent of consumers have left positive reviews online. This can and does work well for those companies that are pointing consumers to places where they can leave online reviews.
Survey Question: Which type of reviews have you left online? (multiple answers)
68% – Positive
23% – Neutral
38% – Negative
Cultivating a large number of good reviews will help offset the occasional negative review. Mike Blumenthal has some great advice about asking for reviews and clarifies Google’s stance on how you can ask/solicit for them. The bottom line is don’t pay for reviews. You want your reviews to come naturally and over the lifespan of your business.
Social Media and Reviews
Social media websites are becoming a popular medium for researching companies. Nearly half (45 percent) of consumers surveyed have used them to research a business. Not only can consumers see if a business is active on social media, but they can easily search to see what people are saying about that business in real time. Social media gives consumers the ultimate advantage, and this will only increase in the years to come.
Survey Question: Have you ever used social media to research the reputation of a company?
6% – Almost always
39% – Often
22% – Seldom
33% – Never
Know Where the Trust Is
Overwhelmingly, consumers trust Google reviews the most. Google is then followed by the review website Yelp and Angie’s List. Businesses can use this data to their advantage. Focus on cultivating reviews where people trust the source.
55% – Google
17% – Yelp
16% – Angie’s List
10% – Yahoo
2% – Other(s)
Knowing the behavior of consumers and the sources they trust can help give businesses an advantage when creating reputation policies. Be sure you are active where your customers are, and this will help increase your bottom line.