Did you know that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation? Or that 74% say positive reviews make them trust a local business more?
Studies like the 2016 BrightLocal Local Consumer Review reveal trends in how consumers use online reviews to make decisions about local businesses.
How Often Do Consumers Search for Local Businesses Online?
91% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. That means that nine out of ten of your clients are looking for online reviews to make their decisions.
When asked to choose which type of business’ online reputation mattered most to them, ‘Medical/Healthcare’ ranked only behind restaurants for consumers.
Potential clients are now looking at your reviews to understand the quality of care they can hope to receive. Undecided clients want to see that others had a positive experience with your business before deciding to put their well-being in your hands.
Mobile Searches Drive New Client Growth
39% of people said positive customer reviews make them more likely to use a local business. 54% of those who read positive views then continue to the business’ website. Thus, a well-optimized web page is also necessary for those looking to thrive in the digital world.
BrightLocal states this means businesses must “have a website that is engaging, impressive. Answers to the questions that people are searching for (i.e. uses the right keywords and content.)” is also a must.
Well-Optimized Sites Are a Necessity
As Google updates their search engine, they are placing more importance on the role of mobile responsiveness. Google is working to make the internet a friendlier place for mobile users. 61% of consumers used mobile internet to read reviews in 2016 and your business should too.
Updating your website according to Google algorithms leads to higher rankings, increased visibility, and more client conversions. Employing a third party to keep an eye on these changes for you can make your job easier.
Pull up your website on your smartphone and ask these three questions:
- Is the content easy to read?
- Does it load in less than three seconds?
- Does it provide a good user experience?
What Does This Mean for Your Business?
Local searches can translate into a direct growth in your client base. But only if your website is ready to handle the traffic and provide visitors with a positive experience. Does your website fail to meet the needs of mobile users? Then it might be time for a fresh, responsive website from an experienced provider.