Thursday, January 5, 2017

From LOCAL CONSUMER REVIEW SURVEY: Customers Will Leave Review If Asked

Latest 2016 survey results show that 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if they are asked to, and 50% of consumers have actually left a review when asked to.

As more and more consumers continue to seek out and rely on online reviews, it is clear to see that building and promoting a stellar online reputation is crucial to the success and growth of local businesses.  Using online reviews consumers are able to bypass the most time-consuming part of the buying process – research.  With very little time and effort they can get the information they need at a glance with star ratings on search engines and review sites.

There is no denying that it is imperative for a local business to have an active reputation marketing strategy to build a positive online reputation.  Businesses with five-star reputations are ranking higher in search, being found faster in “near me” search results, and beating out competitors who are not promoting the social proof found in star ratings and online reviews that consumers are looking for.

2016 Local Consumer Review Survey Shows Increase in Use of Online Customer Reviews

Recently BrightLocal released its latest local consumer review survey with new data for 2016 showing substantial year over year growth in the number of consumers who are reading and relying on online reviews to guide their purchasing decisions.

If you are running a local business, there are four standout results that you should pay attention to:

  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if they’re asked to
  • 84% people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (vs. 80% in 2015)
  • 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews (vs. 48% in 2015)
  • Star rating is still the #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business

Key Findings for Local Business from BrightLocal’s 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey

Since 2010 BrightLocal has conducted the Local Consumer Review Survey with a focus on reviews for local business and exploring how consumers read and use online reviews. By surveying thousands of consumers, they are able to gather the data small businesses, marketers and search engine optimizers need to prioritize reputation marketing with customer reviews.

Below is a snapshot of survey questions and results from the 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey giving the most insight on how local businesses benefit from online reviews and a positive reputation:

Have you ever been asked by a business to leave an online review for them?

  1. Yes, and I left a review for them
  2. Yes, but I didn’t leave a review for them
  3. No, I’ve never been asked

Key Findings

  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if they’re asked to
  • 50% of consumers have been asked to leave a review about a business and actually left a review
  • 20% of consumers asked to leave a review did NOT leave a review for that business

local-consumer-review-survey-askDo you read online reviews to determine whether a local business is good or bad?

  1. Yes, regularly
  2. Yes, occasionally
  3. No

Key Findings

  • More people are reading reviews on a regular basis (50% vs. 33% in 2015)
  • 91% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews
  • Only 9% of consumers don’t read online reviews (vs. 29% in 2010)

In the last 12 months have you reviewed/recommended a local business to people you know by any of the following methods?

  1. Word of Mouth
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Yelp
  5. TripAdvisor
  6. Google
  7. Other Review Sites
  8. Directly on Business Website

Key Findings

  • Word of mouth is still the most popular way to recommend a local business (68%)
  • 47% of consumers recommended a local business on Facebook (vs. only 17% in 2015)
  • Google has seen an increase of 9% over the 2015 numbers
  • The user of Twitter to recommend a business jumped to 21% (vs. 6% in 2015)

local-consumer-review-survey-methodsWhen you read positive reviews for a business, what is the typical next step you take?

  1. Visit their website
  2. Visit the business
  3. Contact the business
  4. Search for more reviews to validate choice
  5. Continue searching for other businesses

Key Findings

  • 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews (vs. 48% in 2015)
  • 19% will visit the business directly (down from 23% in 2015)
  • 17% will continue to search for reviews about the business (Note: This is a new answer in the 2016 survey)

local-consumer-review-survey-next-stepsHow many times have you used the internet to find/search for a local business in the last 12 months?

  1. Never
  2. 1 time
  3. 2 to 5 times
  4. 6 to 10 times
  5. Every month
  6. Every week
  7. Multiple times per week
  8. Everyday

Key Findings

  • 53% of consumers search for local businesses at least one time per month (vs. 43% in 2015)
  • 69% of consumers search for a local business at least 6 times per year (vs. 60% in 2015)
  • Only 5% said they never searched for local businesses online (vs. 9% in 2015)

When judging a local business on its reviews, which of these factors do you pay most attention to?

  1. Overall star rating
  2. Sentiment of reviews
  3. Recency of reviews
  4. Quantity of reviews
  5. Length and detail of reviews
  6. If a business has responded to reviews

Key Findings

  • 58% of consumers pay most attention to overall star rating
  • Sentiment of reviews is the second most important factor at 47%
  • The recency of reviews is also important, coming in third at 41%


You can read the Local Consumer Review Survey Results here in its entirety for expert analysis and additional results from BrightLocal. For easy, almost hands-free reputation management you use ReputationLoop to automatically gather and promote customer reviews and build your five-star reputation.

Free Demo RepLoop

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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