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Local Consumers' Trust Earned by Having More Reviews

Posted on 1.23.2011

BrightLocal, a local SEO firm based in London, recently concluded its report based on the Local Consumer Review Survey it conducted in the fall of 2010. Designed to gain a better understanding of consumer usage and trust in online reviews of local businesses, the two-part survey polled more than 2,000 consumers in the U.S. (1,138) and the U.K. (874).

Among the most interesting key findings are the following:

•    67 percent of local consumers have consulted online customer reviews of local businesses
•    69 percent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
•    79 percent of people aged 16-34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
•    62 percent of people aged 55+ trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
•    9 percent of consumers either don’t need reviews to trust a business or dismiss online customer reviews entirely

•    51 percent of consumers cite reliability as the most important trait for determining a local business’ reputation
•    Reputation was most important for consumers when choosing a doctor or dentist
•    Good value (40%), expertise (33%) and professionalism (32%) are the other most important reputation traits
•    Courtesy, accreditations and localness (i.e. independent, non-chain businesses) are the least important traits
•    The most searched for businesses in the study were restaurants/cafes (39%)

•    71 percent of consumers said a minimum of between 6-10 reviews is required for a local business to earn their trust
•    The more reviews a business has, the more trust a consumer will place in the reputation of that business
•    Businesses with 50 or more reviews earn the trust of 29% more consumers than a business that has 6-10 reviews

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