Reputation Remains At The Forefront For Local Business - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Reputation Remains At The Forefront For Local Business

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In July, BrightLocal released the findings of their Local Consumer Review Survey 2014. This clearly highlights the continuing trend towards the trust of online business reviews as being influential in their buying decisions.

Lincoln, United Kingdom – July 16, 2014

/PressCable/ — There is no doubting that online reviews are gaining in both prominence and prevalence on internet search results. A quick search for any business or service in any local area returns customer reviews over any traditional ranking, such as Keyword SEO or back linking. Furthermore, it is clear that consumers are placing more trust in these reviews, often reading them several times per week.

The findings of the Local Consumer Review Survey 2014 were published on the BrightLocal website and highlighted these notable findings:— 57% of those asked have searched online for a local business more than 6 times per year— 39% have searched online for local businesses at least 1 time per month— 15% have searched online for a local business almost every day.This last figure is quite significant as it shows more than 100% growth since the same report of 2013. This would suggest that people are using online reviews as an increasingly trusted part of their purchasing decisions.

The range of business types that were included in these searches has also broadened. However, restaurants remain firmly at the top, despite a substantial drop in their overall search percentage. This could be for many reasons, including the recent economic climate, the greater breadth of business inclusion or merely that reputation wasn’t so key in their business marketing strategies.

One of the most critical findings was that 88% of all consumers that were questioned in this survey had read reviews to determine the quality of a local business before making a purchasing decision. That is equivalent to almost 9 out of every 10 consumers.

When Local Businesses take these findings into account, it is almost impossible to ignore the importance that consumers place on these reviews. It is also a very solid reminder that businesses should give definite priority to managing their reputation. This would include making sure their online reviews are frequent, positive & of course, genuine.

When reading the whole report, local business owners can clearly see the value in having a strong online reputation. It is also perhaps worth remembering the roots of most every business. The primary element that helps to establish and grow any business is the reputation of the brand or key players and products. This has a tendency to be overlooked as the business grows, moving more towards website and social media promotions. However, as the above results should show, it really doesn’t matter how good a website is, how high it ranks in the search engines, if reputation is not being managed, then it is all a wasted effort.

It is reputation that gives birth to business – it should never be responsible for its failure.


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