Ever find yourself sifting through Yelp’s reviews when you’re undecided on which sushi restaurant to eat at? Or how about the time you went scavenging through the web to find reviews for the best online clothing stores? Turns out that millions of other Millennials are doing the same thing — and businesses should start to take notice of this trend.
According to a recent BrightLocal survey, it turns out that online consumer reviews of local businesses are a major part in the decision making process when it comes to purchasing goods and services.
Younger generations of adults are now reading online reviews more often and appear to be forming opinions at a faster rate than ever before. Both SEO experts and businesses alike should be aware that people use the Internet to seek out information — and information includes reviews about a company. Having positive reviews and a good online reputation is what turns the general consumer into a loyal customer.
The survey assessed three different age groups: 18-34, 35-54, and 55+ year-olds. As it turns out, 58% of those aged 18-34 search for a local business online at least once a month, as opposed to 43% of those aged 35-54, and 26% who were 55 or older. Of that 58% of those aged 18-34 who search for a business, 97% read reviews online.
This is a major percentage that both SEOs and businesses cannot afford to look over. This statistic means the younger generations are more active readers, and are thus more likely to post reviews themselves. The more reviews a business has, the more information a consumer will be able to gather about your company and thus make a more informed decision about the products and services you offer.
However BrightLocal didn’t stop there. Not everyone trusts online reviews and therefore users should take each online review with a grain of salt. Despite these trust issues, 89% of those aged 18-34 trust reviews, as opposed to 69% of those 55 and older. Based on this knowledge, it is important to establish your brand as trustworthy and transparent to consumers.
So what does all this information mean?
Be sure to go through the reviews your customers are making as you may find key ways to improve your products, services, or all-around business practices. Knowing that the Millennial generation is more active when it comes to leaving reviews and reading them, you can be sure that the following younger generations will be even more involved with online reviews.
In order to receive more online reviews, be sure to get your business found under various local listing sites such as Yellow Pages, Yahoo!, and Bing.