The data is in and the results are definitive. Reviews are the driving force behind consumerism. So now what? Now it’s time to discover if there is a single power player in this area of market influence: Yelp vs. Google vs. Facebook reviews: should you focus on just one?

The Numbers On Review Influence: Check out the following results from different market studies on how consumers rely on reviews for making purchasing decisions:

  • 67% of consumers are influenced by reviews found online.
  • 54.7% consider online reviews in their purchase decision.
  • 59.2% is the risk level of losing a customer if 3 negative reviews appear.
  • Today’s consumer trusts peer reviews more than traditional advertising.

The take-away from the data is that reviews matter. It matters even more to keep reviews positive and develop a marketing strategy to minimize the damage of negative reviews.

Facebook Reviews: There is no doubt that social media is popular for sharing personal stories of trials, tribulations and success. In addition to Facebook’s personal aspect, it is reported that 62% of American adults use social media as their primary news source. Facebook is increasingly used by consumers to discover what their peers think about specific products and services. Consider these research results:

  • 68% of consumers engaging on platforms like Facebook are reading product reviews.
  • Online consumers spend nearly one-third of their time on social media.
  • 51% of those who “like” a product or brand on Facebook are more likely to buy it.
  • $102.59 is the average purchase for users who follow a link originating from Facebook to a point of sale.

Google Reviews: Google is the most widely used search engine. Is this where its power truly lies? With a review driven consumer economy, indeed, it is where its power lies. Reviews directly affect a website’s ranking in search results. Here are the key factors of how reviews affect SEO:

  • Quantity: The more reviews there are for a business, the better the ranking.
  • Velocity: How quickly reviews are generated for a business can also affect ranking. Post too many, too quickly and your website could get demoted.
  • Diversity: Multiple authorized sites, like Yelp, improve the quality of website ranking.
  • Stars: Stars are one of the most relied upon features for consumers when making a purchase decision.

Yelp Reviews: The content of Yelp has been affecting the performances of businesses significantly. That’s because it is a trusted source of peer reviews. Industry studies reveal remarkable influence on consumer behavior:

  • 93% of consumers who perform research on Yelp follow through with a purchase.
  • 82% of Yelp users are specifically reading reviews as research for a planned purchase.
  • 89% make that purchase within a week of visiting the site.
  • 78% are reviewing restaurants.
  • 65% are reviewing beauty/spa services.
  • 42% are reviewing travel industry related businesses.

The Wrap Up: When comparing Facebook, Google and Yelp, one can only come to a single conclusion. They all matter. Certainly, each has its own distinctions, thus they matter for different reasons. Yet, a fail with one is a fail entirely for any business.

In a nutshell, regardless of where a company is reviewed online, the review is considered by consumers to be proof of the quality of a brand, or its lack thereof. Reviews are what shoppers in America are choosing for product and service information. They are not logging on to a company’s website to see what they have to say about themselves. Naturally, a business would put its best foot forward. No, consumers are scouring the furthest reaches of cyberworld to see if any dark secrets are lurking in the corners of a business as revealed by a peer’s personal experience account.

Business success today relies on customers that participate in feedback programs designed to generate positive online reviews. For more information on how your company can create a successful strategy, please contact us.

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