Every year, the BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey shows us just how important reviews are for local businesses. Of all the data, one statistic stands out in particular: 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation. This figure is up 16% since the question was first asked back in 2010.
Reviews aren’t just important for consumers, either. They are growing in importance as a ranking signal, too, and as a result, more local businesses than ever before are acquiring reviews. Our recent Google Reviews Study makes it incredibly clear that local businesses are being much more proactive about gathering reviews.
Our research showed that on average, a local business will have around 39 reviews, with those ranked top three in the local pack edging ahead with an average of 47 reviews. All told, 74% of local businesses now have Google reviews.