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“Why not simply get 5 or 6 positive reviews from clients published on your GoogleMyBusiness page to trigger the search engine to display a great star rating when people look you up ? Why bother with a full reputation system that involves additional resources ?” If you’ve wondered about how many reviews you should get to make reputation marketing effective for your business, read on.

To answer the question, you have to first remember WHAT you’re trying to achieve by building a strong reputation online.

Here is the short version of the major goals:

  • Stand out from your competition
  • Get prospective “customers” a compelling reason to select you vs. any competition > increase revenue
  • Protect against loss of business / “customers”

Consumer Survey question: what factors are important when judging a local businessConsumer surveys, such as the annual survey done by BrightLocal, reveal that :

  1. Star rating is #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
  2. Number of reviews is 2nd most important factor
  3. Content / sentiment of reviews is #3
  4. Age of reviews is 4th in importance

In the same surveys we’ve also seen that consumers will trust a business if they read 10 or more reviews, and we might conclude they will look no further if the competition does not match the “quality” of what they read.

how-recent-should-a-review-be relevantFurthermore, the survey tells us that 44% find that reviews should be less than a month old to be relevant.

So what does it tell us about the number of reviews that will be enough ?

1- You need as many reviews you can get to protect your business and tilt the odds in your favor when it comes to influencing your potential customer’s decision as to “who to give the first call”. Here’s why:

With star rating being the 1st criteria in your target client selection process, you want to make sure you have the highest (and strongest) average rating as possible. You will achieve this by having not only the best rating, but the most (positive) reviews possible on each review site / directory listing to counteract the impact any negative review could have on your average. In other words, 1 negative review (1 star) will have a much more detrimental impact if you only have 4 five-star reviews to counterbalance (average rating of 4.2 in this case) than if you had 15 five-star reviews (average rating of 4.8).

In addition, 39% said they trust online reviews if they believe they are authentic: having reviews about your business spread out over multiple review sites and directories will help achieve this, as well as the recency of the reviews.

2- You need a constant flow of reviews because your audience will trust recent reviews much more than older reviews.

I know I’m making a case for our reputation marketing services. In the light of the facts exposed above, wouldn’t you agree that implementing a strong reputation marketing system is necessary if you want to compete effectively in your local market ?

Let us know what you think is the most important aspect for you re: reputation – leave a comment below !

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