A review rating increase of just 0.1 stars can boost a location’s online conversion rates – such as phone calls, website clicks or requests for directions – by 25%, according to new report from location marketing firm Uberall released yesterday.

A 25% rise in conversion can “also mean a 25% increase in foot traffic every day,” said Uberall SVP of Marketing Norman Rohr in a statement. The “Reputation Management Revolution Report” [free, registration required] also finds that a jump from a 3.5-star rating to 3.7 can see a disproportionate jump in conversions of 120%, the highest growth jump available.

A business’ priority on this front, then, should be to acquire 3.7 stars or above at all of its locations, Uberall said. Reviews and ratings of businesses are frequently posted by consumers on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and Google, among others.

‘Near me’ searches

Additionally, 4.0 and 4.4 stars also represent key review benchmarks in terms of affecting user actions. At 4.4 stars, bigger businesses start to achieve higher conversion rates than SMBs, which outperform larger businesses below 4.4.

Based in Berlin, Uberall offers a platform that helps businesses optimize for “near me” customers, including review management and making it easier to find relevant info, like directions or opening times.

The report also found that:

  • Mobile searches for brands and products “near me” have exploded, with 82 percent of users having conducted a “near me” search. Among millennials, the “near me” search rate is 92%.
  • Nearly half of all consumers have left a review online, and 95% report that reviews influence their buying decisions.
  • Replies by brands to their reviews can have a substantial effect on acquiring new customers. The report said that a 30% reply rate is the benchmark threshold. For example, enterprise locations that reply to at least 32% of their reviews were rewarded with 80% higher conversions than direct competitors.
  • Small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that replied to only 10% of their reviews saw a similar impact. But SMBs have a higher average review reply rate (25%), compared to 12% for enterprises and 9% for global brands. Rohr noted that SMBs rely on customer reviews to drive brand awareness and visibility more than bigger brands, which can more readily buy visibility.

Asking for reviews

Rohr told SEW via email that businesses do better when they proactively ask for reviews. Without review solicitation, he said, “businesses will primarily face negative reviews,” because “customers aroused by an emotional experience tend to submit reviews on their own,” and that includes negative experiences.

Although this is Uberall’s first report on this kind of reputation management, it released a report last year about responding to customer reviews and a report last summer on reviews for SMBs.

This report analyzed sixty-four thousand large and small Google business profiles in the US, UK, France and Germany that utilized the Uberall platform.

The post ROI of improving online reviews: +0.1 stars can boost conversion 25% appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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