The Importance Of Reviews & Referrals For Your Business

  • 91% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
  • 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business.
  • 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant. So make sure you’re consistent with getting fresh reviews!

Benefits Of Reviews

58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is more important than any other factor, with 8% actually saying the business had to have 5/5 stars for them to shop there.

Authenticity Of Reviews

While nearly 2/3 of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, if a business has 0 negative reviews, people are more likely to believe that the positive reviews are fake. Check out 6 things to consider before buying fake reviews for more info.

The authenticity of reviews is the most important factor for consumers to trust the reviews they read. If users believe that the reviews they see are fake or bought, they are less likely to trust a business.

Why Fake Referrals Are Bad

Industry Considerations With Reviews

The importance of reviews obviously depends on the industry that you’re in. People are more likely to care about reviews when looking for a restaurant or hotel as opposed to somewhere like a new bank. Keep in mind what kind of businesses people value user input before making a decision. For example, 60% of people will read reviews before going to a restaurant or cafe. People are looking for recent and high star reviews when reading reviews on these places.

Reviews For SEO

Not all review platforms will affect your rankings equally. So as expected, Google + reviews do carry extra ranking weight, but since 2014, third-party directories such as Yelp have more influence than ever due to Google’s local Pigeon update. Some business pages on these directories actually rank higher than the business pages themselves. On top of the ranking benefits, more than half of people will visit a businesses website after reading positive reviews about them.

Why Referrals Matter

Statistics show that over 80% of people trust online reviews as much as referrals from friends and family, however, there are other aspects that make referrals more valuable.

Likely the best part about using referrals for your business is that they are basically free advertising. Referrals create a conversation about your business and they build trust with your new customers. At no cost or effort from you. In fact, 65% of new business comes from word of mouth.

Referrals = Trust

Let’s face it, the business-customer relationship is built on trust regardless of what industry you are in. Successful businesses become and stay successful because they are trustworthy. So if someone is referred to you, they already believe that you are trustworthy to some extent because somebody they trust told them about their experience with you.

Referrals In Sales

Most people would probably say that referrals are more valuable in businesses that involve closing sales because sales, more than anything, are built on trust. We’ve all heard the stigma about salespeople, and no one likes feeling like they’re just another dollar, they want to feel like you are genuinely helping them. If your clients or customers don’t trust you, they will not buy anything from you.

Not only do referrals increase the closing percentage of your leads, but they also increase the size or quantity of your sales. Not only are people more inclined to work with you, but they are also more inclined to make big purchases with you.

Referrals Graphic

Building An Effective Review & Referral System

Above all else, the key to an effective referral program involves effort from all the departments of your company. Regardless of what industry you are in, your success in this area depends on all of your employees. Your customers must have an exceptional experience to refer someone else to you, and this depends on your staff working as a team and putting forth their best efforts! If you’re serious about monitoring and improving your business’s online reputation you may want to consider a reputation management software like Podium. Reveo allows business owners to monitor customer reviews from multiple review sites all on one dashboard. You can even respond to reviews and ask for new reviews via text and email. Combine this with our 5 tips to building a customer referral program and business will be booming in no time!

Work On Your ‘Referability’

Meet with your employees regularly. If your business is too big to do so, funnel this down; meet with your managers regularly and assure they are meeting with the rest of your employees. In these meetings, be authentic and explain why reviews and referrals are important and encourage them to bring it up to your customers. 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to. So just ask!

A good way to create this mindset throughout your company is to offer little rewards for getting positive reviews. You’d be surprised how far your employees will go for your business if they feel appreciated.

At the end of the day, your customers and your employees just want to feel appreciated. The best way to start building reviews and referrals strategy is to assure your customers and employees have a positive experience with your business!

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Luke Heinecke


Luke is in love with all things digital marketing. He’s obsessed with PPC, landing page design, and conversion rate optimization. Luke claims he “doesn’t even lift,” but he looks more like a professional bodybuilder than a PPC nerd. He says all he needs is a pair of glasses to fix that. We’ll let you be the judge.

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