Online reviews are becoming more and more important to local business owners as consumers rely on them to decide whether or to do business with them. In fact, a survey done by Marketing Land shows that 90 percent of consumers are influenced by online reviews when making buying decisions. But some small business owners are going to extremes and either purchasing fake reviews or having employees and friends leave them.
But according to one industry insider, using fake reviews for a local business will do more harm than good. “The thing is,” says the owner of FindUsLocal, a local business directory that allows consumers to leave reviews for the local businesses listed on its site, “today’s algorithms can easily spot fake reviews—and so can consumers.”
In fact, Mintel, a research organization, conducted a survey and found that 57 percent of consumers are suspicious of companies that only have positive reviews, and 49 percent of them believe companies give incentives in exchange for good reviews.
“Local business owners should be aware that although reviews are important, if they’re fake, consumers will pick up on it, and that could damage their reputation.”
He recommends asking customers to leave reviews, and using email signatures and websites to point costumers to the local business directions where their business maintains a profile. “Local business owners should be diligent about ensuring their online reviews are authentic,” he says. “Because if they’re not, consumers will automatically lose trust in the business.”
About FindUsLocal: FindUsLocal uses geolocation technology in visitor’s browsers to construct a home page focused on their city, town or community. Right there on the front page, they’ll find local weather, sports results for their favorite teams, and announcements of the top musical acts and events coming to their city. Smart business owners list their businesses on the site to be seen by those who are specifically looking for businesses in their local area.
Release ID: 134221