Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | December 29, 2018

How to Increase Store Traffic with Local Search and Reviews

We know that reviews have become a driving factor in all sorts of industries. Customers are using reviews when purchasing products online, patients are reviewing medical care providers, and restaurant goers are using reviews to let others know how good the food really was. Businesses know people are writing reviews and others are reading them, but for a brick and mortar business, can online reviews really influence the amount of physical traffic your store receives?
One of the best ways to encourage customers to visit your business is by showing up on the first page of Google’s local search results. 95% of people find a business that they need without ever having to scroll past the first page of Google. Your reviews have a large influence on whether or not you make it on page one. Based on the results of the most recent Local Search Ranking Factors surveyover 13% of how Google decides to rank a business is based solely on their Review Signals – which has doubled since last year. That means your review quality, quantity, and how often you respond to customer reviews has a huge influence on whether or not your business is even visible to customers online.Driving customers to your store through reviews starts with how well you rank in the local search results; after all that is where majority of customers turn to when they are in search of a local business that could solve whatever problem they may have. Google is the fast and reliable way for customers to take hundreds of different options and narrow those down into one page of the most trustworthy and relevant businesses.Improving quality of reviews increase click-through ratesNot only does improving your quantity and quality of reviews increase online visibility, but it also increases click through rate! Businesses that increased their average rating from 3 to 5 starsearned a click through rate that was 25% higher! That is more people visiting your page online and choosing you over your competitors simply because you have better reviews. It is tough to measure exactly how many store visits are generated per click, but it is safe to say that earning more clicks and getting more people on your website will lead to an increase in store visits. Listings with only 1-2 stars earn less clicks than listings without stars. This shows that customers are more willing to take a risk on a new or unproven business rather than a business that has been proven to leave customers unsatisfied. A listing with negative reviews can be detrimental to your businesses success, Click here to read how Chatmeter’s Review Builder enables businesses to have negative reviews sent directly to them rather than being published online – allowing them to improve their customer experience while keeping their ratings positive.

Reviews instill trust among consumers

91% of people are reading online reviews when searching for a local business. Additionally, Chatmeter recently conducted a survey on consumer trust of online reviews and found that majority of respondents were more likely to trust a business that has at least 10 reviews. The reason for this is because they trust reviews to give them an accurate depiction of the businesses they are considering. In fact, 84% of people trust reviews just as much as they would a personal recommendation.The trust that people place in reviews means that when they see a business that other people are recommending and raving about they can be confident it is a trustworthy establishment. Customers can trust that when they visit that business, they will leave just as satisfied and happy as everyone else.

Trust leads to store visits

56% of people select a business if it has positive reviews displayed in the local pack. The Google Local Pack are the top 3 business locations that show up when customers enter a search with local intent. When customers go online to find a nearby business, they are looking to the ratings and reviews to show them which businesses they can trust and which ones they should pass on. Since 80% of local searches result in a purchase, it’s important that your business is receiving reviews. Additionally, 72% of people say that they trust a business more if it has positive reviews and this is because reviews instill confidence in customers which ultimately leads them to visit your business.

From your local rankings to instilling trust among customers, reviews have a hand in many different aspects that influence store traffic for brick and mortar businesses. Take control of your online reputation and reviews! Schedule a Free Demo with Chatmeter to learn how you can generate more reviews, easily manage all of your reviews, and ultimately increase your in store traffic!