Get More Online Customer Reviews to Increase Search Click Through Rates

For a local business, ranking high in search results and increasing search click-through rates (CTR) are two top priorities.  Get more online customer reviews and you can see huge gains in both search ranking and CTR, earning new customers.

Local search results are where new customers find new, better, and closer places to do business.  You need Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get a business to rank higher in search engine results. And while plentiful and positive online customer reviews are a search ranking factor, they have a greater power that can’t be overlooked: Online reviews heavily influence click-through rate and purchase decisions.

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How Online Reviews Increase Search CTR and Influence Buying Behavior

The latest Local Consumer Review Study found that reading online reviews about a business was an integral part of the consumer buying process. Here are some of the major results of the Local Consumer Review Study:

  • Over 90% of consumers read online reviews when searching for a local business.
  • Over 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • Overall star rating is the #1 factor that consumers pay most attention to when evaluating a local business.
  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if asked.

BrightLocal, an industry leader in local search, recently conducted their latest study to see how much positive online reviews improve CTR.  In measuring the impact of reviews on search CTR, the study focused on what impact reviews and ratings have on CTR from both Local Pack results and Organic Search Results.

You can read the full report but here are the key takeaways:

How Do Reviews and Ratings Affect Click-Through Rates on Google Local Pack Results?

  • Listings with 5 stars earned 69% of clicks from the Local Pack
  • Listings with 4 stars earned 59% of clicks
  • Listings with 3 stars earned 44% of clicks
  • Listings with 1 or 2 stars earned fewer clicks than listings with no stars

Variance in Click-Through-Rates Based on Star Rating

  • Having a 5-star rating earns a business 28% more clicks vs. having no rating
  • Having a 5-star rating earns a business 39% more clicks than having a 1-star rating
  • Having a 1-star rating reduces the clicks a business gets by 11% vs. having no ratings

How Do Users Pick a Business from Google’s Local Pack?

  • 56% picked a business because it had positive star ratings/reviews
  • 10% liked the business name
  • 9% picked the top listing

BrightLocal Picking from Local Pack
How Do Reviews and Ratings Affect Click Through from Organic Search Results?

  • Listings with 5 stars earned 19% of clicks from localized organic SERPs
  • Listings with 4 stars earned 16% of clicks
  • Listings with 3 stars earned 11%% of clicks
  • Listings with 1-3 stars earned fewer clicks than listings with no stars

Customer Reviews Raise Your Rank in Search Results, Increase Search CTR, and Influence Buying Behavior

You already knew that building a positive online presence that shows a stream on recent and positive reviews was good for business.  Seeing the power of online customers reviews to increase Search CTR and influence buyer decisions only solidify the fact that having a review management and promotion process is a necessary part of today’s digital marketing plan.  This is true for all businesses, but especially small businesses who need to compete on the local market level.

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.