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How Do Reviews and Ratings Affect Conversions?

Savvy online shoppers rely on customer reviews and ratings, which makes those reviews an important part of many digital marketing strategies. A recent study by Uberall set out to understand exactly how important: the study compared data from the first halves of 2018 and 2019 for more than 60,000 online listings and broke down the findings into three categories: small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs); enterprise locations; and global brands.

“By focusing on review star rating and reply rate, brands can massively impact their overall conversion rates,” Uberall’s SVP of Marketing, Norman Rohr, said in a company release.

The research found that companies with a 3.7 star rating on Google receive significantly more conversions than companies with a 3.5 star rating, for example. It also found that enterprise locations that replied to at least 32 per cent of reviews achieved an 80 per cent higher conversion rate than direct competitors and SMBs that replied to just 10 per cent. In other words, digital marketing agencies should actively optimize and update listings where reviews can be aggregated.

Interestingly, conversion rates decreased for SMB and global brands at five stars compared to 4.9. Overall, Uberall found a correlation between the size of a business and the importance of ratings and reviews.

“SMBs, more so than bigger brands rely on customer reviews to drive brand awareness and visibility,” Rohr said. “As a result, they are performing better than the enterprise and global brands, who typically have lower review rates and lower reply rates. To outperform both larger and smaller businesses in the area, SMBs need to be focused on replying to a large majority of reviews and keeping their rating above the third star rating benchmark of 4.4.”

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and local search agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is equipped to attract reviews and ensure your My Business listings are comprehensive and responsive. For more information about how we can help run your digital listings, feel free to reach out at any time.


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