Just 50% of SMBs believe it’s important for their business to receive positive online reviews , while 23% say they are either unimportant, or very unimportant, according to a new survey conducted by marketing automation platform Yodle. This is in spite of the fact that 90% of consumers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews.
As to which review sites matter most to SMBs, Yelp actually ranked fairly low, with only 24% of respondents indicating they cared about getting positive reviews there. Facebook was far more impactful, yet only 43% care about getting positive reviews on the world’s largest social network.
When asked whether they care about negative online reviews, 78% of SMBs said yes, while 22% aren’t bothered. This may be explained, in part, by the fact that not all businesses earn online reviews; in fact, the majority (55%) don’t receive any at all.
The vast majority aren’t asking for them, though. Just 13% of small business owners ask their customers to post online reviews about their business. When asked why they aren’t soliciting reviews, 43% said they hadn’t even thought about it, while another 25% don’t think it’s appropriate to ask.
More than 2 in 3 small business owners don’t actively monitor for online reviews and less than half actually respond to them. Of those who do respond, the vast majority respond to all reviews, while 10% respond to negative reviews only.
Other insights from the Yodle report shed light on the perceived fairness of online review sites for small business owners and how SMBs feel about the impact of negative reviews on their business. They polled 300 US small business owners who work in service industries, with the vast majority of respondents having 10 employees or less.
Kudos to Yodle for putting time into exploring how SMBs feel about online reviews and the potential impact they may have. For more, see the full report (free) at Yodle.