You don’t need us to tell you that online reviews are important for your business. You already know you need reviews.
But, did you know 97 percent of consumers read reviews when they want to make a purchase? Or that 68 percent of consumers are more likely to choose a local business if they see positive online reviews of that business?
We've already touched on how much reviews are worth for your business, but do you know how many reviews your business actually needs?
In this post, we'll break down how many reviews you need by platform and goal.
How Many Reviews Do You Need on Google?
You used to need at least five Google reviews for your star rating to show up in local searches, but lately, Google has been displaying star rating and review quantity for businesses with only a couple of reviews.
As long as you have a review or two, your star rating should show up.
But it’s also helpful if you have more reviews than your competitors (and depending on your industry, your competitors may have quite a few reviews).
And if you have an online store and you want your Google seller rating to show up in AdWords campaigns, you'll need 150 unique reviews and at least a 3.5-star rating.
Don't forget that Google also tends to add reviews from other websites to your local search listing, showing your Facebook ratings or reviews etc. So, you’ll need to manage your reviews across platforms if you want your business to appear to be trustworthy in Google searches.
How Many Reviews Do You Need on Yelp?
There’s no magic number of reviews to improve your Yelp ranking, but more is better (especially since Yelp’s filter will only allow a fraction of those reviews to show up on your Yelp page).
And even if you do have a lot of Yelp reviews, there are other things you’ll need to do to improve your ranking:
- Make sure your business’s Yelp profile is complete and the information is correct.
- Add photos. Photos on Yelp can make a huge difference since Yelp profiles with photos get more views. Users will also spend more time on your Yelp page if you have pics.
- Make sure you don’t add anything that violates Yelp’s guidelines.
- Don't forget to consistently get new reviews. While Yelp discourages businesses from asking for reviews, it isn't technically a violation of their terms of service.
- Reply to your Yelp reviews. This may not improve your ranking, but it will make people want to purchase from your business.
Remember, Yelp reviews are important:
Yelp reviews show up in Bing's local search results, and Bing is still the second-largest search engine after Google.
Yelp shows up high in Google search results too, so your Yelp star rating is extremely important. You'll want to have more reviews than the competition as well as a positive star rating so that your business stands out.
How Many Facebook Reviews Should You Have?
Facebook is like other platforms in that there's no specific number of reviews you need.
Even in Facebook Professional Services, there's no precedence given to businesses with more reviews or higher star ratings.
But, everyone who views your Facebook page can see your reviews (as long as your Page allows visitors to review your business).
Your Facebook reviews can also show up in your local listing on Google, so you'll need to make sure you are consistently getting new, positive Facebook reviews.
How Many Reviews Does It Take to Generate Consumer Trust?
Eighty-five percent of consumers trust reviews from strangers as much as they trust people they know.
I'm not sure if they all have shady friends or if they just believe everything they read online. Either way, those reviews are important.
So, how many online reviews do they need to read before they’ll trust your business?
A recent study found that 29 percent of consumers trust a business after reading 2-3 reviews, while 34 percent will trust a business after reading 4-6 reviews.
This means that most people will trust your business after reading six or fewer reviews, but they’ll form an opinion after reading just one. That one review isn’t going to generate trust, but it will give consumers the chance to judge your business.
In fact, pretty much no one (three percent) will trust a business after reading just one review.
They want to see (but not necessarily read) more than that. And if a local business has 10 recent reviews, most consumers won’t look any further.
So, your first benchmark should be generating 10 reviews on the most popular review websites.
How Many Reviews Does It Take to Improve Conversions and Drive Website Traffic?
Just a few reviews can drive traffic to your website.
After you have eight or more, the site will start to see growth in organic search traffic. And every single review matters. One review can increase e-Commerce conversions by 10 percent, and once you get more than 100 reviews, the conversion rate can be boosted by up to 37 percent.
This number rises as you get more reviews.
Consumer reviews also make up about 13 percent of how search engines decide to rank the website in local search results, so positive reviews can also boost your local search ranking.
What Do Consumers Look for When Reading Reviews?
Reviews should be recent (no older than six months) or most consumers will consider them irrelevant, so you should be managing your reputation by asking customers to share their experiences.
Make sure you're consistently generating new reviews because reviews have a limited shelf life.
Star rating is important too. In fact, star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business.
Only 14 percent of consumers would consider using a business that only has a 1-2 star rating. This means your business needs to consistently receive three-star reviews or better (42 percent of consumers say they will use a business with at least three stars).
The moral of this story is that while there's no set number of reviews you absolutely have to have across most websites, you need to consistently be getting new reviews so that consumers will choose you over the competition.
You need a review marketing strategy that helps you get new, positive reviews across the most important websites and apps so that you have a fighting chance against the competition.
To learn more, see how our review marketing platform, Renown, can help your business generate reviews while protecting your online reputation.
Note: This blog post was originally published February 2, 2016 but has been updated by the original author with new information as of May 15, 2018.