Gold Stars have long been associated with doing good things. In school, a teacher might use a Gold Star as a way of grading a project or making a student feel like they did a great job. Even today, Gold Stars are a way to reward you and your practice with more business.
Mediative, came out with an eye-tracking study that was designed to follow the behavior of someone utilizing Google’s search engine. It found some pretty straight forward information like how people will read from left to right and then go down and follow the same pattern. What Mediative also discovered was something that we SEO nerds have been preaching for a while. Those gold stars that Google gives out for businessines with good reviews can help a listing that may not be that high.
The study showed that people when searching through local businesses will ignore listings without any stars and go to the next listing with a minimum of 3 stars. We always knew that some people will ignore listings without reviews, but this is the first time I have heard that 3 Stars is the number to hit (at a minimum). This happened in nearly every example in the study.
Bottom line? If you are in a competitive area, and you don’t have 3+ Gold Stars – you are missing out on quite a bit of business.
A company named BrightLocal conducted Local Consumer Research Survey between October 2010 and April 2011.The Survey studied the attitudes, consumption and approach of local customers towards online reviews and personal recommendations. Here are the main takeaways I got from the survey results:
- 70% of local consumers use the internet to find local business
- 67% of local consumers have read online reviews
- 69% of local consumers TRUST online reviews as much as personal recommendations
Veterinarians have always seen a strong numbers of new clients, come directly from referrals of existing clients. Unfortunately, some practices have become so reliant on this form of new business, they havnt yet invested time and energy in improving their online presence. With 70% of consumers looking online for businesses, the bottom line is simple, if you don’t have a strong online presence, your going to be missing out on new business.
Consumers are looking at reviews. In fact, the numbers are a bit larger than even I expected. Getting your clients to give positive reviews online isn’t something you should do, its something you HAVE to do. 67% of your potential clients are looking at reviews and are looking at what everyone is saying about you. So, what should you do? You need to ask clients to review you on places like Google Local, Yelp, and Superpages. Ask your most loyal clients to give you a glowing review, its not hard, and they are going to be happy to do it if you explain how important it is.