Steve Wyer | Star Ratings Matter

Posted By on June 28, 2016

Do star reviews matter? Steve Wyer delves into the world of visual ratings and touches on the associated pros and cons of “snapshot” judgments.

Q: What exactly are “star” reviews?

Steve Wyer: Star reviews are simply online reviews that offer a visual “snapshot” about the public satisfaction rating of a business. This is usually in the form of stars – a universal symbol for achievement. The more stars a business has, the better it is perceived to be.

Q: But do online reviews actually matter?

Steve Wyer: They do, and often in a big way! Studies have shown that a large chunk of digital-age consumers trust online reviews. An establishment with a 3-star rating may do as much as 9% less business than a similar competitor with a 5-star review.

Q: Are reviewers required to identify themselves?

Steve Wyer: Unfortunately, not always. Most of the high-ranking sites do require users to identify themselves, usually by creating an account. However, others allow anonymous comments to be posted without any verification whatsoever. These unverified reviews still influence consumers so, as a business owner, it’s advantageous to own your identity on a number of review sites.

Q: Are there review sites that matter more than others?

Steve Wyer: Yes! Sites viewed as authoritative and/or trustworthy get better search results than lesser-known sites. Sites such as Yelp, Yahoo, and YP all enjoy a huge following. This means more traffic, and that pushes reviews on these sites to the front of the line, so to speak. This goes back to owning your identity, as I mentioned earlier. Most reputable sites allow the business owner to open an account, some even go as far as to let the account holder pin positive reviews.

Q: Are there industry-specific review sites?

Steve Wyer: There are dozens of review sites that cater to a specific audience. Auto sales, medical care, and senior living are just a few industries that have sites dedicated to reviewing their services.

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