Its always helpful to get the data. Lots of us think we know what prospects do to find our businesses but getting real data on it ends all debate.
Mike Blumenthal recently conducted a survey (the results are available here) looking at how a consumer might choose a specialty lawyer. Although the results are specific to that industry, the data is useful for many local service businesses.
It turns out your potential customers take multiple paths to reach your door. Some ask their friends for a suggestion; some ask a professional in a related field; some search online. Asking for referrals/suggestions is as old as recorded history. In a recent survey, Customer Lobby members estimated that 40-50% of new customers came from referrals.
But what about the other half? What do they do first when they need a [insert your industry here]? Not surprisingly, they search online. But what do they look for?
46% look for and read reviews about your business as a first step. Even if they started with a Google search, 40% of them will first seek reviews from around the web and 60% will seek Google reviews first. Reviews are now “table stakes” for a local business.
Your prospects are often finding your reviews through a branded search (i.e. typing you your company name and “reviews” into a search bar). We track the keywords that searchers use to find Customer Lobby reviews pages and, by far, the most common search terms are “[insert company name] reviews” and “[insert industry name] reviews”.
30% of prospects first go to your website. If your website is their first stop, its a good bet that your reviews will be their second stop. This is a great opportunity to provide them a link to your best review content. Check out the reviews widget in the column on the right side of this page as an example.
Regardless of how they get there, building your review asset is now as (more?) important than any other digital asset you have.
Need help? Get started with a free reviews account!