In an e-commerce landscape, reviews are the way consumers test out products and services before making a purchase. As many as 84% of shoppers trust a review as much as they would a recommendation from a friend or family member.  Additionally, they are a large factor into how you are ranked in organic search. This makes them a crucial touch point in the consumer decision making process. Here are the top ways reviews directly impact consumer purchasing, and how to use them to your advantage.


Search engine optimization is not often a factor that comes to mind when thinking about the importance of reviews. However, 51% of website traffic comes from your website showing up on the first page of search results. Reviews directly impact your ability to get to the top of that page search. For those that don’t have the through-traffic to garner enough reviews to make it to the top, websites with high traffic such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Consumer Reports are great resources. If you can’t be the site at the top of search results, make sure that your reviews and information are on the sites that will be!

Influence of Reviews 

Reviews are also critical in getting people on your page to make the purchase or take the next step. According to the Pew Research center, 40% of all US adults always check them before buying new items, with 42% of the remaining population checking them sometimes before making a new purchase. This shows that the presence of a review gives more credence to your website as a whole, which influences customers’ willingness to make a purchase. Creating a space for reviews to generate is crucial to competing digitally where people need outside feedback to feel confident in their decisions.

Knowing that reviews are important isn’t enough. You have to make and manage the conversations happening about your brand and products. As much as 64% of consumers make their purchasing decision after reading between one and six reviews. Make sure you have enough of them on your site and products that you satisfy that consumer need. This will take action, however, and there are a few ways you can make it easy for consumers to be part of the conversation. If you are looking for reviews that would be made directly on your website, send out an email blast. For many companies, third party review platforms are extremely helpful. Consider putting a “Find Us On Yelp” or any other appropriate click-through link and graphic on your site.

Don’t Get Defensive

For every product or service you search for, there is going to be a negative comment. They are unavoidable, so don’t fight against it with defensive responses like many companies do. Apologize and make sure that consumer feels heard. This way, when people read your reviews they aren’t seeing a negative response from you that stands out glaringly. In fact, according to a study done by Northwestern, most people seek out negative assessments before the positive ones in order to verify that they are legitimate and genuine.

Want to take the next steps to optimizing your SEO, and getting your sight higher up in organic search? Contact the digital experts at MassLive Media for help today.