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February 4, 2021

Why Review Frequency is More Important than Volume

Having a huge lifetime review total is important, but in 2021 real review generation success is measured by review frequency. Learn more about why review frequency should be at the center of your local business's reputation management strategy.

Having more online reviews than your competitors is not enough to make your business stand out. A BrightLocal study found that after star-rating and legitimacy, recency is the most important review factor, not quantity. In this article, we’ll discuss why. 

Frequency Features Positive Content 

Consumers read anywhere from one to six reviews before committing to a business - that’s it. Ideally, those reviews are positive, but what if they are not? In all likelihood, nobody is going to hold it against your business if a customer had a negative experience in 2016 - it’s old news. However, if that negative review is the first one a prospective customer reads, it has the potential to do a lot of damage. 

Luckily, Google’s algorithm favors high-rating positive reviews over negatives. Therefore, receiving more reviews on a regular basis gives you the chance to push negative feedback further down the screen and out of your customer’s initial view. We all make mistakes leading to a low-rating every now and then. Having a dependable flow of reviews means you won’t have to sweat the occasional negative feedback.

Overall, a higher review frequency means you have more control over your image. It gives you the chance to leave a positive first impression, which can go a long way when it comes to establishing strong relationships with your customers. 

Frequency Ensures Your Content is Up-to-Date

Be honest - which would you choose to buy from, a business with 15 reviews from last year or a business with 15 reviews from this week? You’d likely choose the latter, and it is clear why.  

Recent review content is more trustworthy. It’s also more likely to represent an accurate and up-to-date customer experience. In fact, over two-thirds of today’s consumers believe that reviews older than 90 days are irrelevant. Therefore, if your business has a low review frequency, it runs the risk of seeming irrelevant too. Keep in mind - customers have thousands of options at their fingertips, and having a quality product is not enough to win them over. Great service, fair prices, a positive in-store experience, and more all convince someone to buy, and reviews are the easiest way to tell whether a business has these attributes and makes an effort to manage online reputation.

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Remember, reviews serve as a form of social proof - accounts of real-life experiences with a product or service. A study by Trustpilot found that 66% of customers make purchases based on the presence of social proof alone, and 93% of customers read online reviews because they want proof of how your business functions today - not how it functioned last year. Review frequency ensures your business’s content stays accurate, honest, and most importantly, in the conversation. 

Frequency Makes You More Visible to Your Customers

75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, meaning that visibility is essential to success. However, getting visible is easier said than done. 

Let’s explain why. Google determines local search ranking based on a combination of relevance, distance, and prominence. Prominence (according to Google how well known a business is) depends on all of the information available about a business, such as links or articles. Appropriately, it also depends on reviews - so much so that they are the second biggest influencer of local rankings overall.

If you’re thinking - what better way to increase prominence than by increasing review volume? We can’t blame you. More than six times out of ten, the top Google listing is the business with the most reviews. However, there are more review factors at play here, and when it comes to long-term success, frequency has the upper hand.

A higher review frequency demonstrates that your business is active - something volume cannot do. It also heightens engagement by giving you more opportunities to interact with your customers. As stated by Google, when you reply to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and their feedback. Appropriately, this level of engagement is rewarded with a higher ranking overall. While it is undeniable that volume has an impact on ranking, a one time surge in reviews is not your ticket to a top spot. In order to get visible and stay visible, your business needs a steady flow of content from your customers. 

Lastly, it’s important to remember that when it comes to visibility, frequency and volume are not mutually exclusive. If you focus your energy on getting regular review traffic, it will translate to a higher volume than your competitors over time.

Frequency Can Put Your Business on the Map

We have demonstrated how a consistent flow of content betters your reputation, ensures accurate feedback, and improves visibility. But what if you’re just starting out? To be successful, businesses that are launching or relaunching need to build a local reputation and build it fast. The best way to do this is through a high frequency of online reviews. 

Take, for example, Code Style Club, a hair salon in Burlington, VT which opened in the summer of 2020. In its first three months, Code Style Club accrued 15 reviews. However, after implementing Invite, Widewail’s automated review generation software, Code Style Club’s review frequency and volume began to increase rapidly. In two months, Code Style Club’s numbers went from 15 to 101. That’s a 573% increase in just 60 days.

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Launching a local reputation quickly via review generation proves frequency’s importance. As mentioned above, a one-time surge in review volume is not enough when it comes to reputation building. Rather, your business needs regular and applicable content to put it on the map. Invite is the tested and proven solution for increasing frequency and securing a long-term top-ranked spot.

Frequency is just a single piece of the puzzle. Download the 2021 Local Business Reputation Management Playbook to our view of the most effective and efficient reputation management strategy on the market.

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Emily Keenan

Originally from Scarborough, Maine, I moved to Vermont this past summer after graduating from St. Lawrence University, where I received my BA in English and Spanish. I have always been interested in writing and communication, which is what initially drew me to the Review Response Specialist position at Widewail. In my spare time, I can be found reading, playing electric guitar, or strolling/biking around one of Burlington’s many scenic trails. I always welcome the opportunity to talk about my work, and invite anyone with questions or comments to reach out or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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