Orbell Communications

Communicating Your Message

Where Customers Go to Praise (or Bash) You

Posted by jorbell on November 14, 2008

From Business Week

If you run a consumer business, chances are pretty good a few of your customers are posting their opinions about it on the dozen or so Web sites that review local businesses across the country.

These sites attract tens of thousands of daily posts and position themselves as online destinations for consumers to offer or get an unvarnished take on a business—to be both the critics and lobbyists.

The largest of these sites, in terms of July monthly unique visitors, include YellowPages.com (T)(roughly 18 million uniques), YELP (roughly 17.8 million), Yahoo! Local (YHOO) (roughly 13.2 million), and Citysearch (roughly 10 million), according to Web analytics firm Compete.com. “These sites are going to become more important,” says Matt Booth of Kelsey Group, a research firm that specializes in local search. “And there are going to be an increasing number of them.”

In a 2007 study of over 2,000 Internet users by online analytical firm comScore (SCOR), 24% of respondents said they looked at an online review before making an offline service purchase in the three months prior to being surveyed. The study showed that local review sites are attracting new visitors at a rate four times as high as the rate at which overall Internet use is growing. It also found that more than three-quarters of respondents call online reviews “influential” in their purchase decision process.

Read Full Story: www.businessweek.com

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