When it comes to spreading the word about your local business’s great reputation, asking customers to recommend you is not the way to go.

Your impressive Facebook Page, parallax scrolling website, and funny Instagram pics are not going to improve your online reputation without something solid to back it up. According to BrightLocal, consumers recommend local companies primarily based on whether they were reliable and professional:

Local business reputation

On the flip side, consumers researching local businesses are becoming more discerning. Compared to 2013, consumers are reading more reviews before they feel they can trust a local business:

Trusting local reviews

Lastly, for those of you fretting over your overall star rating, consumers are little more forgiving than you might expect. Only 28% of consumers considered a 3 star rating to be too low to do business with you–with 2 stars being the pain point for most researchers.

Minimum star rating for reviews

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