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WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 02/26/14 -- A Local Consumer Review Survey conducted in 2012 showed that approximately 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations with 52% saying that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business. According to a survey by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX) from December 2013, 84% of Americans ages 18-64 state that online reviews help in their decision whether or not to purchase a product. This development indicates a clear trend toward using the Internet as a trusted source for reviews written by consumers who share their experience online. While positive reviews can be very beneficial to a business, negative reviews can be detrimental. And with the sheer volume of websites, ranging from for restaurant recommendations to where patients rate their doctors, it is extremely time consuming, if not impossible, for business owners to keep track of all reviews.

The increased use of mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets means that more consumers are searching and finding local businesses online. Meanwhile, the growing trust in online reviews leads to users making decisions based on fewer reviews, so every review counts, resulting in the emergence of online monitoring companies such as that are designed to help businesses keep track of their online reputation. New web designs with clear and easy review or star-rating systems are becoming more important to consumers and can be extremely valuable to local business owners. Michael Luca, a professor at Harvard Business School, took a closer look at the impact Yelp has on local businesses. For his study he combined Yelp reviews with revenues and found that a one-star increase on Yelp leads to a 5 to 9% increase in revenue.

The advantages of online reviews for businesses are undeniable, and it is now vital for owners to monitor their feedback on all relevant websites. This has become a real issue for small and medium-sized businesses, who cannot afford to pay up to 400 dollars per year for monitoring services. But now a free service,, comes to the rescue. After signing up subscribers get daily alerts and suggestions on how to deal with bad reviews. Reacting to negative feedback in a timely manner can make all the difference: according to the National Association for Retail Marketing Services, 95% of unhappy customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. will make sure you know when it is time to act.

Signing up is easy: enter your business' name, address and website, and lean back. Add all your locations and get individual results from Google, Yelp, CitySearch, and any review site that is specific to your industry, whether it is dining, medical, legal or otherwise. You can decide how often you will receive email notifications of new reviews. To gain a huge advantage in your market, you can even track the reviews of your competition. When negative reviews do occur, you are prompted to take action or get advice. When asked why the service is free, CEO Julius Kurushko explains: "We are here to let SMBs quickly and easily monitor their reviews for free. Our focus is to help them successfully activate their happy clients to improve and keep up their overall reputation; that portion of the service will be a paid feature." Sign up today to make sure Yelp no longer keeps you up at night!




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