Not all business experiences are created equal: the risk in poor service from a plumber and a bartender just don’t match up. So it’s expected that people care more about, and will likely read more reviews of, certain business types than others. To explore this, BrightLocal, which provides services and tools to local marketers for their brands and clients, looked at eight key sectors where reviews play an important part, and asked how important a part reviews played in consumers’ decisions to use them.

A study from earlier this year looked at how consumers consider online peer reviews for businesses. Most of the data is for restaurants and other local business but one chart included health care. The top business types for which reviews play an “important” or “very important” part in consumers’ decisions are:

• Service businesses and tradespersons: 84 percent said reviews are “important” or “very important” in their decision

• Care services: 83 percent

• Health care: 82 percent

As expected, businesses that are infrequently required, and come with a high level of risk, face public scrutiny far more than things like restaurants and bars, where a friend’s recommendation is sometimes all that’s needed. It’s heartening to see that care services come out on top in this, given what important, and likely difficult, decisions are involved in using services in this sector.

Health care and service, or service-area, businesses (SABs) stack up fairly evenly, which is definitely worthwhile knowing about: your potential customers care about reviews for your business as much as they do for their doctors.

It’s also interesting to see that 6 percent of consumers consider reviews for financial and legal services to be “not important.” According to BrightLocal, could it be that years of Google Business Profile spam and fake reviews in the legal sector has taken its toll on the public perception of this industry?