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Today, customer buying is facilitated by business review websites. Buyers can quickly make a decision about a company by simply reading reviews.
How is your reputation on review sites? Are you able to find all sites that customers have reviewed your business? Are most of the reviews positive?
Online reputation management is a way to manage your online presence. It’s something that you should do on business review websites. Reputation management is about influencing and monitoring your company’s online reputation and credibility. Customer reviews are a key component of review sites.
What is a Customer Review?
Customer reviews are when customers Overeview a product, brand, or service online. They do so based on their own personal experience. Customer reviews are not professional reviews, and they are not paid for. About 72% of U.S. consumers have written a review for a local business.
Customer reviews can be used as feedback. The reviews usually contain some text and a star rating between 1 and 5, with 5 being the best and 1 being the worst. While there are many places you can find online business listings, the sites below go beyond listings and are popular places for customers to leave reviews.
Best Business Review Sites
These 26 sites are the top B2C review websites, which is important for businesses selling to consumers. For businesses that sell to others, we also identify the top B2B review websites (example: Google). You can focus on sites that are relevant to your industry to reap the benefits for buyers who use them to make purchasing decisions.
Google My Business (GMB) is the single most crucial review and listing tool for local businesses. It has replaced Google Local as the most popular review site. It is a great tool to build a reputation online and can help you rank your business in different types of search results. Use this Google My Business Cheat Sheet to get started.
Bing Places for Businesses
Bing Places for Business is the Bing search engine’s version of Google My Business. Customers can rate and review a company. Local businesses can claim their listing, and create a profile to include their listings on Bing Places. After verification, the information will be displayed in Bing Local search results and maps.
Review and Ratings for Facebook
Facebook is more than just a social media platform to share posts. The hugely popular social media site is also where followers can leave ratings, reviews, and recommendations on a business’s Page using its Facebook Ratings and Reviews platform. Businesses can disable ratings and reviews from their Facebook Pages.
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) prides itself on being an ethical marketplace that allows individuals to recommend businesses. The BBB is one the most trusted and oldest sites. It verifies all reviews from consumers. Businesses can also become a BBB accredited business, and the Better Business Bureau assigns its own ratings from A to F but these ratings are independent from reviews by the public.
Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon has been allowing consumers to post reviews about products since 1995. A string of 5- or 4-star reviews on the top online retailer’s website can be a great way for businesses to generate new sales and establish a strong reputation. Amazon Handmade listings and Amazon HomeServices service providers also require business reviews.
Some small business owners and marketing managers have a love-hate relationship with Yelp, feeling that positive reviews at times get less visibility than negative ones at the site. However, you can’t deny Yelp’s importance. Its pages are often found in internet searches. It’s a consumer destination, too. It also trains companies how to respond to reviews. Yelp listings can help businesses improve their online reputation and credibility. Yelp is a top review site and a great place to encourage potential customers.
Foursquare allows users to check-in at venues and rate them using its CityGuides and Swarm apps. You can also leave tips for other people who visit the establishments. Companies that sign up for Foursquare for Business can take advantage of user analytics. Foursquare allows businesses to add their tips and offer customer rewards. Foursquare data can often be found on other websites and maps.
If you operate a home improvement business or provide services to homeowners, listing your services on local business review websites like HomeAdvisor and collecting business reviews can positively impact your business and help you get new customers. HomeAdvisor’s moderators verify all reviews.
You can get a free business listing on Yellow Pages which enables businesses to manage the reviews placed on the site about their company. Yellow Pages has moved from paper to digital and now supports businesses online through local marketing and reviews. Although the yellow pages may not be as powerful as they once were in driving new customers, it is still a great place to start your business.
TripAdvisor is an online review platform that focuses on the travel, entertainment, restaurant and airline industries. Reviewers can leave reviews about hotels and other establishments related to the travel industry. Given that TripAdvisor has collected more than 878 million reviews, it’s in every travel business’s interest to claim its listing and generate positive reviews on one of the largest travel sites in existence.
Angie’s List is regarded as one of the most credible business review sites, being early to offer business listings. Angie s List reviews cannot be anonymous, which adds credibility to the evaluations. Angie s List allows companies to create a page where customers can leave reviews.
TrustRadius, an online review site for software companies, is a source of information. TrustRadius’ credibility is further enhanced by the fact that all reviews are verified via LinkedIn. This allows users to see what their LinkedIn connections have to say about their company and their software products.
If you own or run a restaurant, registering on OpenTable will enable customers to make reservations and write reviews. OpenTable gives restaurants a star rating based on how many people have reviewed the restaurant and how often they were recommended by others. The more reviews a restaurant has, the better its credibility and online reputation.
PlanetRate allows customers to leave reviews about businesses in all industries. Companies can register on PlanetRate and actively collect reviews. PlanetRate allows users to write detailed reviews of companies. Positive feedback from this review site will influence the perception of your business by consumers.
Salesforce AppExchange is an enterprise cloud marketplace designed to extend the Salesforce platform. Users can rate businesses using a 5-star rating system. Salesforce AppExchange apps allow businesses to keep track of their app’s rating, and monitor their online reviews.
Trustpilot allows businesses to generate a profile page and encourage customers to provide reviews. For a higher level paid membership fee, companies can send customized review invitations. Customers can also share their reviews and ratings on social media.
Glassdoor users have the ability to search for reviews and ratings on more than 700,000. Businesses around the globe. Employees can also share what it is like to work for a company on Glassdoor. Glassdoor is a great resource for improving a company’s image with potential employees by providing honest and candid reviews of the business’s products and services.
G2 (formerly G2 Crowd), is a site that reviews software companies. Software apps for business are rated on a 5-star scale. G2 has more than 5 million monthly users who visit it to review and purchase software. This can direct business purchasing decisions.
Customers can search for vendors of a particular industry and specification on VendOp. This site allows purchasers to share their experiences and opinions with others. VendOp allows users to search for reviews by location, rating, service and/or service.
Manta is primarily a business review website, but it also has a section for small businesses. To improve their online visibility and marketability, business owners can claim their page and personalize it. Registered users can write reviews and leave star ratings for businesses. Consumers can also search millions of companies.
Avvo is an online business review platform for lawyers. Avvo allows consumers to review their lawyer and give them 5 stars. Avvo claims it has 97% of the lawyers in the United States listed in its database. It also lists them according to their practice specialty. Avvo reserves the right to reject any review. Avvo also provides a rating of 1-10 based on specific criteria.
WebMD is a vast site getting over 100 million visitors a month, containing medical information for consumers. You can also find listings of dentists and doctors, as well as leave reviews about them.
FinancesOnline is an independent review platform that addresses B2B, SaaS, and financial companies. It allows users to compare and select the best software products and services that meet their needs. You can also find expert reports and customer reviews. The site currently has over 50,000 reviews online from users of software products.
Opening its virtual doors in 2005, Merchant Circle has more than 15 million local business listings across the U.S. in its database. Merchant Circle is a website that consumers use to search for businesses, read consumer reviews, and receive competitive quotes from the companies they are interested in. Claim your business listing. This can help you acquire new customers.
Sitejabber is a site with online reviews of businesses that also lets customers get answers to questions from other customers and the business itself. Customers can post feedback after making a purchase and receive assistance in resolving any problems.
Which? is an independent not-for-profit UK-based consumer review site that reviews services and products and then writes and shares the reviews. You can have a lot of positive reviews about your products and services on Which. It can help you build a solid and trustworthy online reputation.
Other review sites
Over 100 sites allow user-generated feedback, while many smaller sites do not. Most are niche specific. CitiSearch, Local.com, Viewpoints, ConsumerAffairs, Etsy, Goodreads, Cars.com, Edmunds, CarGuru, Care.com, Thumbtack, Fiverr, Zomato, VRBO, Airbnb, Zillow, Houzz, Apartments.com, Bankrate, and the Apple Apps Store and Google Play for apps — these are just a few that feature reviews today. Look for the relevant business review sites for your industry and business. Listen to what people have to say about your company and then engage.
Five Tips to Maximize Business Review Sites
These best practices will assist you in using online review sites to obtain highly-respected, positive reviews.
Claim your Business Profile
A listing can be claimed on several review sites, such as Yelp or Google My Business. This allows you to verify your business information, such as phone number, hours of operation, and email address. You can reply to user reviews, upload photos, and sometimes even add links to articles or blog posts. Your profile is an extension of your company website and can be used to attract new customers. Google My Business is particularly important because Google is the largest search engine in the world.
Encourage business reviews
Encourage customers to leave reviews or feedback on your Facebook, Yelp or BBB pages. Reviews are essentially word of mouth. Consumers review websites rather than speaking with friends or neighbors one-on-one.
Many business owners fear reading customer reviews as they assume that they will be negative. Be confident. Embrace each review as the equivalent of free advertising and an integral part of your digital marketing through happy customers.
Don’t Incentivize Reviews
You can encourage users to leave reviews but do not incentivize them. It is important to be familiar with the rules of each review site. Yelp has strict guidelines regarding asking for reviews.
Fake reviews are not allowed
Fake business reviews can lead to your business being removed from review sites. Review sites are committed to maintaining consumer trust. They have algorithms that can detect and remove fake reviews. It is not worth the risk and can damage your company’s image if you are discovered.
React to Negative Reviews
Never let negative reviews go unanswered. Be open-minded, be non-emotional, and accept apologies if necessary. Negative comments can be passed on to your team to help you improve. Even if you have done nothing wrong, be kind and understanding. Avoid disagreeing with customers or inflaming reviewers.
It turns out that 30% of consumers reverse negative reviews on online review sites when the company responds, according to a survey by ZenBusiness. Only 12% of consumers believe that their reviews are always or often responded to. Responding is a great way to gain an advantage over small businesses that don’t respond.
Are Review Site Listings sufficient to justify a website?
Your company website should be your main source of information. Many businesses substitute their website with their Google My Business profile or Facebook page. This is not a smart move, as third-party websites are out of your control.
It could take several weeks to appeal Facebook’s decision to remove your Page. A digital marketing strategy that works should include your website and business review sites.
Do I need to display reviews on my website?
Yes. There are many software programs that can help you aggregate reviews and display them on your website. The software reminds customers to leave reviews after a sale. These apps automate the collection of reviews from third-party websites and offer widgets that allow you to embed and display reviews on your website. Examples include BirdEye, Reviews.io, GatherUp, and Reviews.io.
Does Customer review sites help with search engine rankings?
In many ways, information from business listing websites, including user reviews can appear high in search results. GMB and Bing Places information are often prominently displayed in respective Google and Bing search engine pages, and maps. An SEO professional who is a specialist in local SEO can assist you with a local SEO strategy.
Instead of focusing on rankings, consider “visibility” in a wider context. You will find more opportunities to be found online through review sites. Many small businesses are virtually invisible online. Positive ratings and more reviews will make your company stand out on review sites.