Why Reviews Matter for Businesses
You can count on the fact that the majority of customers are reading online reviews before making a decision about a business, product, or service.
Consumers are asked to leave a review for just about everything that they buy, use, or experience which is no wonder since the message that business owners are hearing from a variety of experts is that they need reviews, and they need a lot of them.
It makes sense though when you think about your own behavior. A simple transaction on Amazon turns can easily turn into a research project when you can’t ignore a product rating and the written reviews.
A recent consumer study found that:
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
Building trust and giving people the confidence to choose you over your competitor are obvious aspects of reviews.
What you may not have considered is that reviews are now impacting search results – the quantity and quality of reviews affect your rankings for localized search queries.
The majority of customers find online reviews from using a search engine, not going directly to a review site. Some of the top business review sites syndicate their reviews to search engines like Google and Bing which then incorporate them into their ranking factors.
The Best Review Sites for Businesses
Google displays business reviews for any business and is the #1 search engine in the world. Google provides Google My Business which “is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.”
Once you verify and edit your business information you’ll help customers find you, leave reviews, and increase your ranking in search results.
Google My Business puts your business data on both Google Search and Google Maps so customers can find you on device that they’re using.
With Google My Business you can manage:
- Products and services you offer.
- Read and respond to customer reviews.
- See customer insights such as where they’re coming from, how many phone calls your listing received, and track performance of Google AdWords campaigns.
Facebook is known primarily as a social networking platform but companies can create business profiles where customers can leave reviews.
Customers are already comfortable interacting with companies on social media and Facebook is looking to overtake other review sites so they’re always testing new features like the Facebook Recommendations tool that lets users solicit a recommended provider for any type of service that they’re looking for.
Many of your customers probably already have a Facebook account which makes it seamless for them leave reviews on your Facebook business listing.
Yelp was founded in 2004 to help people find any type of local business that they’re searching for. When you mention Yelp to anyone they will probably immediately think of reviews but, people can also post pictures of your business or menu, for example.
Yelp is one of the best known standalone review sites and they claim to have a monthly average of 28 million unique visitors via their Yelp app and an additional 74 million unique visitors who visited the site from their mobile phones as of Q2 2017.
Business owners can setup a free account, post their own photos, and message customers who leave reviews. Yelp displays reviews using software that measures the quality and reliability of the review and reviewer.
Yellow Pages (YP)
Back when people still used phone books, Yellow Pages was telephone directory of businesses organized by category. Today, Yellow Pages or, YP, as it’s now know, claims to get over 60 million online visitors in the U.S.
YP currently offers local businesses a mix of print and digital marketing services. The YP app claims to have 70 million montly visitors and displays an online local business directory with maps, navigation, menus, and more.
Yellow Pages also offers business review functionality and companies can manage their reviews on the review site after claiming their free business listing.
SuperPages is part of SuperMedia group which has many partners. This provides for a wide selection of services and a large database. This giving businesses more coverage and more exposure. Superpages has coupons, maps and videos to draw customers. They are also connected through Facebook, Twitter and their own mobile site giving their site more functionality.
Insider Pages was created to help people find the best local businesses through recommendations from their friends and neighbors. At InsiderPages.com, people share reviews of local businesses and find great services they can trust. Millions of people visit our site each month to get the Insider scoop on local businesses.
We strive to provide you with a better way to find a great dentist, hairstylist, pediatrician or even a hypnotherapist. So come back often and keep sharing your great reviews.
Launched in 2004, Insider Pages is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Insider Pages, an online local search service that was founded in 2004, aims to give users “recommendations for things that matter most.” These recommendations cover a variety of local businesses – including those involving health and medical services, home and garden, hair and beauty, auto services, and even pets. Insider Pages has grown well enough for us to be able to consider it as one of the review sites your business should know about – and so if you haven’t yet claimed your business listing on it, we recommend that you do so as soon as you can.
The idea behind the Expresit app is to “celebrate publicly, fix privately.” Good reviews on employees, co-workers, services or products get published publicly on the business’s page, but any negative reviews get sent right to the business owner so that any issues are brought right to their attention and can be fixed privately. The app is available for both iOS and Android, but it also has a website. Visit Expresit’s business page to claim your business or set up your business profile.
While Foursquare is best known for its check-in feature, local businesses that have claimed their listings give customers the ability to not only check in, but also leave ratings and “tips” (reviews) for other customers when they visit. Signing up for Foursquare for Business lets you access user analytics, add your own tips and offer customer rewards.
Collecting reviews for a business is just a piece of what ConsumerAffairs for Brands offers. When a business signs up, it grants access to all kinds of resources, such as how reviews and a strong reputation can add up to increased revenue, finding brand ambassadors, and how to convert negative customer experiences into positive ones. Sign up through other social media platforms or using an email address.
MerchantCircle aims to connect customers with deals, advice and price quotes from local small businesses. The search functions are structured primarily by city and business category, and by default, it ranks the listings starting from highest rated and most frequently reviewed, working its way down. The MerchantCircle Help Center has various links to articles to help new businesses get set up.
VendOp aims at connecting people with vendors that best match their needs. A potential customer can search for vendors based on their needs and only be presented with vendors that can provide those services, streamlining the search process. The site also offers a community of real customers who share their experiences with vendors on the site so potential customers have a better idea of who they could be working with, and to help other vendors improve their services.
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one of the most trusted names in business ratings and reviews. Businesses are rated on a letter scale, basically the grades you’d get on a high school test (A to F), and consider a number of factors, including number of reviews, type of reviews, whether reviews have been replied to or acknowledged, and type of business. Since the BBB is so trusted, the rating on the site could greatly impact a small business. Being BBB accredited, while not meaning the BBB endorses a business, does mean the business makes good-faith efforts to resolve customer complaints, which could increase the trust of consumers. Also with accreditation (and its fee), you get increased exposure online, access to workshops and webinars, and much more. Visit the BBB Accreditation site to get started.