Have you thought about registering your business on some review sites? If you haven’t, you should. Take a look at these BrightLocal statistics:
- 88 percent of customers read online reviews to determine a company’s quality
- 85 percent read as many as 10 reviews before buying or making contact
- 72 percent say positive reviews increase their trust in a local business
- 88 percent trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations
Registering with business review websites projects transparency and trustworthiness to customers. It also provides important intel on how customers perceive your business. If customers leave positive reviews, you can personally thank them; if they post negative feedback, you can respond. Best of all, presence on review sites can significantly boost local search ranking factors.
Review Sites for Everyone
Start registering with the biggest and most influential business rating sites. These sites receive many views, and they’re appropriate for almost any business that has a storefront. These sites will also help to boost your local SEO.
1. Google My Business
Identifying and verifying your company on Google My Business is a great move for boosting local search rankings factors. Once you’re verified, post information about your business, including hours, a link to your website, and a description of what you do. You can respond to reviews, and when customers search for your company (or a business like it) on Google, they simply tap to call or get directions to your location.
Yelp is probably the most well-known local business review site on the Web. Once you add your listing to Yelp, you’ll receive instructions about claiming your business page. You can’t directly ask customers to review you, but you can use Yelp branding and decals to let customers know you want their feedback.
3. Better Business Bureau
Customer reviews don’t influence BBB rating or accreditation, but they carry a lot of weight with readers. Start the accreditation process, and once it’s complete, address both complaints and reviews quickly and professionally.
4. Yahoo Local
Although Google and Bing dominate search engine market share, Yahoo still accounts for 12.7 percent of all searches. The process to register for Yahoo Local Listings is similar to registering for Google My Business.
5. Facebook Rating & Reviews
Allowing Facebook Ratings & Reviews on your Local Businesses Page means capitalizing on the goodwill of your Facebook followers. Every time a follower likes or shares your page, potential customers will see stars and glowing reviews.
Manta.com is a newer player in the reviews and listings market, but it’s rapidly gaining importance and offers good local search rankings cache. After you add your business to Manta.com, you can use their paid marketing services, including Manta Ads and Priority Search.
Review Sites for Service Businesses
If your business provides a niche service such as home repair, construction, automotive, legal services, or accounting guidance, you’ll want to add a listing to one or more of these business review websites.
7. Angie’s List
Angie’s List reviews carry an incredibly high trust factor. Also, because customers must subscribe to Angie’s List before viewing listings and leaving reviews, you’re more likely to receive useful and thoughtful feedback. Your business may already appear on Angie’s List, so take the time to claim your business profile. You can also take advantage of their dispute resolution services when customers have complaints.
If you own any kind of home repair business, such as a business offering plumbing, handyman, landscaping, pool installation, or construction and remodeling services, it’s a good idea to register on HomeAdvisor.com. Customers search for service providers within your zip code. Then, your listing appears along with your ratings and reviews.
Kudzu offers results and ratings for home improvement and landscaping companies, and it’s also great for mechanics, movers, and health care providers. List your business on Kudzu for free, and subscribe to Enhanced Profile features to manage reviews, add images of your work, and track potential leads.
If you’re in the legal profession, registering on Avvo.com is a must. Once you create your Avvo profile, you can use Avvo’s paid marketing features and publish legal guides. You can also answer potential clients’ legal questions in Avvo’s forum.
Review Sites for Restaurants
Online recommendations from customers increase the number of guests who come in through your doors. They also entice restaurant critics to come and see what all the fuss is about.
If customers are checking into your restaurant on Foursquare, you already have an unofficial listing. Claim your business on Foursquare to manage reviews, offer specials, and access Foursquare’s analytics tools.
Join OpenTable not only for reviews and local search improvement but also to generate new income. OpenTable makes it easy for guests to make online reservations for upscale and busy restaurants, but it also comes with rich listing and review features.
Zomato, formerly known as Urbanspoon, is a searchable, customer-reviewed database of local restaurants. Add your restaurant on Zomato, and use the platform to manage reviews, offer specials, see visitor analytics, and offer Zomato Cashless Payments to your guests.
Review Sites for Hotels and Inns
If you own a hotel, inn, or bed and breakfast, your business depends on reaching tourists far and wide. Boost your profile by listing your establishment on these sites.
When you type “hotel reviews” into Google’s search query field, TripAdvisor dominates the first page. It’s almost mandatory to list your property on TripAdvisor or claim an existing listing. You’ll get a number of free TripAdvisor marketing tools along with the ability to respond to reviews. You can also sign up for TripConnect Instant Booking, which allows users to book a stay at your property directly from your review page.
When you list your inn on BedandBreakfast.com, you can choose a basic listing and membership for $24.99 per month, or you can sign up for Pay-Per-Book, which charges an 8 percent commission on bookings but waives the membership fee. In addition to setting up a review hub for your property, BedandBreakfast.com features your accommodations on popular sites like Expedia and Priceline.
Points to Remember
Once you’re registered on the right review sites, follow these tips to get the maximum benefits:
- Engage, engage, engage. Data from Medallia reveals that hotel owners responding to 50 percent or more social media reviews grow occupancy rates by twice the industry average. Respond to as many reviews as possible, both positive and negative.
- Get the most from every listing. Use the site’s branding tools, including decals, logos, and website buttons to encourage more customers to leave reviews. More reviews means more social proof and a chance you convince someone to try out your product or services that might not have otherwise.
- Use a uniform NAP. Format your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) the same way on every listing.
- Remember third-party sites. If you’re an Etsy or Amazon Marketplace seller, include responding to reviews on those sites as part of your promotion strategy.
- Take customer feedback to heart. If customers consistently report problems or rate you as mediocre, do something about it. Improving a restaurant’s rating by just one star on Yelp can increase revenue by 5.4 percent.
Boost local SEO, improve customer relationships, and get important feedback about your company by promoting it on business review sites. Remember: If you’re not setting the tone when it comes to your company’s reviews, a disgruntled customer or competitor will do it for you.