Listings In Business Review Sites are Critical
Online business review sites make it easy for internet users to look up business information, compare ratings, and decide whether or not to choose your company without ever leaving home. Because there are so many choices available online, businesses are now marketing to educated consumers.
Potential customers research choices on review sites and do not care what YOU have to say about your business. They care what OTHERS say about your business.
They want evidence of what others think, and online reviews are a perfect place for them to find it. There are hundreds of effective local business review sites and directories online, but here are a few FREE review platforms to start with that have the best reputation…….
1. Google Places for Business
This is one of the most important business review sites to have your business listed. Google Businesses may register themselves, which allows the business to show up on Google Maps and in Google’s search results with extended information, like reviews and photos. Users can easily leave reviews on your Google Places business page.
Yelp! reviews rank well with search engines, and are generally seen as reputable thanks to their algorithm that helps curb fake reviews. Simply check to see if your business is already listed: if so “claim” the listing via phone verification; and if not just register to submit your company information. Yelp is one of the better business review sites online.
Facebook remains one of the top business review sites online and can be found on over 80% of smart phones. A business page is easy to use, lets you engage your customers, and allows for ratings, reviews, and check ins. Although algorithm changes have lessened interaction on business pages, Facebook still boasts over 1 billion active users worldwide and users have learned the power of business reviews.
MerchantCircle was designed solely as a user review site, but has set itself apart from other business review sites with the availability of offers and coupons from merchants. MerchantCircle also lets you verify your account and assigns you a score from 0-100, 100 being the best based on reviews and a variety of other factors.
While Foursquare seems like a simple social network, it is a top review site for businesses. With 50 million members worldwide, over 6 billion check-ins and more than 1.7 million verified businesses listed, Foursquare allows you to connect with customers (or potential customers) with a complete location listing. Businesses can offer specials, and reward first time and repeat visits. Customers in turn provide tips and reviews of your company.
There are many available sites on which to list your business and gather customer reviews. Research ones most suited to your industry and best fitting to your current online presence. Once your company begins using these review sites to attract new customers, keep in mind:
A. Be Honest – do not create false reviews. You risk being banned from these sites, and it will damage your reputation if caught.
B. Ask happy customers for reviews - many customers would be happy to if reminded.
C. Respond to reviews – thank the positive to show you appreciate their honest opinion, follow up on the negative to resolve the issue and gain back trust. Do not overlook the good or get defensive about the bad.
Reviews are an absolutely essential factor in achieving top placement in organic search engine rankings. Be sure to monitor your reviews regularly and share your review site links on our website and social media platforms.