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1) Business reviews and social posts help shape a company’s online reputation
In fact, one of the worst things a business can do is ignore their online reviews and social posts. As easy as it is to make a mistake when managing a business’s online reputation, it can also be easy to recover if you monitor the reviews properly.
While damage will inevitably happen, a business can take steps to mitigate the degree of damage that can occur. The biggest mistake of all a company can make is not participating in helping to shape the conversation about their company online.
2) Business reviews provide valuable feedback for businesses
While it can be easy for a company to take negative comments to heart, it is important to recognize that reviews are constructive feedback. All in all, reviews are actually valuable feedback! They help a company gauge their performance and see how they can improve. There is always room for improvement and a lot can be learned even from positive business reviews. Vendasta’s white-label digital marketing agency has a team of experts that analyze and respond to hundreds of reviews every day.
Through reviews, businesses can see which products or services they should be boasting, which needs work and even discover employees who rock at customer service. If we have not yet sold you on the importance of online reviews, maybe these 50 stats on online reviews will.
In the table below, U.S. Ranking, % U.S. Traffic and Average Monthly U.S. Traffic (unique visitors) data are sourced from Alexa.
Top 10 Consumer & Business Review Websites
Review Website U.S. Alexa Ranking Reviews Best For Avg. Monthly U.S. Traffic % U.S. Traffic (of Total) Google My Business 1 any business 158.03 million 19.6% Amazon 3 e-commerce related 85.44 million 63.6% Facebook 4 any business 85.57 million 23.1% Yelp 64 any business 40.47 million 87.5% Trip Advisor 118 related to food, restaurant, travel 28.27 million 50.4% BBB (Better Business Bureau) 647 any business 6.15 million 72.1% Yellowpages 694 any business 10.5 million 70.0% Manta 957 any business 6.48 million 67.0% Angies List 1,755 service related business 5.44 million 72.4% Foursquare 2,418 any business, mostly restaurants 3.67 million 19.3%
Why are these the top business review websites?
Businesses should strive to get business reviews on business review websites that are going concerns, review sites that people know about (and go to) and that are relatively friction-less (sites consumers have log ins or can go in easy to leave a review).
Similar to our Top 100 Online Business Directories list, we wanted to bring you another list backed by numbers. What can we say, we like numbers, data, stats and facts!
Traffic talks folks, and the more consumers that visit a business review site, the more they are likely to leave and read other business reviews. Let’s face it, no one wants to create another login or account on another site to manage yet another password.
Related Reading: The Top 10 Online Real Estate Directories
Three important customer review website tips:
1) Remember to add or claim listings on the top business review sites
There are many niche business review and directory websites out there and we have brought you a mix of the very best heavy hitters in the online review website world.
In other words, it’s a good idea to add or claim a listing or business profile on these review sites (unless a business doesn’t fit with the niche), correct the business’s listing information and start getting more business reviews!
Plus, getting a business’s listing information on a directory corrected only heeds positive citation results, especially when listed on these big guys below.
2) Businesses should keep asking their customers for reviews
Asking the average customer for a review can be hard work. Granted, it is often easiest to get reviews from consumers that are either really happy or really unhappy with the level of service they were provided.
Businesses should always remember to ask as customers are busy creatures and will not remember unless they are asked nicely to leave feedback.
3) Customers are more open to leaving reviews on business review sites
With that being said, which review websites are the best to ask customers to leave reviews about a business? Why not just ask for business reviews or testimonials on a business’s website? Well, asking consumers to leave a review on a business’s website seems a lot more screened and inauthentic than simply asking consumers to leave reviews on a trusted review site.
The list of the top 10 business review sites
1. Google reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 158.03 million
US ranking (Alexa): 1
Business reviews for: any business
Google My Business is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. Google is the go-to search engine of choice: as more and more consumers conduct multiple searches on it every day, more businesses are vying for top SERP results.
Very important: Businesses must verify their information to complete their Google My Business registration.
Google My Business puts business data on Search, Maps and Google+. Because of this, customers can easily find a location from desktop, mobile or anything in between. Google customer reviews show up in search and are known to bolster SEO, so they are essential to the credibility of all businesses.
Google is the king of web traffic
Did you know that Google’s search engine performs over 3.5 billion searches per day (internetlivestats.com)? Businesses should aim to be on Google’s snack pack in order to be readily found when consumers perform a local search.
Users can leave reviews for a business easily and simply. The less friction involved in the business review process, the easier it is to get more reviews. Getting reviews through a business’s Google My Business account is a great place to start.
How to get more customer reviews on Google
Step 1. Send out review requests. Available tools such as Customer Voice can help to simplify this process. Gather reviews from real customers quickly and easily.
Step 2. Link your Google review page to the business website. Much like attaching social pages to a website through their logos, you can also create this shortcut to the Google reviews page.
Step 3. Create a Google review landing page on the business website. This will also be helpful for SEO purposes as the reviews will have keywords. Having reviews pulled directly onto the business site should encourage other site visitors to leave reviews.
Step 4. Create a Google review CTA banner or button. This should live on the homepage of the business website where most traffic will land. Make it as convenient as possible.
2. Amazon reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 85.44 million
US ranking (Alexa): 3
Business reviews for: e-commerce related transactions
Amazon is a powerhouse. Therefore, it is no surprise that it is a popular go-to business review site for e-commerce products. If you don’t use Amazon, you probably know someone that has used Amazon (or uses Amazon faithfully).
In fact, Amazon has been training consumers to use their review system for a long time now. Therefore, we should probably thank them for helping train a mass of consumers to start leaving them and making it as part of an online consumer etiquette, if you will.
Amazon is much more than book reviews
We may think of Amazon as a virtual library, but Amazon is for much more than book reviews. For companies who do any amount of e-commerce, Amazon is a key source of information. While Amazon as a business review website is more targeted and fitting for Amazon marketplace partners, it is a worthy site to note, especially for retailers about what customers like about certain products and how the service aspect of transactions were handled.
Did you know that business reviews have been a part of Amazon’s websites for over 20 years?
Another fun fact: Amazon’s business review system was improved in 2015 to start weighing reviews so they are more up-to-date and helpful (cnet).
How to get more customer reviews on Amazon
Step 1. Set up automated emails to be sent post purchase. These can either be to thank the customer for their purchase, ask for feedback, or drive traffic to social channels. Make sure a link is included in the email to direct customers toward the review section.
Step 2. Use social channels to request Amazon reviews. Consumers following a business on social media have likely purchased from the business before or will have a positive opinion of the business.
Step 3. Ask for reviews from users who reviewed similar products. Similar to an online shopping experience, you can see ‘customers who bought this item also bought,’ as well as customers who view items. These are visible from the businesses product page.
3. Facebook reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 85.57 million
US ranking (Alexa): 3
Business reviews for: any business
Facebook is a social networking platform where users can create profiles, upload photos and videos, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and follow their favorite businesses and brands. Companies can create business profiles that users can follow and also leave business reviews based on their experience with the company.
Customers now commonly leave reviews on social media
Consumers increasingly interact with brands through social channels, and there is no social platform more prevalent than Facebook. It follows, then, that the business reviews on Facebook are seen and shared by many potential customers. Businesses should take note of the big wins and big mistakes that a business can experience when opening themselves up to social media.
But again, please note that consumers are talking about a business whether that business is aware of it or not (and whether businesses have claimed their business profile or not). With that being said, it is pertinent that businesses are actively monitoring their social media mentions at all times.
Facebook is becoming a popular review resource
Due to the sheer size of the user base of Facebook, it is gaining momentum towards being one of the most popular business review sites. Since most users on the site already have a Facebook account, the process to leave a business review is relatively friction-less.
Consequently, this reduction in friction gives Facebook an advantage over other business review websites where users must create unique logins or log in to the site each time (compared to those consumers that are already living and breathing in Facebook).
How to get more customer reviews on Facebook
Step 1. Manage all reviews with responses. Negative reviews are as easily managed as positive reviews as long as you stay on top of them. Set up notifications for reviews so that none get missed and potential customers will see that the business cares about the customer experience. This will encourage more people to leave reviews.
Step 2. Ask customers to ‘check-in’ to the business on Facebook. This will help to boost the businesses Facebook presence as the action of checking-in automatically shares a post with that customers’ followers. The business name and link to its Facebook page will show up in that post. More positive actions on social media lead to greater potential for reviews.
Step 3. Add a CTA button to the business website. Create a button specifically for customers to leave reviews and have it placed on the main page of the business website. Try to uncomplicate the act of leaving reviews and chances of customers leaving a review will increase.
4. Yelp reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 40.47 million
US ranking (Alexa): 64
Business reviews for: any business
Yelp is a platform (review website and app) where users can publish reviews about local businesses. Also, Yelp trains small businesses how to respond to business reviews, host social events for Yelpers (a.k.a. Yelp reviewers) and provides data about businesses including health inspection scores (Yelp.com).
Reputation management is essential on review sites
Yelp has become a name synonymous with business reviews, as the site has over 102 million reviews and counting. As the world’s largest outlet for online customer reviews grows, it might be time for all small businesses to start caring about what consumers are saying online; and more specifically, about their Yelp reviews.
Consumers aren’t going to give a small business any attention if all they see is negativity surrounding their Yelp customer review page.
Yelp has a distinct reviewer culture of “yelpers”
Consumers who review businesses and leave business reviews on Yelp have become known widely as “yelpers.” Yelpers leave business reviews to help others in the community make purchasing decisions and it’s important for your local business clients to keep an eye on them.
Business review sites such as Yelp, point to the growing importance of review monitoring to manage a business’s online reputation. In summation, if we haven’t won you over on Yelp yet, maybe these hilarious Yelp reviews will.
How to get more customer reviews on Yelp
Step 1. Buy or craft Yelp reviews. This review generation tactic doesn’t have to be as dirty as it sounds. You can buy reviews from actual customers by providing incentive for them to leave a review. This could include discounts, freebies, or whatever the business is willing to trade for reviews. This request will have to be done on the website or through social media as Yelp will penalize businesses that ask on their platform.
Step 2. Display reviews on the business website. ReviewTrackers recommends using widgets that can display reviews directly on a website such as Yelp badges. These should update automatically as new reviews are posted on Yelp.
Step 3. Encourage customers to check-in on Yelp. Similar to Facebook this tactic shares a businesses Yelp page with other users. It also rewards the customer who ‘checked-in’ with a special offer from that business.
5. TripAdvisor reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 28.27 million
US ranking (Alexa): 118
Business reviews for: any business
TripAdvisor is an travel website company where users can leave business reviews of places they’ve visited. Users can also book rooms, find flights, discover to do and reserve tables at participating restaurants. TripAdvisor operates websites internationally in over 25 countries.
King of the niche: travel directories and travel related reviews
Another fun fact: business review volume occurs the highest in the travel vertical.
Apparently vacation stories must also travel the gap between online and in person. Well, if a person really wants, at least they can avoid the vacation slide shows online. 😉
How to get more customer reviews on TripAdvisor
Step 1. Ask guests to leave a review at the end of their trip. This is a no brainer, but it might not always happen. Ensure staff are on top of this since customers are more likely to leave a review when asked to do so. If not in person then through automated emails like discussed in the Amazon section.
Step 2. Personalize your thank you message. In the post-experience email sent to customers, ensure it’s personalized and includes links back to the TripAdvisor page.
Step 3. Make it easy to write a review. Include leading questions such as ‘what was the most memorable part of your experience,’ or templates that can be lightly personalized for customers who are on-the-go.
6. Better Business Bureau reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 6.15 million
US ranking (Alexa): 647
Business reviews for: any business
The Better Business Bureau aims to help people find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust (bbb.org).
The BBB is built on trust
Based on a business rating review system, BBB educates consumers and assists people in finding trusted businesses. The Better Business Bureau tries to protect consumers from fraudulent business or scammers.
Company profiles on BBB contain a short company bio and a history of complaints made about the business, as well as an A – F rating.
How to get more customer reviews on Better Business Bureau
Step 1. Use the Customer Review Generator. BBB has a tool that accredited businesses can use that sends review requests either via text message or email. All that needs to be collected from customers is their contact info and sending a text adds another level of convenience.
Step 2. Take advantage of BBB’s customer review toolkit. This includes a customizable ‘leave a review’ button for the businesses website to drive traffic to the BBB review site. Sample social media posts, newsletter and blog templates, and email signatures are all included as well.
Step 3. Share positive reviews. Spread the word of positivity with the businesses social media followers and post them on the businesses website. There’s no reason to keep a great review in one place only.
7. Yellowpages reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 10.5 million
US ranking (Alexa): 694
Business reviews for: any business
YellowPages is an online internet yellow pages directory owned by YP. YP is a local marketing solutions provider that focuses on helping local businesses (and the communities within) grow.
YP: a IYP directory with large traffic volume and review capabilities
Yellowpages has business review capabilities. Companies can manage their reviews on the review site after claiming a free business listing on their page.
How to get more customer reviews on Yellowpages
Step 1. Follow-up with customers. However the business is able to whether that’s email, social media, or text message, reach out and ask for those reviews.
Step 2. Promote where customers can leave reviews through the business on social media. Inform potential or current customers of which review sites the business uses, and make sure to include a link to the website homepage. This should be where all of the CTA buttons exist to direct people to each review site.
8. Manta reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 6.48 million
US ranking (Alexa): 957
Business reviews for: any business
Manta is an online small business service directory, search engine, and review site that provides small businesses with the information to network.
Manta: a directory with solid traffic volume and review capabilities
The site helps small businesses connect and grow through their community where users can buy from, partner with, and connect to companies.
How to get more customer reviews on Manta
Step 1. Run an email campaign. Keep it simple, HubSpot found with a/b testing that a short and sweet ask performed best. Another option is to offer a chance to win something for the business such as discounts.
Step 2. Ask satisfied customers to review the business at the end of a short survey. Send out a survey to check in with customers and include a section at the end that asks for a positive review.
9. Angie reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 5.44 million
US ranking (Alexa): 1,755
Business reviews for: service-related businesses
Angie is a service listing and review website that offers user-based rankings and reviews of service professionals in local areas.
Angie reviews are from members
Because Angie is a paid review site, it is known to be less filled with rambling reviews from customers and spam. Members grade companies using a report card scale from A-F on price, quality, responsiveness, punctuality, and professionalism.
Angie is divided into categories such as house, auto, health, pets, and services.
How to get more customer reviews on Angie
Step 1. Pay for ‘verified neighbor’ reviews. Angie (formerly Angie’s List) only allows members to post reviews on this site through the system mentioned above. Businesses can sign up to the platform for free and access their reviews from the business profile page.
Step 2. Show customers how leaving a review can benefit them. Businesses use information from reviews to better their products and services. The more reviews left, the more consumer information that business will have to build from.
10. Foursquare reviews
Average monthly US traffic (Alexa): 3.67 million
US ranking (Alexa): 2,418
Business reviews for: any business, mostly restaurants
Foursquare is a local search and discovery service mobile app. The app helps users discover new places/businesses through other Foursquare business reviews.
Foursquare is a powerful social media review tool
Users can let friends know where they are and find out where their friends are. Users can also collect points, prize badges, and coupons for checking in at places. In any case, with 55 million monthly active users, Foursquare is a powerful force to monitor customer loyalty and feedback.
How to get more customer reviews on Foursquare
Step 1. Use Foursqure’s sister app Swarm. Swarm focuses on check-in’s like Facebook, and sharing with friends in that network.
Step 2. Sign up for an account. The business may already exist on Foursquare because anyone can create a listing. This means there may be reviews and ratings that the business hasn’t even seen.
Why businesses should want customer reviews on review websites
The importance of responding to customers online could not be more important, as reviews are often the first point of contact a potential customer has with a business. Aside from the fact that reviews from customers help other customers decide whether they should visit a business or not, business reviews are now more prevalent on search results pages.
How can businesses get more reviews?
There are a variety of methods a business can employ to ask for more business reviews, including emailing consumers manually, asking consumers to leave reviews with codes and review sites on their receipts, or utilizing review generation software to automate the business review process.
Business reviews can now appear in search results
In Google’s markup—the annotated content that appears in search—of a company or product, business reviews and ratings can now be included in search results. In other words, when a user performs a search on Google, Google will find and possibly display review summaries from online business reviews and consumer ratings. Below is an example of how business reviews now showing up in search results.
Business reviews are here to stay
In conclusion, there’s no getting away from business reviews. Sorry folks. The good news is that there are methods to get more business reviews as well as effectively managing reviews from customers.
Also, businesses needn’t fear about negative online reviews, there are ways to negate the effect of negative reviews (see what we did there?)!
The moral of the story: always respond to business reviews, whether they are good or bad
Indeed, the important take away here is that it is important to respond to reviews, good or bad. By and large, it shows that a company cares about their consumers.