5 Review Sites that Could Make or Break Your Business
Review sites, many of which are online directories, can make or break your local business. See which 5 are the most important in many niches.
The important review sites for your niche may vary some but Google My Business/Google+, Facebook, Yelp and your business website will always be important.
You may also find that there are local directories that are just as important as the ones listed below for your niche. This is especially true for doctors and dentists.
Manta is the source for the article shown below. You can read it here.
Managing your online reputation on these crucial review websites can build trust with customers and earn you more business.
With so many customer review sites on the internet, it can be hard for business owners to know which to devote time and attention to. This list is designed to keep busy small business owners up-to-speed on the review sites that matter—and offers tips on using customer reviews to your company’s advantage.
“Review sites vary from product review sites to service review sites to overall business review sites,” said Jeff White, a small business marketer and cofounder of the website SmartBusinessHacks.com.
White’s advice is to focus on two or more popular sites that are most relevant to your customers. Building up strong reviews on at least two different review sites will help your company establish a positive reputation.
“Many consumers who care about reviews will look for reviews on more than one site,” said White. Having positive reviews on a site like the Better Business Bureau but terrible reviews on Google “could confuse customers and drive them away.”
Here are the top five online review sites small business owners should be using to establish a strong reputation and build trust with potential customers:
“Google reviews are crucial because they show in the search engine results page for branded searches and are potentially your first impression on a customer,” said Anthony Kane, a senior search engine optimization strategist for 1SEO, a Pennsylvania-based digital marketing agency.
This video explains how to manage customer reviews on Google:
“Customer reviews are essential to my business because, they allow new clients to figure out how (our company works) before they sign up for a service,” said AJ Saleem, academic director for tutoring company Suprex Tutors in Houston.
When Saleem surveyed his clients, he found that approximately 70% visited review sites when looking for a tutoring company. Yelp, along with Google, was a primary site that customers used to make the decision to purchase from his business.
“As a platform that has survived the test of time, it is safe to say that Yelp has a loyal user-base,” Kane said. “Additionally, Yelp reviews are pulled into Apple Maps, so it is definitely not a platform you want to skip.”
This video explains how to respond to reviews, especially negative posts, on sites like Yelp:
Remember the golden rule of online review sites: Pay attention to the popular sites your customers use. For this reason, you should have a strong company page on Facebook where customers can share feedback and make inquiries about your business. If you’re not sure which review site to start using, start with Facebook.
“Everyone is on Facebook,” advised Kane. “Having just passed 2 billion monthly users, not having reviews for your company on Facebook can be crippling.”
Monitor your Facebook page regularly, and respond quickly to every customer review—good or bad. Interact with customers on your Facebook page just as you would in person or over the phone. In the case of Facebook reviews, however, your customer interaction doubles as a display of your customer service skills to anyone who visits your page to learn more about your products or services.
Better Business Bureau
“Having a BBB accreditation is always something that inspires consumers to see you as a trustworthy company,” said Jesse Reynolds, search coordinator for Efferent Media, a New York-based digital marketing firm.
The first step to getting your company listed in your region’s BBB directory is to apply for BBB accreditation. The process for listing your company on the BBB website is more extensive than using simple review sites like Google or Yelp, but the bureau’s standards impart instant credibility on your business. In short, the BBB is the gold standard in customer review sites.
“Make sure to get BBB web banners to display on your website showing your validity,” said Reynolds. She cautioned small business owners to remember that, with the BBB, there’s no shortcut to a positive online reputation. Good customer service and high quality standards must be part of your company’s DNA to earn positive BBB ratings. “There is a risk to utilizing BBB if you have unhappy customers. They can cause damage for your listing.”
Your Own Business Website
Don’t forget, if your small business has a website, you can add a widget that collects online reviews, or you can seek testimonials from customers and post them strategically on your landing pages.
“These are less apparent during Google and Bing searches, but can be very prominent when a customer visits your website,” said Madeleine Park, marketing coordinator for MaidPro, a franchise housecleaning service with more than 250 locations across North America.
Pair the reviews on your website with your reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and the Better Business Bureau, and you’ll leave a good impression on potential customers.
“People want a product and service they can trust. Who better to build that trust than the customers themselves,” said Park. “Reviews are no longer just an added bonus for businesses, they have become the description of the business for potential new customers.”
This article gives you a lot of the same information that I’ve been putting in my articles but it’s presented in a different way.
Since 92% of all consumers read online reviews and 97% of 18-34 old consumers base their buying decision on the 6-10 online reviews that they read, can you afford to ignore online directories that are important to your niche?
It’s also worth remembering that online reviews are now trusted as much is personal recommendations from friends and family.
One Yelp study showed that a ½ star increase in the Yelp rating for a California restaurant increased their revenue by 19%.
Every business in every niche will see a difference in how much or how little business they get by improving their online reputation but almost every business will see an improvement.
Some of my customers and the customers of Associates that are in health and wellness industries are seen as much as 80% of all new patients coming as a result of their five-star online reputation.
The one thing that can be guaranteed is that having an online reputation that isn’t as good as your local competitors will cost you business.
Visit http://yourreputationexposed.com to see what your current online reputation looks like on multiple directories.
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