Leveraging Review Sites for Your Business

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More and more customers are turning to review sites to talk about their experiences as well as read other customer comments about products and services. In fact, a comScore survey of more than 2,000 internet users revealed that consumers were willing to pay at least 20 percent more for products and services receiving “excellent” ratings than those that received “good” ratings.

Some popular reviews sites are:

Social media sites can also be considered a type of review site. While they allow for more dynamic conversation, customers will often seek out social media pages to voice opinions and talk about an experience. It is especially important to have accounts on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Google+
  • Foursquare

Setting Up Review Sites

Setting up a review site is simple. Just answer a few questions about your business, add an address and contact information, a picture and a link to your website is about all you need to do. Most review sites are free and allow you to make changes as you go.

The Small Businesses Marketing Benefit: Credibility

Review sites are largely customer-driven and controlled. However it doesn’t necessary mean a small business marketing plan shouldn’t include them.

89% of consumers turn to Google, Bing and other search engines to research businesses before making a purchase. These search results will show not only your business website but also any review site listings. Ensuring that review sites display on search engine result pages is an instant credibility factor. It means you have an online presence and you are accessible (and you are a real business!).

It also gives prospects the peace of mind knowing what others have experienced. People trust these reviews more than the marketing messages you broadcast.

Trust and Bad Reviews

Every business has had bad reviews, deserved or not. Even if you have excellent products, you need to have a plan to monitor and respond to inquiries and possibly bad reviews.

In today’s tech-savvy world, customers will quickly voice their displeasure online and the key is to respond to these bad reviews quickly and honestly. When you receive a bad review, keep in mind that no matter how you respond, it is visible to anyone who might come across the review. This can work to your benefit when it comes to positive reviews as well.

Small Business Marketing Benefit: SEO

Review sites do have SEO benefits, particularly when it comes to local organic results. Local review sites like Google+ and Yahoo Local can help your business show up higher in search results, especially when a prospect searches for a specific city or community.

This is especially helpful with mobile searches. Most smart phones and apps automatically search within range of the actual phone, so having an account on a local review site can help your business show up first.

Learning and Insight

Not only do review sites help you understand what your customers are saying about you, it helps you glean a tremendous amount of data from review sites. Instead of spending money on consulting companies and focus groups, review sites allow you to analyze trends among certain store locations, products, and employees (and so on).

Small Business Marketing: The Impact

Constant monitoring of your review sites allows you to interact directly with your customers while managing your company’s reputation. When done properly, you can bring in new business and repeat customers for absolutely no cost. Take control of what is being said about you and highlight your quality products and services.

Tell me about your review site experiences below!

34 comments on “Leveraging Review Sites for Your Business

  1. I definitely check review sites if I am looking for a major purchase. I should probably check more often. Thanks for the information. As always very thorough.

  2. I don’t trust reviews out there that I read everyday. Especially I don’t trust Yelp. We have 12 reviews on there for our company. And they have filtered 11 of them so you can’t read them and only keep 1 negative one up there. Obviously they want you to pay them money to advertise with them. That is not a good way to do business!!!

    • Oh… I did not realize this. Thank you for reading, Kelly. Hopefully you can get reviews on other sites that don’t require advertising.

  3. When I’m buying something online I like to view some of the reviews, but it is not what makes or break a deal for me.Yelp when it comes to restaurant can be good or bad.because, just because someone loved the food at one place, doesn’t necessarily means you will like the food yourself.

  4. Thank you for the pertinent info!Review sites can be fabulous, but some can be detrimental to businesses if people are not honest and let’s face it we all have bad days…I really do not like yelp, but I do use them to see what restaurants encompass the local areas…you can usually tell when there are reviews with pissed off people that are most likely unhappy anywhere they go..

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