What Are The Most Important Review Sites? Start With These Three

July 31st, 2018 by Cory Agular

In order to remain competitive in the local search space, it is essential to encourage your customers to provide feedback about your business. Reviews and interaction with your digital properties help search engines and users learn more about your business; in today’s environment, if you are neglecting these properties, then there is a chance you are missing conversion opportunities as well as losing ground to your competitors. With the volume of digital properties out there, it is important to prioritize their management in order to expose your business to the largest amount of potential customers without spending all day managing review profiles.

What Are The Most Important Review Sites?

While there are endless options out there, these are the most important review sites:

1. Google My Business

2. Facebook 

3. Yelp 

This should not be a huge surprise, even to casual internet searchers. These sites dominate a lot of the search space when it comes to search queries about businesses or services. Here are the basic reasons why these are the most important review sites:

1. Traffic

2. Reputation

3. Authenticity

According to Alexa, a widely accepted measure of websites’ ranking metrics, Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp are the first, second, and fourth most visited websites in the United States for Consumer and Business Review websites. Amazon currently holds the third spot, but Amazon is not an option if you are in a service-based industry. All of these sites have millions of unique visits a month, meaning, people are undoubtedly coming to these sites for more information. Since these are free to manage, it would be like passing up an opportunity to have a free billboard on one of the most traveled roads in the country. Furthermore, reviews can now populate on organic search for Facebook, Google, and Yelp, so users may or may not click through to your site based on your review situation.

One of the reasons these sites generate so much traffic is because of their reputation as a reliable source of business information. The amalgamation of traffic, number of reviews, and day-to-day use have made all of these sites integrated into our digital diet. Much like people reflexively would use the Yellow Pages or White Pages in a pre-internet world, people will reflexively use these sites to get more information about a business.

Lastly, people trust these sites because the reviews are user-generated and moderated by a third party rather than the business itself. While it’s good practice to have reviews and testimonials on your main site, the obvious issue there from a user perspective is that you will probably only promote the positive reviews. These sites allow the opportunity for customers to express a range of thoughts or emotions, allowing potential customers to better discern the pros and cons.

So, Why Should I Manage My Reviews?

According to Vendasta, 88 percent of online shoppers utilize reviews to inform their purchase decision. Furthermore, the amount of people who do not research a business online prior to a purchase has decreased from 22 percent to 9 percent. The trends are obvious; more people are looking for your business online and more people are using reviews to make a judgment. Let’s take this even a step further—44 percent of users say they need reviews to be younger than a month old in order for them to consider it relevant. This highlights an important point—it is not enough to just let your reviews aggregate on these sites, you need to engage your audience.

Screenshot of a typical yelp listing - Search Influence

Screenshot of a facebook review listing - Search Influence

One concern is that your business may aggregate a bunch of negative reviews. Without getting into the reasons for these negative reviews, it is important that you engage with customers who have had a negative experience. Other users looking at your business will see you engaging with customers who had a negative experience and see that you are making an effort to provide customer service.

Screenshot of a typical negative business review with a response from an owner - Search Influence

You should also respond to the positive reviews. It is a simple gesture to show that you appreciate their business and that they took time out to engage further with your business online.

Screenshot of a positive business review with a response from the owner - Search Influence

Beyond the simple client facing, customer service reasons, these reviews are increasingly important to search ranking. It follows that Google will appreciate you using their Google My Business platform to gather and respond to reviews. It improves their product while also helping your business get in front of more people. Being active on your listing can have a positive impact on your local search rankings. When users visit Yelp or Facebook, having a robust review profile with engagement from the business could help you stand out in the crowded marketplace. Managing reviews is now a major factor in the realm of local SEO management.

How Do I Get More Reviews?

The simplest way? Just ask! There are numerous ways to interact with your clients and customers, whether it is through an email marketing campaign, adding a request to their receipts or billing, or asking them face-to-face when they are visiting your business. If they are delighted with their service, they may be inclined to help you out by spreading the gospel via Facebook, Yelp, and Google.

Since running a business is time-consuming on its own, it is important to dedicate some time each week to ensure your digital presence is working for you. By auditing your review situation on Google, Yelp, and Facebook, you will be ensuring that you are monitoring three of the four most visited platforms in the United States among consumer and business review sites. Just a little effort in this area could lead to a surprising amount of new business for your location with the only expense being a bit of your time.

If you need help getting your online reputation management off the ground, our team at Search Influence can streamline your local SEO strategy to better fit your business goals. Because we are dedicated to the needs of small and mid-sized local businesses, we offer pricing transparency. Request your marketing analysis today to get started.

Images:

Thumbs Up