For an online business, customer reviews are of utmost importance. Many prospective customers check out review sites before they decide to go through with the purchase-making decision. So, it is imperative that as a business, you spend time tracking these review websites so that you know what your existing customers think and feel about your business and what are things you can change and alter to meet customer expectations. Reviews have a profound effect on your future sales, and hence, it is prudent to monitor and track them.
However, it can be tough to comb through the internet to find the review sites your target audience tends to favor. In fact, it will be next to impossible to determine where in the World Wide Web your well-wishers and naysayers tend to post. You may feel that review sites like Yelp are preferred by your customers. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that customers have no qualms about posting any and everywhere.
While every industry has niche review sites, it is difficult to list down these websites for each industry. However, here is a list of the 20 most popular review websites that your business should be listed on so that you can monitor your online reputation and also figure out what your customers are saying about you in the digital realm. The 20 websites in which being listed should be on your top priority are listed below-
1. Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon has the distinction of being the first online store that allowed customers to post product reviews way back in 1995. It is still one of the main sources for consumers who want to make an informed decision to purchase. Even though people may buy it from another source, they will often check Amazon to read product reviews and to find out what people are saying about the product. So, if you are selling on Amazon, it is time to focus on those gold stars. The more stars you have, the more credible your product and service.
2. Angie’s List
Angie’s List is a US-focused business review website. It is a high-end review site, as users have to pay a membership fee. In lieu, the site rates the businesses on a scale from A to F. No review is anonymous, and rather than raving and ranting, the reviews are well thought out and written. Every business is allowed to respond to the review penned about them. Businesses can set up a page without paying a penny and once that is done, you can encourage your customers to leave reviews. After all, only members are allowed to leave reviews.
As an online business, you may not be bound geographically. So, it is prudent to cover review websites that cater to audiences around the globe. Choice is for customers in Australia. It is member-funded review website and independently tests products and services to write reviews for its members. The site does product comparisons and offers buying guides. It also allows members to discuss products with other members while rating them. So, if you have customers Down Under, Choice is the site you should track with care.
Trustpilot started out as a community-driven review site in Denmark. However, today, this fast-growing online review website caters to consumers in more than 65 countries, including the US. Customers write reviews about products and services as well as companies, and these reviews can be collected by businesses. Since they are posted on a third-party website, it lends more veracity to the reviews. You can opt for a paid version of Trustpilot that will allow you to create customizable invites for reviews to your customers and share customer ratings.
TestFreaks is also based in Scandinavia, like TrustPilot. It is headquartered in Sweden and works to help companies collect customer reviews. What makes TestFreaks unique is its Q&A feature. Here, prospects can post questions to businesses and get responses from them, creating a direct line of communication and engagement.
Which? is an independent consumer review website. It tests products and writes reviews about them. However, unlike other business review sites, Which? writes its own reviews and does not depend on consumers to write them. It also does not accept products from businesses to test and review them, though it does inform businesses when it is testing their products and services.
ConsumerReports is a non-profit organization; it is also an independent organization that tests and rates products. The company has reviewed more than 7.7 million products and does not accept advertising. It pays for all the products it tests, and this means that any review of the site will be unbiased and authentic. Every review comes with review criteria, product overview, buying guide and social sharing buttons. The reviews are in-depth and comprehensive, and aimed at providing consumers with as much information as possible to make an informed purchase decision.
If you operate a travel-related business, you should ensure you keep a close watch on TripAdvisor. It has the distinction of being the largest travel site in the world, and boasts more than 225 million reviews and opinions by travelers. The site offers travel guides, rental listing and advice forums for practically any location in the world. This is the reason my people browse through TripAdvisor before booking their trip. You can create a profile for the site and then encourage your guests to post reviews. Make sure you monitor and respond to the reviews, both negative and positive.
Roadfood is predominantly a US-based restaurant rating website where one can find food reviews for virtually every state across the U.S. However, what makes it different is that instead of generic restaurant reviews found on other restaurants rating sites, on Roadfood, patrons can read about individual dishes and view ratings for each dish. They also include small highway diners, small-town cafes, seaside shacks, casual drive-ins, barbecues, and local bake shops so if your restaurant falls under any of those categories, you know what to do.
Zagat holds the distinction of being one of the first restaurants rating sites and was founded all the way back in 1979. Zagat lets users make use of a numbered rating scale to rate restaurants across four different categories: food, decor, service, and cost. Previously owned by Google, Zagat was recently sold to The Infatuation but still holds its reputation as being one of the most reliable restaurant ratings sites and source for restaurant recommendations.
11. Yahoo! Local
Not to be left behind, Yahoo has their own recommendation and food rating website Yahoo! Local which helps users find local businesses and services online. As a restaurant owner, Yahoo! Local is undoubtedly a smart addition to your online local strategy. Moreover, you can even get started for free and it isn’t difficult to set up and manage a Yahoo! Local account. That being said – Yelp has recently partnered with Yahoo! Local which has meant that all reviews on Yahoo! Local have migrated and been replaced with reviews from Yelp.
You definitely want to track Influenster if you are selling consumer products. This site features news about such products and also carries customer reviews. Influenster is primarily for makeup, beauty, skincare, body and health products. This review site allows visitors to search using brand or product name and it also links to sites where its visitors can purchase these products. You will notice that the reviews on this product review site is quite detailed and come with images. This is the site to monitor if you sell beauty and healthcare products.
13. Better Business Bureau
BBB, or Better Business Bureau, is a non-profit organization that assesses businesses based on pre-specified best practices on how businesses should treat their consumers. The site does not endorse or recommend a business and their services and products. Instead, Better Business Bureau lets consumers know whether a business conforms to its accreditation standards. BBB grants businesses rating ranging from A to F.
If your business is monitoring review sites across the internet, you should also make an effort to track an employee review site – the Glassdoor. It allows prospective employees, consumers and investors to find out what a business really like. The site allows employees to rate their organization on fixed parameters and employers can use these reviews to attract talent and build a brand for employment. The reviews also work to improve internal processes and management.
A lot of people spend a lot of time of Facebook! Yes, it is a fact and they review and rate businesses. Called the Facebook Ratings and Reviews, it is located on the left side of a business’ Facebook page. Any consumer logged on the social networking site can rate or review a business. They just need to go to the review section of the business’ Facebook page and choose a star rating and write a review, which is optional. The review can be made public, visible to friends or visible only to the reviewer.
With businesses using Twitter as a medium to engage prospective customers, it is but natural that this social networking site allows users to post complementary and negative tweets. While the fast-paced nature of the site does not allow reviews to get accumulated, search engines do index the tweets. Hence, these reviews on Twitter will pop up when someone searches for reviews of a business. Therefore, it makes sense to monitor Twitter for mention of your business so that you know what people are saying about you and your business in the World Wide Web.
The good old Yellowpages is still alive and thriving. It not only offers business free listing so that they can be found by their local audience, but it also allows them to manage their reviews. This listing site also doubles up as a business review site and helps local business improve their local marketing efforts, and managing reviews is one of them.
Foursquare has more than 55 million active users, and this demonstrates the popularity of this review website. It allows users to check different businesses using the Foursquare app and also allows them to leave reviews. It is one of the most interesting review sites on the internet as it allows businesses to be discovered by potential customers.
Restaurants often have the short end of the stick as a bad day can spell disaster. If you own a restaurant, you can register on OpenTable and consumers can use the platform make reservations and also review your restaurant. OpenTable provides a rating to restaurants based on the number of reviews and the recommendations that the restaurant receives.
If you are looking to monitor positive and negative reviews about your business, you really need the Expresit app. The app allows businesses to manage their online reputation by ensuring that merely the positive reviews get published. Any negative review is sent directly to the business, so that they can deal with it privately and address the problem without any online glare from other customers.