Let's talk about all things review sites.
Your online reputation can make or break your business. Your customers can be your biggest advocates - or your most powerful detractors.
For people to trust your business, being present on a review site is essential, but why? It's estimated that 70% of people will search a business online if it’s unknown to them, before making a purchase.
Let’s look at some options...
Google is the top player here. If someone is searching for your business online, it’s likely that they will use Google. Not only does the results page display the business information you have uploaded, such as location and opening hours, but it also displays any customer reviews.
A key feature of reviews through Google is the preview shown when your business is ‘Googled’. Usually, your average star rating, along with snippets of reviews are visible on the right-hand side of the search results page. This is important as if it's the first time a prospective customer is interacting with your business, one of the first things they will see is what other people have said about your products or services.
Remember to set up a Google My Business Account in order to respond to reviews. Responding to reviews whether you’re apologising for an issue in a negative review, or thanking someone for positive feedback, is a great way to reassure customers that there are real and responsive staff working for the business. With this knowledge, they are more likely to make a purchase as they will feel confident that if they have an issue, it will be resolved.
Another major review site is Trustpilot, with over 70 million people having left feedback. Consumers rely on Trustpilot as it is renowned for its management of fake reviews. It is commonly seen as the most genuine of the review sites, so a strong rating on Trustpilot holds a lot of kudos.
Wondering 'can I not trust some review sites?', unfortunately, it can be a common occurrence for disgruntled competitors to try and tarnish a business’s reputation by leaving a false, negative review. On other sites, these can be notoriously hard to remove, which can be disheartening given the impact this could have on your business. It is also difficult for businesses to try to falsely boost their own reputation on Trustpilot, as it uses a system that can detect if reviews are being left from the same IP address, for example, all from the same office.
Trustpilot offers a fair, impartial service – ensuring your true customer’s voices can be heard. They also offer plenty of features and widgets that allow you to share your glowing reputation with prospective customers.
Nowadays, it is uncommon to meet anyone without a Facebook account. This is true for people all over the world, of all ages and demographics – displaying the potential Facebook has for your business. Over 34 million people in the UK use the social media giant, and for small businesses, Facebook works differently from other review sites.
The platform allows for a unique dialogue between a business and its customers in a way other review sites don’t. As well as simply responding to reviews from your Facebook business page, you can engage with customers more organically and on a more regular basis.
It also has a ‘recommendation’ feature which allows users to ask their friends for suggestions in their area, whether they’re looking for the best place to get their nails done or seeking a reliable decorator to spruce up their house, business pages can be recommended this way.
This means building up a loyal customer following through Facebook could have a knock-on effect on it being recommended using this feature.
Yelp is one of the biggest customer review websites around, with an average of 170 million users per month leaving 148 million reviews.
Listing on Yelp has also been known to help businesses perform better in natural search rankings, making it easier for people to find you.
As with Google, you’ll need to have a registered account in order to interact with your customers' comments.
It’s a common misconception that TripAdvisor is a site solely for restaurants. This would be a mistake for any small business providing hospitality, entertainment or other customer experiences. If your business falls into one of these categories, your TripAdvisor listing needs to be a top priority.
270 users post to TripAdvisor every minute, and for many tourists and travellers, it has become the go-to site to check for all aspects of their visit to a new place.
A review of review sites, makes sense now, right?
Don't be disheartened if you receive negative feedback online - unsurprisingly the best way to deal with it is actually deal with it! And using these review sites to manage your customers' feedback, good or bad, is the best place to do it.
What are you waiting for? Go and get live on these sites.
If you're going to procrastinate, the only thing we'll let you do is to check out our other blog posts below (hehe).