In this article:
- The big three: Google, Facebook, and Yelp
- Other important review listing sites to focus on
- Which online review platform is THE most important?
- Customer review tips
Online review sites are crucial for developing a good online reputation for your small business. Research shows that claiming your profiles on 3 or more platforms correlates with a whopping 78% increase in revenue compared to businesses who claim none.
You should strive to create as many profiles for your business as you can across several review platforms.
However, there are a few important business profiles that you should spend a little extra time on to make sure you really round out your profile and provide customers with as much information as they need to choose you over your competitors.
Best online review platforms for your business: the big three
Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp are the three review sites have the largest impact on consumers. People trust them and spend a lot of time on each of these platforms. They are important even to sole proprietorships, microbusinesses, contractors, freelancers, and more.
Google My Business
Google My Business is how you get your business to show up on Google. Google dominates more than 90% of the search engine market, so it goes without saying that people are definitely searching for new businesses here.
Google reviews have a large impact on how well you show up in the Google map packs and influence a customer’s decision to pick your business over a competitor’s.
Quick guide: How to claim your Google Business listing
Facebook is huge for brand awareness. With more than 2 billion monthly active users, this social media giant reaches far and wide, even within your own community.
While most users on Facebook aren’t shopping for new products or services, they are spending a lot of time on this channel. Take advantage of that by promoting your brand on Facebook with ads from your business page, and make sure to get good reviews from your customers on Facebook.
Then, when people are in research mode, they’ve already seen your business in ads while scrolling through their feed.
Quick guide: How to create and claim your Facebook business page
Yelp averages 37 million people on its mobile app alone each month, with a total of 100.5 million monthly unique web visitors.
Yelp started out intending to be used by consumers for finding the best local restaurants, but today multiple other industries get plenty of Yelp traffic as well.
Every small business should have a Yelp listing and encourage their customers to leave reviews there. Just be careful about how you get your reviews on Yelp because they do have strict policies about soliciting reviews. The best way is to follow Yelp’s guidelines and encourage customers by posting official “We’re on Yelp” signage throughout your business and on your website.
Quick guide: How to claim your Yelp business listing
Go deeper: Why bad yelp reviews might be a good thing
Other top review platforms you should add your business to
While Google, Facebook, and Yelp are by far the largest online review platforms to focus on, there are several others that still pose valuable opportunities for your business.
Bing is the default search engine for Microsoft Edge, which is the default browser for Windows operating systems. What that means is that a lot of people are still using Bing when they do their online searching.
Be sure that your business is available to those customers by claiming your business profile on Bing and keeping it updated and accurate. Keep current on your holiday hours, photos, and information like you would for your Google listing.
Quick guide: How to create and claim your Bing business listing
OpenTable is an absolute must if you run a restaurant, cafe, coffee shop, bar, lounge, sandwich shop, or anywhere else that serves food or drink. Follow our step-by-step guide to list your business on OpenTable.
BBB (Better Business Bureau)
Getting your business listed with the BBB is important for your online reputation. When customers are getting serious about doing business with you, they’ll often research your company to make sure that they can trust you.
The BBB is one such site that consumers look to when trying to determine how well a business can be trusted, whether they have questionable business practices, or if they’re well-liked by customers.
Quick guide: How to get your business listed with the BBB
When people are traveling and looking for the best hotels, entertainment, and food options, they often look to TripAdvisor. So, if you fit into any of those categories (and more), this directory should definitely be on your list. Or more correctly, your business should definitely be on their list.
Quick guide: How to claim your business listing on TripAdvisor
Manta is an important directory website to get your business listed on for two reasons:
- It gets a lot of traffic from users who trust it
- Manta provides a powerful and free tool to help you check the consistency of your citations across the web
List your small business on Manta to take advantage of these features and improve your online presence even further.
Foursquare is a popular online directory where consumers share the things they love about their favorite businesses. Users provide tips about business they’ve been to and can get badges for engaging with businesses on this platform.
Foursquare attempts to make the online review process a fun and interactive game for its users, which entices them to come back and rate other businesses—like yours!
So which online review platform is the most important?
While you should definitely claim and optimize your business profiles on all of these sites (if relevant to your industry), starting with “the big three,” data shows that reviews on Google impact revenue far more than other review sites. If you had to pick only one review platform to focus on, it should be Google My Business.
Important customer review tips to remember
Be sure to really round out each of the profiles that we’ve mentioned by including high-quality photos of your business and products (if applicable), updating your hours regularly, and engaging with your customers on these review platforms.
Once you have claimed each of your online business review profiles and start implementing your review strategy, here are a few important tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t stop reminding your customers that you appreciate online feedback/reviews. You can’t just ask a few customers one time to leave you a review online. You need some kind of system to continually grow your review count and build a steady supply of fresh reviews on your business profiles.
- Respond to every customer review. Engagement with your customer reviews is important. It shows them that you saw what they said and acknowledged it, whether the review was good or bad. This also shows potential customers that you are involved and want to provide a great experience.
- Make it easy for your customers to leave you a review. Asking a customer to leave you an online review is an awesome first step, but if you leave it at that, you won’t get many new reviews. You should find a way to guide your customers directly to your review platform so they don’t need to try to find it on their own.
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