Hopefully by now you know how important it is to not only have local reviews posted for your business, but to incorporate those reviews into your overall marketing and advertising plan.
According to WordStream, “79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, 85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses, and 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more.”
It’s no wonder Google and Yelp is so important to a business’s online success. Unfortunately, many companies stop there.
Believe it or not, there are actually many different online platforms and avenues you can take to get reviews for your business that will still add value, so it’s important you direct your consumers to write those stellar reviews in more places than just the top two.
This will help give your business extra visibility, help give another audience more opportunity to review your business, and give you more ammunition to work with overall when published reviews in your marketing materials.
Below is a list of great alternatives to Google and Yelp to get you started:
Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Customer Reviews is arguably just as popular as Google and Yelp, but it has to be mentioned.
Amazon is a very popular site for consumers looking for reviews on a product they intend to purchase, and in fact a lot of people go to Amazon specifically for reviews even if they plan on buying the product somewhere else. Amazon has such a wide range of products for sale that there is almost always a review (or several) for the product you’re searching.
Amazon rates it’s products using a 5-star scale, and then purchasers are able to write their own reviews underneath. You can also sort those reviews into “most helpful” and “most recent” to narrow down what will most likely be a giant list.
Amazon also has a list of “top reviewers” that you can attempt to elicit to review your products. They have titles like “Top 100 Reviewer” and “Hall of Fame Reviewer” listed next to their names. A review from them could mean big things for your company! You just have to do the work to reel them in.
Consumer Reports has been around since 1936, making it one of the oldest and most trusted sources for product reviews.
Consumer Reports has done a great job of changing with the times; they’re present on Twitter (@consumerreports), YouTube, and various other social media sites, so they have a solid following. Their mission is to reach as many people as possible, and so they understand the value of reaching out to a wide audience using whatever channels necessary.
Consumer Reports is unique in that it’s in-house testing laboratory and survey research center tests and researches all its products before posting reviews.
It’s a non-profit company and doesn’t accept any advertising, so it’s reviews are true and unbiased. According to Wikipedia, approximately 7.3 million people subscribe to Consumer Reports, so if you’re not using it for your business’s reviews you’re missing out on a huge, diverse audience of consumers.
Aabaco Small Business from Yahoo!
Aabaco Small Business from Yahoo! (formerly know as Yahoo! Local Listings) has several good options for business owners looking to increase their client base.
You can create a FREE listing by going to this website. You can also purchase an Enhanced listing for $9.95/mo, or a Localworks listing for $29.99/mo. Visit their homepage for more information on how the various plans relate.
With a Localworks listing you have the ability to reach a network of over 150 million local searches each month. You can list your business over more than 60 websites so that you are able to always control the information that is out there in order to make sure it is correct and factual.
An Enhanced listing gives you more photos, a company tagline, and a detailed business description. Similar to other listings sites, consumers are able to review and comment on your business. As a business owner, you have the option to respond to these comments. This opens the door to either recommend new products or rectify a bad transaction, sending the message that you are in touch with and care about your client base.
Foursquare for Business
Although FourSquare for Business isn’t as important as it was in the past, they still have an incredibly following.
According to their homepage, more than 50 million people use FourSquare for Business for product reviews, and more than 2 million businesses take advantage of the site in order to increase their sales and awareness for their company and products.
FourSquare works for reviews because people are able to leave photos, comments, and reviews for local businesses thus enabling them to have conversations with other locals about the benefits and drawbacks of a particular place. By using FourSquare yourself, you can learn from your target audience and improve your business to better meet their needs, so it’s a win all around.
Facebook Ratings and Reviews
If you didn’t know that Facebook was more than just posting statuses and liking photos, you and your business are missing out! Facebook is one of the most popular places to review and grow businesses. Facebook Ratings and Reviews is a new feature, but it’s rapidly growing in popularity.
Similar to Amazon, Facebook Ratings and Reviews uses a star system for their users to express their like or dislike of a company or product. The more people who review a business, the more likely it is to show up in someone’s Newsfeed; thus increasing brand awareness.
One downfall with Facebook is that your ability to respond to a review is limited based on the consumer’s privacy settings. For example, if their profile is extremely private, most likely you won’t even have access to the review, let alone the ability to respond to it and remedy a situation.
That being said, if reviews become a problem for you, Facebook does offer the option to turn them off but still list your business on their site.
Now that you know some great review alternatives to Google and Yelp, what are you going to use to increase the audience for your business? Have you had any luck with the sites listed above, or do you have any helpful tips for alternative sites? Comment in the section below!
Amanda DiSilvestro is Content Editor at Higher Visibility and a contributor to Search Engine Watch. You can connect with Amanda on Twitter and LinkedIn.