Web Marketing: 5 Consumer Review Sites That Can Impact Your Bottom Line

shutterstock_245018854Thanks to sites like Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List, local businesses often find themselves at the mercy of online reviews. Because people rely on the opinions of others, reviews have the potential to help or hurt your business, depending on the review.

But you’re not helpless. Many rating and review sites allow companies to “claim” their business listing. This enables you to include a link to your small business website, respond to reviews, interact with customers, and increase your visibility on the Internet, since these sites are indexed in search engine results pages (SERPs). As part of Coastal Web Design’s website design services, we claim your listings on multiple directory and review websites, to make sure that your online information is accurate, and enable you to respond to customers.

Here is a list of some popular rating and review sites, along with a description of the type of business to which they apply. Click on the link for each review site to see the steps involved in claiming your listing. Most sites offer a basic business listing for free.

Yelp

Yelp is a directory that helps consumers find local businesses. Users can filter search results based on the highest rating or most reviews. The site covers a wide range of business types, from art supply stores to web design companies.

Claiming your Yelp business listing allows you to respond to reviews, send private messages to customers by email, and track new customers and user views. You can also advertise on the site, to further increase visibility.

Google My Business

Google My Business — formerly known as Google Places — is where you go to ensure your business can be found on Google Search, Maps, and Google+.

Angie’s List

Service and healthcare companies may want to join Angie’s List, a site that provides reviews of local service providers, such as roofers, plumbers, mechanics, SEO companies, doctors, and dentists.

Yahoo! Local Listings

Like Google+ Local reviews, Yahoo! Local reviews let users post reviews of businesses with a 5-star rating system.

According to The Marketing Zen GroupYahoo! still receives about 13.5% of search engine share. So while you might not want to invest time figuring out the intricacies of Yahoo!’s algorithm, obtaining some favorable reviews on the Yahoo! Local Listings couldn’t hurt.

Insider Pages

Another local, user-generated review site, Insider Pages, lets people share reviews of local businesses for free. They’ve been at it since 2004, so they’ve accumulated millions of viewers over the years — plus their results get indexed in the SERPs. What that means is even if your target audience isn’t using Insider Pages to find and compare businesses, they may still stumble upon an Insider Pages review in the SERPs. Their reviews also work off of a 5-star rating system.

Now obviously, there are many more local directory sites and review sites. These are just a few.

If you need a new small business website or website updates, Coastal Web Services is a website design company serving the Baltimore, Maryland area. Call us at 410-420-9390.