February 25, 2014
Make sure your business has a listing on the top 3 review sites.
By Maureen McCabe
As a small business owner, you understand that your reputation is a huge contributor to your overall success. Your reputation also extends into the online space, where you likely already have one or two profiles where customers can leave a testimonial.
Google+, Yelp, HomeStars, Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor, Bing Local, LinkedIn…. The number of places where customers can leave online reviews for you seems endless. So which ones should your small business be listed on, and which ones have the greatest impact? Should you choose one review site and ask your customers to leave their feedback there, or take a “shotgun approach” and list your business on any review website you can find? We’ll answer those questions and more in this blog post.
Which Sites are a Must?
There are a few review sites that you must be listed on. The biggest players in this space for Canadian small businesses are Google+, Bing Local, and Yelp. Here’s why:
- G+: Your Google local business listing is the most important and most critical listing for your business to have. Most of your consumers are using Google to search for local businesses, and your listing will show up in search results. Without one, you won’t be there…but your competitors will!
- Bing Places: Like Google, Bing is a popular search engine among users. Similarly, you should have a Bing Local listing to ensure that your business is found in search results.
- YELP for business: As the most popular and most trusted source for online reviews, Yelp listings are increasingly showing up in search results, meaning more customers are reading these reviews.
Your Industry Matters
After ensuring your business is listed on the above 3 review sites, you may choose to create additional listings. Determining the right review websites to list your business on will depend on your industry. For example, if your business is in the travel and tourism industry, you will want to make sure you have a TripAdvisor listing so customers can leave their feedback for other travellers. If your business is related to home repair, design, construction, or renovation, HomeStars is a key website to be listed on. If your business is a restaurant, you should consider UrbanSpoon or DineHere.
Creating Additional Listings
Once you’ve got the basics covered, any other online review sites you choose to list your business on are up to you. Here are some tips for determining which review sites you should be on:
- Where are Your Competitors? If you notice your competition garnering a lot of reviews on a particular review site, you should create a listing for your site as well, since potential like-minded customers could be using that site.
- Local Directories. Many large cities have local business directories where users can access information about the small businesses in their area. You may wish to create a listing on some of these sites — many of them free — in order to be more visible online. Sites like 411.ca, weblocal.ca, and goldpages.ca are all examples of free listings for Canadian businesses.
- Social Profiles. Some social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare have built-in review functionality, and your customers may already be active members of these sites.
Remember, when asking your customers for online reviews and testimonials, keep it easy. Your customers are likely to already have a Google+, LinkedIn, or Yelp profile, so asking them to leave feedback on one of these sites is a good idea — you won’t have to explain the process for signing up and leaving a review. While it’s important that your business is listed on multiple review sites, you should not focus on getting reviews on all these listings at once.
Instead, focus your efforts on obtaining a few good reviews on the top 3 listings. Since Google+, Bing, and Yelp reviews will have the biggest impact on your appearance in search results, it’s wise to spend your time and energy primarily on these sites.
I suggest you check out the other blogs in this series; after all, you wouldn’t want to miss one juicy morsel. Or better yet, subscribe to my blog!
How to Get Great Customer Reviews Online: Creative Strategies
Why Customer Reviews are Important for Small Business Internet Marketing
How Online Reviews Can Impact Your Business
6 Things to Know About Yelp Reviews for Your Business
How to Get LinkedIn Company Page Recommendations
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