They are popping up everywhere; online review sites like Yelp, Angies List and Merchant Circle. They allow consumers to go online and write reviews of your business. Many are glowing appraisals of a customer’s experience while others are opportunities to damage the reputation of poor performing businesses. Some business owners even write positive reviews of themselves and post destructive reviews of their competition.
Not a big deal, you say? After all, nobody really reads those things, right? Not so fast, Google thinks so highly of online reviews that it often ranks them on the first page of its search results. It is very common for a consumer to search for businesses in your industry to have a Yelp or Insider Pages listing rank along side your website. If that Yelp listing leads them to a negative review of your business, you will quite likely have lost a new customer.
For consumers, writing a negative review about a local business with really poor service is both therapeutic and redemption. We love review sites because they give us power to influence others, holding businesses more accountable to the consumer.
Make no mistake, review sites are here to stay, and growing in popularity. If you are not actively monitoring your listings in at least the top ten sites, you can be walking away from a lot of potential business. But here’s the great part, review sites give you a great and real opportunity to market your business. When a review shows up in local search results, you become more visible to the consumer so make sure you have a full profile with plenty of information, pictures and a link to your website.
Customer Testimonials are Here to Stay
Review sites are here to stay, and growing in popularity. If you are not actively monitoring your listings in at least the top ten sites, you can be walking away from a lot of potential business.
Google Maps, Yahoo Local and Bing Local rely heavily on third party reviews in their local maps listings. Unlike Yahoo Local, however, Google Maps does not look so much at the amount of reviews you have, but the relevancy of the review itself. In other words, Google will actually crawl the review, looking for primary and secondary keywords that relate to your business.