Gone are the days when customers reviewed their favorite businesses on just one or two review sites. Now, there are specialized sites where they can leave their reviews for almost any industry!
No matter the industry you’re in, it’s worthwhile to claim relevant profiles across review sites and make them start advertising for you. It’s true that having more profiles on review sites means you’re opening the door to negative as well as positive feedback, but the benefits outweigh the risks.
Top 3 Benefits of Seeking Reviews on Multiple Review Sites
- Stronger Brand Awareness
Claiming business profiles across relevant review sites gives your company a better chance to be seen by potential customers. Just like on social media, you can update your profiles regularly with new photos, descriptions and even discounts to increase knowledge of your company and bring in more customers. After reading a positive review, 54% of customers visit that company’s website!
- Increased Credibility
62% of customers believe they’ve seen a fake review in the past year, naming Amazon, Google and Facebook as the top culprits. Having a variety of reviews across diverse websites will help potential customers view your brand as more credible – especially if you have lots of 5-star ratings and consistently reply to reviews on all of these sites.
- Gaining Customer Feedback
At the end of the day, hearing what customers really want is the whole purpose of seeking reviews! Ensuring customers have as many outlets as possible to share their feedback is essential. Incentivizing customers to share reviews directly with you (often for you to share on your website) is great, but it’s even better when customers can share their reviews on sites they frequent.
15 Review Sites You Need to Pay Attention To
Whether your company is in the grocery, retail, hospitality, automotive or restaurant industry (or something else), there are at least a few specialized review sites your customers may be taking advantage of.
Knowing which ones to keep an eye on – and where to keep your profile up-to-date – is essential to making your customers or clients feel heard. Below, we highlight some of the top sites across industries and why they’re worthwhile to consider using!
- Google Business Profile
If you want to focus on only one review profile (not recommended!) this is the one to choose. Google’s user base is massive, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity for a potential customer to stumble upon your profile and the reviews left there.
You can update your profile with your hours, website, story and more, ensuring customers understand your brand. A downside is that, because it’s so widely used, there’s a larger chance for fake reviews. Customers have caught onto this, so they may read your Google reviews with a grain of salt.
You can update your profile and reply to reviews straight from Google search or Google Maps. Learn about the value of 5-star Google reviews here.
With more than 2.6 billion active Facebook users, ignoring your Facebook profile is the ultimate missed opportunity. With 19% of all reviews being held on Facebook, it’s likely that most people who want to leave a review will turn to Facebook – and you need to have a branded and updated page there for them.
However, like Google reviews, Facebook reviews are becoming less credible to customers. Only 7% of customers say they’re not at all suspicious of Facebook reviews. Facebook overall is slowly falling out of favor. In 2020, 54% of consumers said they use Facebook to evaluate local businesses, compared to only 48% in 2021.
Simply create a Facebook business page, make sure reviews are enabled and watch them start pouring in! Learn about why you need Facebook reviews (and how to respond) here.
Yelp is a review site that specializes in creating lists of the “best” businesses. For example, here’s a post featuring the top restaurants in Chicago, at least according to the page’s title. To get on top of these lists requires a mixture of getting great reviews, keeping your profile up-to-date, replying to reviews, linking to your Yelp page from your website or other pages and, of course, some good old fashioned keyword optimization.
Having an active Yelp profile is certainly worthwhile. Each month, Yelp helps 90 million people make a decision about a purchase. And according to them, that’s something 97% of consumers do after visiting their site!
To get going, simply verify your free listing! On Yelp, customers can do more than just review you – they can directly message you as well. Similar to a social media profile, Yelp lets you post regular updates about your business, too.
Industry: Hotel, Restaurant, Hospitality
Like Yelp, Tripadvisor creates lists of the top restaurants, hotels and sites in a certain region. To get a higher rating, your business should be regularly getting high-quality reviews – and you should be replying to them.
Tripadvisor has been swept up in a few fake review controversies, which may have lowered it’s credibility slightly, but with 465 million people visiting Tripadvisor each month, it’s not a platform you want to skip out on.
Make sure you verify your free listing to start getting reviews!
- Google Play Store / Apple App Store
Industry: Any that has an app
The Google Play Store, formerly Android Market, is home to millions of apps in addition to books, movies and more. Apple’s App Store offers the same benefits but for IOS users. If your company has an app, these are prime locations where you’ll receive – and be able to respond to – reviews. If your company doesn’t have an app, it may be worth considering whether you should create one.
On the Play Store, star ratings are generated by the amount of recent quality reviews – not by the overall number of reviews over time. In the Play Console, you can view and reply to all of your reviews. Click here to learn how.
On the App Store, individual ratings inform your app’s summary ratings, but when you update your app, you can choose to refresh the reviews. However, this means deleting your past star ratings (not written reviews), which means fewer ratings and potentially fewer downloads. Learn more here.
OpenTable is a service best known for helping people make online reservations to their favorite restaurants. After they’ve honored their reservation, customers are emailed a review request, and can leave one in the app or on the site. Customers also have the option to send restaurants a private note.
Restaurant owners must purchase a monthly plan from OpenTable in order for customers to use it to make reservations. Once subscribed, you can integrate your business’s Google and Facebook accounts and reply to reviews all in one place. Learn how here.
Customers use Grubhub to order food from restaurants for delivery or pick up. To decide what food to order, they’ll often browse the app, making your restaurant’s star rating and reviews incredibly important!
However, only restaurants paying for a premium account have the option to reply to reviews. Grubhub is a free service if you have your own staff to make deliveries, otherwise you’ll need to pay to have Grubhub’s drivers deliver for you. Learn about the payment levels here.
Industry: Hotel, Travel
It’s particularly important to get reviews as a business in the travel industry – 83% of travelers will “usually” or “always” look at reviews before booking a hotel. Although Expedia charges commission on every booking, its 24 million active Expedia Rewards members certainly makes it a worthwhile place to list your hotel, airline or car rental company.
Leaving and replying to reviews on Expedia is straightforward (just login to Expedia partner central), and one benefit the company provides is insights into common themes found in your reviews.
Expedia offers some ideas for how to encourage reviews here and even provides a template to use when replying!
Like Expedia, Hotels.com is a member of Expedia Group, but is more focused on hotels, bed and breakfasts and a small number of commercial lodgings, such as condos. Business owners can reply to reviews via the same website as Expedia.
On Healthgrades, anyone can leave a review of their physicians and healthcare providers. The site boasts a database of more than 3 million healthcare providers across the U.S., and if you’re in the industry, there’s a good chance you’re already in it.
You can’t choose to remove your profile from the website; however, you can claim it as yours and add a photo and details. Updating your profile with a headshot and other information is key to making potential clients familiar with you, but your photo won’t show up on the search page unless you pay for premium. A benefit of premium is, according to Healthgrades, you’ll get an average of 78% more reviews than with the free version. Whether you pay or not, you can still respond to reviews.
So, how do rankings work? Essentially, the site calculates them by analyzing millions of reviews from private and federal sources. Healthcare providers are then rated based on their experience, patient satisfaction and how likely someone is to experience a complication when seeking their service.
Like Healthgrades, RateMDs profiles are added by users and can’t be removed by doctors. In addition to reviews of healthcare providers, RateMDs also allows for reviews of healthcare facilities.
If you’re in healthcare, it’s essential to claim your profile. Receiving lots of good reviews is key on RateMDs, because it influences where you end up when someone searches for a doctor near you.
Although RateMDs uses an algorithm alongside human moderators to scan for fake reviews, some may slip through the cracks. If you receive a review that you can prove to be fake, RateMDs will take it down, but they won’t remove reviews just because you don’t like them. You can, however, reply to your reviews. And with their paid monthly plan, you can choose to hide up to three reviews, in addition to being able to advertise across their site.
The main goal of Cars.com is to connect buyers and sellers. A customer in search of a car will visit the site, decide on the type of car they’re looking for and then use Cars.com’s database to find new and used cars near them.
If you own a car dealership, you want cars on your lot to show up at the top of this search engine. Having great reviews will not only help your cars show up, but help customers ultimately decide to purchase from you. 68% of customers say they rely on reviews to make an informed decision when purchasing a car.
With 14.5 million customers visiting the website each month, it’s worthwhile to spend time asking for and replying to reviews of your dealership on the site. To reply to reviews, you must first make sure you have an account. Fill out this form to get in touch with a representative.
CarFax is most known for providing vehicle history reports to individuals and dealerships about their used cars. They offer free and paid services that inform people of car histories and alerts them to recommended maintenance. Additionally, they allow users to search for and buy used cars.
When you list cars on CarFax, customers will be able to rate and review your dealership, something that will be displayed alongside your listings. To get started, get your dealership listed, list your cars and allow users to track their mileage and oil changes – a great way (in addition to reviews) to build trust with customers.
On Apartments.com, apartment residents have the option to leave reviews of any property with more than four units. If you own a rental property, you can list it on the site for free.
Average ratings on rental properties are determined by stars left by reviewers as well as by property features, such as building design, construction and amenities. Getting great reviews – and replying to them – is essential to encouraging potential renters to consider your property. In a survey Apartments.com conducted, 79% of respondents said they consider property reviews highly influential when choosing which property to rent. Click here for ideas for how to respond to the reviews you receive on Apartments.com.
Branchspot’s directory is full of thousands of banks and credit unions across the United States, and provides users with info ranging from your bank’s hours to whether you’re FDIC/NCUA insured.
Reviewers can rate your financial institution as a whole, and your individual branches – meaning there’s more than one place your customers can talk about and read about you. This feature helps your bank identify areas of weakness at different branches. Plus, it’s easy to check out what your competition is up to.
Too Many Review Sites to Manage?
No matter their industry focus, all 15 of these top review sites share one thing in common: a need for review response management. Every business can benefit from the brand awareness and credibility brought by a communicative business owner, but not every business owner has the time to reply to all the reviews flowing in across the internet.