Ratings and Reviews Introduction to Ratings and Review Sites
Ratings and Review sites like Yelp, CitySearch, and TripAdvisor are web-based services that help people find great local businesses. They’re places where people post their opinions and come to discover or research a product or service. So it’s important to have a listing on these sites!
Whether you’ve set up a listing, or a customer has done so for you, chances are your business is already listed on several review sites. We’ll show you how to “claim” your listing to ensure that your information is correct.
It’s important that you listen and respond to what people say about your business on these sites. Positive reviews can drive sales, while negative reviews offer an opportunity to engage. But don’t worry, most reviews are positive, and we’ll show you how to properly handle the negative ones.
What People Say About Your Business Matters
Should you use Ratings and Review Sites?
This data from Yelp shows a breakdown of the types of businesses reviewed there.
How is your industry represented?
Know Your Options: Yelp
Yelp is one of the top ratings and review sites with more than 78 million unique visitors a month. There are over 30 million reviews on Yelp, 80% of them rating a business 3 stars or higher. Every business owner (or manager) can set up a free account to post offers, photos, and message their customers.
If you want to have even greater visibility, Yelp sells ads to local businesses—you'll see these clearly labeled "Yelp Ads" around the site.
Yelp also enables business owners to offer rewards and special deals to Yelp users who “check-in” to local businesses through Yelp’s mobile app. See our section on location-based services, like Foursquare, to learn more.
We’ll use Yelp as an example to show you how to get started and other best practices, but first we’ll give you the lay of the land when it comes to review sites.
Know Your Options: Citysearch
Citysearch is one of the oldest and best known review sites, covering over 75,000 local business across the US. CitySearch enables business owners and managers to claim or create a listing for free. While you can respond to consumer reviews directly through citysearch.com, the company provides premium features and advertising options for paying customers through its parent company CityGrid Media.
Know Your Options: Angie's List
Angie’s List is a growing collection of people’s real-life experiences with local contractors and doctors. More than 1.5 million people nationwide use Angie's List to find reliable professionals in their area. You may register your company for free on Angie's List Company Connect, but only paying Angie's List members can give your company grades. In fact, that’s part of the Angie’s List charm: companies can’t pay to be on Angies’ List. Grades from members control your company's placement on the List. By registering your business, you can read and respond to reviews and find interesting ways to advertise to Angie’s List members.
Know Your Options: TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor is one of the largest travel sites with more than 60 million monthly unique visitors reading and writing reviews each month. If you own or manage a hotel/accommodation, vacation rental, restaurant or attraction, you should claim or create a listing on TripAdvisor. Creating your business account will enable you to update your business details, showcase photos, promote specials and respond to guest reviews. TripAdvisor also offers a wide range of marketing opportunities and content solutions you may want to explore.
Know Your Options: Google Places
Google Places is a service that helps consumers find your business on both Google Search and Google Maps. It’s important that you claim or add your listing to Google to ensure your business information is correct. With your listing, it’s a good idea to add as much as you can to make your business profile stand out from the rest. Add up to 10 photos, and up to five videos (by using the link directly from YouTube).
Google also allows businesses to create coupons that customers can access through your profile—a great way to attract new customers. Google also offers helpful insights so that you learn more about what keywords your customers are searching for, and where they’re coming from. You can learn more by visiting http://www.google.com/places/
Google Places aggregates and displays reviews from other review sites like Yelp and CitySearch, so it's important that you claim your listings across all ratings and review sites.
Embrace These Sites - Don't Fear Them!
- Most reviews are positive. And even if they're not, negative feedback gives you the opportunity to improve right, and potentially delight a disappointed customer.
- People will review your site even if you don't claim your listing. We recommend claiming your listing now and start engaging your audience.
- Chances are, someone has already posted a review of your business online. What are you waiting for? Take a look!
Your online reputation matters. According to The Nielsen Company, 70% of consumers trust the opinions about a brand that others post online.
What You Need To Do
- Claim Your Listings or Create One
- Ensure the Information is Correct
- Monitor Your Listings
- Respond to Reviews When Appropriate
We're going to walk you through these steps using Yelp as an example.
You can find out where you're listed online with http://getlisted.org/. By searching this site for your business, you'll be able to quickly spot sites where you need to claim your business listing.