I took a look at the top review site options for small businesses, focusing on which will help SMBs derive the greatest impact from customer reviews. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the bottom for the final verdict – learn about the top pick as well as the “good enough” option.
Note: This review post excludes hospitality or travel-related businesses and review options as it’s largely an independent industry.
Platform & Service Overview
This review takes into account several different types of services, but each is a top contender for enabling small businesses to leverage customer reviews within their marketing strategy.
Review Content & Ratings System
It’s important for the reviews themselves to be visible and useful. Review visibility is not equal, including the ability for a business’ ultimate rating to be viewed from Google search (most optimal).
Search & Website SEO Benefits
One of the most important impact customer reviews can have is the SEO juice they provide SMBs. Review content can boost both on-site SEO and search rankings. Most search engines factor a business’ review into their ranking algorithm, and potential customers are more likely to select a business with a higher review rating. When considering the on-site SEO value-provided by website widgets, ensure your website’s source code contains the review text. Read this Inflow post for more information about on-site review SEO.
Third party review sites do not offer equal search optimization value.
According to SEO consultant and SEMrush contributor Jason Barnard:
“If Google trusts the methodology for review collection, and the unbiased nature of the review content, Google’s algorithm will tend to place you higher in the results, as it will be more confident that your company is a good solution for its users. The confidence that Google attributes to the various third-party review platforms must be weighed.”
When considering the SEO value provided by a third-party review platform, small businesses need to consider if the reviews are truly incorporated into their on-site SEO and if Google has confidence in the chosen service.
Advertising or Promoted Post Options
Aside from having a business listing, some review sites allow you to advertise or promote your listing within their platform. You can pay to have your business’ search result (within the platform) appear higher up or appear on competitor’s business listings.
Unique Pros & Offerings
Each of these sites is a major player in the review space, offering its own unique audience and advantages.
Here’s a look at some of the top unique features and differentiators.
Ease of Use + Pricing
It’s important that the review site system, analytics and advertising features are easy to use and understand. Pricing varies between all these options, but here is what you can expect.
Trustpilot gets businesses the most all-around bang for their buck and effort. It’s a one-stop shop for leveraging review content, collecting reviews, driving traffic, increasing conversion rates, providing useful analytics, and improving SEO.
With some guidance and dedication, Trustpilot can easily be leveraged for your review management marketing strategy and a selling tool that touches nearly all corners of the web – search, social, paid digital, as well as your on-site content and SEO.
Yotpo is another Google Review Partner capable of producing quality results. However, there are limitations to Yotpo and you have to pay for an overload of marketing suite features that small business owners are not likely to use.
While the reviews are syndicated and incorporated into Google search rankings, their impact on rankings and Google’s trust in those reviews may be reduced as Yotpo reviews can be rejected or edited by business owners. However, review management through Yotpo is still highly effective and imapctful for SMBs.
Not Included but Noteworthy
Facebook is used by around 68% of all US adults, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your profile here.
Studies show that increasing numbers of people are turning to Facebook to find a business, and it’s a safe bet that your current customers’ check-ins, reviews, or posts about your company will capture traffic, so ensure your profile is up-to-date. One study found that people preferred to leave a review on Facebook over Yelp and Google.
Home Advisor is the biggest competitor to Angie’s List. They specialize in reviewing home services, have large numbers of monthly visitors, and offer good advertising packages.
Aside from Google, the Yellow Pages probably has the largest directory of businesses in the world, covering millions of companies and nearly every industry. It’s a recognized brand and holds notable SEO power.
On – 29 Aug, 2017 By Diana Mackie Wertz