Online Reviews Part 1: Importance and Overview of Review Sites
Online reviews are critical for a business, as consumers increasingly rely on them to guide their decision-making. Positive reviews can increase sales and build trust for your brand, while negative reviews can scare off potential customers and chip away at your brand’s reputation.
There are many outlets for consumers to voice their opinions. They can review your business with Google, rate your business page on Facebook or create an account on a third-party review site, like Yelp.
It’s important to monitor and respond to customer reviews on as many sites that are applicable to your business. However, it’s crucial to understand the difference between each online review site and how they will affect your business when developing a management strategy.
Google – Google is one of the most important review sites. Many potential customers will find your business through Google, either through a direct search for your company or as a result of a general search of your industry, if you have good SEO. Reviews about your business are automatically included in the Google Knowledge Panel and will help determine a potential customer’s first impression of your business.
Facebook – Facebook reviews are also very important because unlike Google or sites like Yelp, Facebook is a social media platform first and review site second. As people spend a lot of time on Facebook, having a review application built right in the platform increases the chances people will express their opinions. In addition, Facebook reviews are now included in your Google Knowledge Panel, making them even more important to monitor.
Traditional Online Review Sites – While sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor offer booking options and a community for their members, they are review sites first. Ratings from these sites may be included in an organic Google search of your business but are not included in the Google Knowledge Panel. The amount of time you dedicate to monitoring these review sites will depend on the industry you are in.
Stand-Alone Reviews – There are companies and apps available that will solicit and post reviews straight to your website but are not associated with any global review site (Google, Yelp, etc.). While it’s nice to showcase reviews, we never recommend installing a stand-alone review app. These reviews work independently and don’t help with SEO or to increase overall review standing with Google.
It’s important to stay informed about what people are saying about your business, but it’s equally important to be proactive about reaching out and asking for reviews from previous and existing clients.
If you’re overwhelmed with the abundance of online review sites and
are unsure how to monitor and respond to customer complaints (and praise!),
contact an idig Marketing specialist today.
idig Marketing is a full-service digital strategy and development firm that generates meaningful website traffic and drives high value leads to your organization. By optimizing organic content with paid advertising our custom methodology is adapted to meet your requirements and to exceed your objectives.
Read our whole series about online reviews: