If you’ve ever searched for a company on a business review site like Yelp, you know how important it is to have a good review rating. After all, when you’re searching for a new restaurant to try, would you choose a place with a 3-star or 5-star review? You probably wouldn’t want to waste your time and money eating somewhere with less-than-stellar feedback. Instead, you’d choose the establishment with five stars—no brainer, right?
As you can imagine, the same idea applies to your own small business. The better the reviews (and the more of them there are), the more likely you’ll convert a review-reader into a customer.
Most customers are probably familiar with Yelp, but there are plenty of other small business review sites worth your consideration. It’s a good idea to claim your business listings on as many of these review sites as possible, not just for brand reputation management but also to keep track of the general sentiments toward your company.
Claiming your listing on as many top review sites as possible helps your website rise through Google rankings which adds to your overall trustworthiness. It also helps potential customers find you more easily.
Your products and service matter, but if nobody is telling the world about them, how are others going to know? If you’re a new company trying to establish your dominance in a local marketplace, your reviews matter… a lot.
You know all about Yelp reviews—and how they can make or break your business—but what other resources are available to you? And which ones matter most?
You’re in luck! Here’s a guide to awesome small business review sites that you can use to make sure your company the visibility it needs. We’ll show you what matters when it comes to customer perception of your business and how to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews. Keep reading for a full overview of these websites or, simply click on the review site you’d like to learn more about.
impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions. With statistics like these, it makes sense to invest both funds and time into researching what kind of reviews your company receives. This is even more important if you’re running a new company and only have a few reviews to persuade potential customers.
The first step towards learning how to encourage customers to write reviews is by targeting customers in an unassuming way.
Housecall Pro offers a Review Booster tool which helps you request reviews from customers about your company’s services without sounding demanding. More reviews can help boost your search engine optimization (SEO), meaning users won’t have to flip through multiple Google results pages to find your company. Review Booster also encourages customers to leave reviews on sites that matter, helping your brand reputation and overall online presence.
How does Review Booster work?
You can pick from one of Housecall Pro’s email review generating templates to start capturing great reviews. Simply filter and pick through your customers so that you’re only getting the positive reviews you deserve.
Here’s an example of a review template you could use to send out to satisfied customers who you’d like a review from:
Hey [Customer Name],
Thank you for choosing [Your Company Name],
Our goal is to exceed our customers’ expectations and offer premium levels of service at fair prices and your review will help us continue that mission. Reviews positively contribute to our online presence and help others learn more about us. Looking forward to your feedback.
[Your Name, Title]
[Business Review Site Link 1]
[Business Review Site Link 2]
Worried about a bad review? Divert possibly negative reviews to a “Contact Us Directly” link so you can handle any issues behind the scenes. Reputation management is an important part of the business review game, after all. If you don’t check up on the reviews customers are posting, you might be ignoring issues that could easily be solved by reaching out privately.
Bottom line: Housecall Pro Review Booster can increase your positive reviews by helping you with craft the correct communication to target to the right, happy customers.
With that said, there are plenty more small business review sites customers use to express their opinions: good, bad, and neutral. Keep reading to learn where you should be focusing your attention.
Another trusted business review site is ConsumerAffairs. With more than one million reviews, more than three thousand brands, and more than three hundred categories of business, it's considered a reputable review site with an established presence on the web that your business could benefit from.
Note: You must pay to become accredited on the site. However, when you sign up for accreditation, you will have access to helpful resources and articles with information about: the importance of online reviews; how a strong (positive!) reputation can improve sales generation; and how to change negative customer experiences into positive ones with a timely, polite response.
As a business with a ConsumerAffairs Accredited Seal, you agree to work with the site and respond to consumer comments. On the other side of this, ConsumerAffairs agrees to provide information about a customer who chooses to leave a review. Although ConsumerAffairs doesn’t change a star rating at the request of a company, a customer may choose to update the rating after communicating with your company.
You can sign up through your businesses' social media logins (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp) or an email address.
Bottom line: If you’re ready to take your brand management to the next level, accreditation with ConsumerAffairs might help you reach out to customers and respond directly to negative reviews.
Better Business Bureau
According to the Better Business Bureau, seven out of ten customers prefer doing business with a BBB-accredited brand. Because you have to pay for BBB-accreditation, the idea is that there’s more incentive for you to maintain your reputation.
Rating elements on BBB include a business complaint history, your business type, time in business, transparent business practices, failure to honor commitments to BBB, licensing and government actions known to BBB, and advertising issues known to BBB.
If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means that the BBB has determined your business meets accreditation standards. This includes a commitment to a good faith effort to resolve any customer complaints. Accreditation standards include a track record for trust, honest advertising, transparent disclosures, responsive communication, and privacy protection.
Bottom Line: If you want to be taken seriously in the business landscape by customers, a BBB-accreditation can help elevate your brand value. BBB is top review site and shows potential customers you value honest feedback.
One place you shouldn’t forget about as you’re doing research for business review sites: your old friend, Google. Google business reviews are incredibly important because they give potential customers information about your business right at the time of a query. These reviews pop up next to your business listing in Google Maps and Google Search results to supply users the information they need to make a decision in live time. If the user doesn’t want to spend time reading through alternative business review sites, this could be your first and last impression.
To ensure that your customers leave reviews on Google, follow these suggestions:
Remind your customers to leave reviews for your business: They can easily leave business reviews on their mobile devices or desktops. Consider a follow-up email after a service appointment, for example.
Reply to reviews: Whether good, bad, or neutral, you should respond to customer reviews so other customers know their feedback is valuable. In addition, a valid response to a customer can provide a more comprehensive narrative so a potential customer can come to an independent conclusion.
Verify your business: Verifying your information means your business information will be eligible to appear on Maps, Search, and other Google services. Important tip: Only verified businesses can respond to reviews, so make sure you don’t skip this step!
Bottom Line: Google is one of the most trusted company review sites and it’s likely one of the first places where potential consumers will interact with your brand. It’s important that you have accurate information and maintain your reviews there.
If you run an HVAC company or work in some form of the service industry, Angie’s List is an awesome alternative business review site to have in your repertoire. Customers are already likely to be on the site for service-related queries. Take advantage of this and make sure to set up a free profile!
With Angie's List, you can gain more feedback about customer satisfaction levels using the site’s free and customized review collection tools.
The site boasts impressive stats: 5 million members, $15 billion in transactions, and $315 million in revenue. You definitely won’t be disappointed by a lack of users or user engagement. It’s a great place for your customers to leave reviews as well as a highly-rated source of customer referrals.
Bottom Line: For service industries like HVAC businesses, Angie’s List brings you the right kinds of customers to you get better-qualified leads.
The operating principle behind the Expresit app is to celebrate customer wins publicly and fix customer issues behind the scenes. The app utilizes real-time customer and business connections to help you develop better communication.
To sign up, you simply need to register your business with your name, email, and password. After your initial sign-up, you’ll instantly gain insight into your customers. The Expresit dashboard allows you to view and respond to customer reviews as they come in on the app.
The main features of Expresit are summarized below:
Engagement: When a new review comes through the app, you can respond directly to the customer.
Performance analysis: Sort, search, filter, and share feedback on other platforms or use them on your own site.
Notifications: Stay on top of your reputation with email notifications whenever a new customer submits feedback to reviews.
Recognition: With the recognition feature, you can see where your employees, associates, or volunteers are connecting with customers and build a culture from their strengths.
Solutions: Positive comments are celebrated while constructive feedback can be viewed and fixed outside of the public sphere.
Bottom line: Expresit is an app you can use to keep tabs on your current reputation and manage it comprehensively.
CitySearch has been around since 1995 with the aim to connect local businesses with consumers in the community. CitySearch users have the ability to review new restaurants and other small businesses with over twenty categories to choose from. The platform gives reviewers the freedom to actively engage with local businesses and locate the “best of” a specific type of business.
One of the best aspects of CitySearch is that it doesn’t give preference to advertisers in determining companies’ search rankings. As a result, customers get honest, unbiased search results that aren’t influenced by advertising dollars. Small businesses with smaller budgets can still compete with those companies with deeper pockets.
Bottom Line: CitySearch provides honest, review-driven results for companies looking to grab the local market.
The social media giant isn’t just a great resource to use to find out what your friends are up to, it’s also a powerful tool you can use to promote your business, interact with customers, request reviews, and respond to comments. Customers can also message you directly through your business web page with any queries they may have about your services or price list. When a customer leaves a review, you have the chance to respond both publicly and privately.
In addition, you can also use Facebookto advertise and promote your services according to your preferred demographics. For example, if your general customer base is a younger set, let’s say 18-34 years old, who live in your local area, you can tailor your Facebook ads to that age group.
Bottom Line: Once you claim your business on Facebook, you’ll have access to a platform your customers probably already use and you can better target your ads to capture the local market.
You might know Foursquare as a social network that lets users check in at different businesses and points of interest—but it does a lot more than that these days. In fact, it can help your business be discovered by brand new customers with its suite of business tools.
Foursquare has 50 million users and 2 million businesses registered. If you have a physical store somewhere, Foursquare can help you increase your foot traffic, especially if you’re in a busy metropolitan area. Users can also leave reviews about your business in addition to checking in.
Bottom Line: For businesses focused on the local scene, Foursquare can be a good option to capture customers and keep an eye on your reviews, plus it’s a great way to make a splash in your local community.
Have you ever looked into a review site and wished it was simpler to use? HundredX solves that problem. It’s a “listening tool” that streamlines the review process for your consumers. Why is it a great tool for business owners? Because you can offer customers a simplified way to approach feedback—and the easier it is, the more likely they’ll drop a note. More feedback means better data, which you can use to improve the overall customer experience.
Bottom Line: If you want a website that will make it simple and efficient for your customers to leave reviews that you can use to guide your future company customer service decisions, this might be a good option for you to check out.
If you want to get a jump on another search engine, Bing Places is a free way to show up on the Bing search engine. Simply claim your existing listing or add your company name, address, phone number and hours of operation. Verify your listing to prevent anyone from making unauthorized changes to the listing.
Bing still controls part of the search market so even though Bing Places is not on Google, it still makes sense to add your company’s information to the platform. It’s completely free and can’t hurt!
Bottom Line: It might not be Google, but Bing Places is still a good option for new businesses looking to establish their place in the market.
Okay, we’re veering slightly off the beaten path here. This is still a business review site but it’s one geared toward employees. It’s important to have a well-functioning company, meaning good internal processes, happy employees, quality products, great service, and good reviews. From start to finish, your company should be focused on excellence.
Glassdoor can provide you with insight into how your own employees perceive the company and upper management. If you have a negative review about your company, it may affect your ability to hire people.
With 30 million users and 10 million reviews on the site, Glassdoor may prove to be a valuable feedback tool you can use if there’s anything you might want to change going forward.
Bottom Line: While it may take time for your company to show up on Glassdoor if you’re a new company, it’s a good way to gauge internal satisfaction from your employees.
Manta is an online directory built for and around small business. There are marketing packages available through the site so you can claim your business listing and promote your brand at the same time. Once you claim your business listing, you’ll have control over your business's information.
The best part? It’s completely free.
Bottom Line: If you want to join a site that is meant exclusively for small businesses, Manta might be a good option. You can also unlock new tools with their member pricing.
Another directory site, Superpages, lists businesses in different cities and covers a range of industries. You can claim or create a listing for free so people can find out more about your business. Need to update your listing or business information? You can do that, too!
It’ll give you access to millions of potential customers—so you should exhaust every option on our list of alternative review sites. Customers will all have their personal preference for which sites they prefer to use, so leave no stone unturned.
Bottom Line: Superpages helps direct local customers to your business without the extra bells and whistles.
Remember those days when big telephone directories were dumped on your doorstep? Before the internet became the powerful force it is today, those big yellow directories were the main repository of business information including contact information like addresses and phone numbers. The Yellow Pages is an online version of this “oldie but goodie”. Millions of businesses are listed on the site in countless different industries.
You will have to claim your business in the YP directory. It could be worth your investment though, especially for new businesses that want to show up in as many listings as possible.
Bottom Line: Join a classic, well-established directory and you might be surprised by the number of referrals you gain from it!
Besides the weird name, Yext has a different kind of opportunity to offer small businesses. Rather than acting like a business review site, this platform helps you find local listings on Google and other high volume search engines. Yext helps you set up your local listings so you don’t miss out on any big directories.
Bottom Line: You can use their free scan tool to find places where you can claim local listing and review sites. It’s useful for small businesses who are just starting out and want to fill in the gaps of their listings.
Takeaways: Keep Tabs on Your Reputation
As a new small business, it’s incredibly important to encourage reviews on a variety of different business review sites. The key to generating reviews is sending out emails and other reminders to happy customers at the right time, a short period after you’ve completed a job or service. With Housecall Pro’s Review Booster, you’ll be on your way to gathering the kind of reviews that will convince potential customers to contact you.
Housecall Pro is rated the #1 software to run your HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Carpet Cleaning and other home service businesses. Our features allow you to schedule and dispatch jobs, get booked online, send invoice and receive payment within minutes whether if you are in the office or out in the field. This comprehensive software can help you grow revenue by 30% in one year and save up to 500 hours a year. Join all the other successful home service businesses who have already started and try Housecall Pro for 14 days free today.