In this day and age, next to nobody makes a decision without consulting the internet first. Think about it – what do you normally do if you need the answer to a question? Or if there’s a fact that you’d like to know? You Google it, right?
So, what do you think your potential customers do when they’re considering a new product or trying out a new business? They’re going to Google it too. And they’re going to want to find out other people’s experiences by looking at review platforms.
Did you know that 90% of consumers read online review sites before visiting or buying from a business? Reviews can not only build your reputation but also support your company’s marketing efforts, influence your campaigns and play a huge role in your overall success.
We will cover…
Review platforms are places where customers can leave feedback about products or services for others to read.
The wider the word spreads about how good your company is, the more people you’ll attract, so ideally you want these reviews to be as honest and as positive as possible. Whilst the reviews themselves are the attraction to new customers, displaying them in the ideal place is an important step in the right direction for your business. Hence, including reviews on your website and social media accounts is a good idea.
The best way to encourage customer reviews is simply to ask. Quite often, customers are more than happy to give you feedback about their experiences with your products or services, especially if those experiences are positive.
Here are a few ways you could go about this:
What makes customer reviews so impactful?
Firstly, reviews help your business rank higher on search engines like Google or Bing. The more your customers trust you, the more Google will trust you and consequently, you’ll attract even more customers. A study by Moz revealed that reviews contribute over 15% of a website’s ranking factor. For local businesses this can really make a difference.
Not only will you rank higher on result pages, if you have glowing reviews and you add the star ratings to your website, Google will show them on the results page. Look at the example on the screenshot below. Which listing would you click on? The one with the stars, right?
Those stars are called Google Seller Ratings and can have an incredible impact on your CTR (clickthrough rate). Here’s how to get them working.
Even more importantly, reviews are beneficial because they influence your customers’ decisions. Reviews build trust, promote confidence in your business and a couple of good reviews could be the tipping point for whether a customer sticks with you or decides to go elsewhere.
Now that you know the benefits of customer reviews, here are some of the best online review platforms for your business. Depending on your niche, you have plenty of options to gather reviews with these review platforms.
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of which online review sites fit a specific niche best, let’s take a look at the ones that are the surefire ways to get started.
More than just a place to catch up with friends and giggle at cat videos, Facebook can work wonders as a review platform. With more than 2.7 billion monthly visitors, it is the largest social network in the world, and it’s also in the top 10 highest used websites for global internet engagement. Straight off the bat, Facebook reviews will give you a huge advantage.
Having a Facebook page for your business also gives you the highest range of options of any of the online review sites listed in this article. Not only can your customers leave reviews and read the reviews of others, but they can like and comment on other people’s feedback and ask questions.
Yelp is certainly old school, yet still used by millions. Originally focusing on restaurants, it built quite a strong reputation before branching out into almost every other industry. If you’re on Yelp, make sure to claim your business profile quickly so that you can keep track of what is being said about your brand.
Like many review platforms, you can’t edit the reviews on Yelp, but you can respond to them, so try to keep things friendly and helpful. Furthermore, Yelp helps train small businesses how to take control of their customer reviews and how to hold social events for Yelpers (a.k.a. Yelp reviewers).
Are you catering to other business owners? If you are a bookkeeper, business supplier, software company, or other business-to-business company, the following review websites will help you spread the word.
A favorite among SaaS (Software As A Service) companies, if your business sells software, you’ll want to make sure you have a presence on G2. As the leading B2B software review platform, they’ve collected over 1,000,000 reviews for different products and have over 4 million monthly visitors.
With a nifty LinkedIn authenticator, reviewers can post reviews or easily share their thoughts on a particular software preference with their entire LinkedIn network. This both adds another layer of trust to the readers and is an easy way to reach a potentially large, relevant audience.
G2 allows you to compare businesses with hundreds of similar services by 5-star rating, price, ease of use, quality of support, set up speed, and much more. Visitors can also upvote or downvote reviews based on their own experiences. Business owners can easily read competitors’ reviews to get a better understanding of what consumers are looking for.
Perfect for eCommerce, marketing, and other online businesses, Reviews.io gathers honest feedback for your business using an invite-only option. This means that customers can only leave reviews if a company requests it, via a simple email invitation.
Businesses can ask their customers to leave reviews on specific services, products, or the business as a whole. This gives companies a lot more control over who leaves feedback. As a verified Google review partner, all feedback gathered by Review.io is optimized for search results, which will further aid your SEO game. Plus, the platform has a well-designed UI, making it easy to navigate and use.
Similar to G2, TrustRadius focuses on software and service-based B2B companies. Reviewers are also authenticated through LinkedIn, so setting up an account is nice and simple. Visitors can review a company alone, or in comparison with another by looking at a series of stats including 5-star rating, pricing, and in-product pictures.
TrustRadius is a particularly good tool for gathering feedback and understanding the customers’ issues and pain points. What’s more, as TrustRadius doesn’t offer a sponsored option, it’s definitely one of the most honest online review platforms out there.
If your business sells to the general public, you’ll likely do better with a review platform that is more suited to consumers. The following are great online review sites for both business-to-business and business-to-customer companies.
Another favorite with SaaS (Software As A Service) companies, Capterra features nearly a million reviews and an engaged and active community. Users can easily search for software based on industry, software type, or a particular product. That search is divided into almost 700 different categories – that’s a lot of data to help you find the perfect fit!
Visitors can directly compare up to four businesses side by side using the ‘compare to’ feature. Plus, another point for Capterra: the webpages for different categories consistently rank high on Google, so if you’re looking to better your SEO, then using this review platform will most certainly help. They are also backing their organic ranking with paid efforts so they basically take care of advertising for you.
Originally started as a review platform for small businesses, Angie’s List has developed into a high-end, reputable site. It is a paid platform, but it’s all the better for it as you don’t get the usual ramblings and nonsense that you sometimes do with free sites. Instead, reviews are a lot more thought out and, resultantly, more valuable.
The reviews are divided into categories, then they are given an A-F rating. They can’t be anonymous either, which further helps with preventing spam and fake responses. Angie’s list also acts as an intermediary between conflicts, which ultimately means that they could end up siding with you over an unfair customer. It’s free to set up a page for your company, but they also offer two paid plans for more options.
An online review site built on trust, the BBB is a non-profit consumer advocacy group. They evaluate all types of businesses against a set of standards, providing the facts and letting the customer reviews speak for themselves.
Another premium review platform, the BBB charges companies to join it and, although they don’t actually force you, it’s recommended to follow the BBB’s code of conduct. If you decide to get your business profile on the Better Business Bureau, then you’ll be able to display a badge on your site which shows customers how trustworthy you are.
When it comes to elevating your business, unless you’re a one-man-band, a lot of that hard work and effort will be undertaken by your staff. And as your business grows, so will your team. That’s where GlassDoor, the workplace review platform, comes in.
With reviews of over 540,000 companies, you can bet that a lot of potential job candidates will want to check out other people’s experiences before they accept a job offer or even apply for a position.
Employees can rate a company on everything from the employment process itself, to everyday working life. If you get lots of positive reviews from lots of happy staff, GlassDoor has the power to radically improve your employment brand. This will help you scout out the best talent for future employment and gather feedback about what you could work on from within your business.
If the main reason you’re looking for customer reviews is to increase your credibility to search engines, we recommend using these….
The most obvious review platform to support your SEO, Google My Business is a free tool to help businesses manage their presence online. You simply need a verified business account on Google and your website, business name, contact information, opening hours, and location will all be neatly tied to your search listing.
Anyone searching for your business will automatically see all of these details as well. The best part? They will also see all of your reviews, giving them an instant reason to click on your site link or dial your phone number.
Bing Places provides much the same service but, of course, for Bing users instead. But before you decide to label Bing as a lesser Google, whilst it may not be the big boy, Microsoft’s search engine still has the second highest search engine market share online. So, it’s more than likely, that you’ll end up with a few extra clicks and customers by adding your business to Bing.
Did you know that customer reviews for businesses occur highest in the travel sector?
TripAdvisor has seriously evolved from where it started back in 2000. These days, not only are they covering hotels, holiday rentals, restaurants, and tour companies, they also feature customer reviews for spas, coffee shops, cafes, and other entertainment businesses.
Whilst a substantial portion of searches are still travel-related, people are also browsing TripAdvisor reviews before choosing a new restaurant to dine at or a new place to take the kids at the weekend. With Google searches like ‘restaurants near me’ bringing TripAdvisor a tonne of monthly traffic, it’d be well worth your time to add your business to their results.
There you have it: a nice, comprehensive list of the best review platforms broken into categories waiting for you to cherry-pick your favorites! But then what?
Then you can learn how to utilize the glowing feedback that you gathered on these platforms. Check out our article on the power of reviews – and how to use them!