Reputation Management for Local Small Businesses – 10 Pro Tips

Reputation Management may sound like a big business process that your small business doesn’t have to worry about but that just isn’t’ true. In your industry there may be larger businesses greater selection, lower prices, and big ad budgets, but your small business can dominate your local market with proper reputation management.

Managing your online reviews and ratings is vital to the health and growth of your small business.

Word-of-mouth has gone from in person conversations to worldwide broadcast as consumers have begun to rely on internet research to make their purchasing decisions. You can spend big bucks on developing your marketing message and buying advertising but thrifty internet-savvy buyers trust customer reviews much more than any ad copy you can produce.

92 Percent Consumers Read Online Reviews

When you know how to manage your online reputation and your prepared to handle any negative interactions before they influence future customers you can greatly benefit from buyer’s market that is heavily reliant on online reviews and ratings. And you don’t need to be a professional marketer or webmaster to create and sustain and winning reputation. You just need to know how to create a strong foundation for your online presence, and how to build a five-star reputation by gathering, monitoring, and promoting your customer reviews.

Tips for Pro-Level Reputation Management for Local Small Businesses

1. Provide a Great Product and Stellar Customer Service

Customer reviews generally cover only two things: Product Quality/Performance and Customer Service. We’ll assume you have a great product or service that customers would want to buy if they knew about it. (If not go back to square one and get that as good as it can profitably be.) So let’s focus on customer service because that is something you should be continuously improving upon.

Knowing the customer experience is necessary to providing great customer service. Get personalized feedback from your customers and from your employees. Learn industry best practices and implement changes where improvements are needed. Make it easy for the customer to get to know you as the business owner to build trust. And this is probably the most important – Hire and Retain Employees Who Care.

2. Have a Search Engine Optimized, Customer Friendly and Mobile Ready Website

Your website is the beacon that brings in new customers. Everyone (save about 9% of Americans) uses their mobile device at some point to look for information on local businesses so it is a must that you have a responsive website that modifies its appearance to look good on any device. Plus, Google said if your website isn’t mobile friendly they aren’t ranking it in internet search results which makes your business basically non-existent online.

Local Search Stats Reputation LoopUser experience is also important, but often neglected. This is a big mistake because if your website isn’t fast loading, easy to navigate, and even easier to read people will not stay on your website long enough to do get the information they were looking for. Especially not when they have hundreds of other websites one click away that provide exactly the same service or product. Design your website around the customer experience and you’ll see an increase in both new customers and customer retention.

3. Create and Manage Your Search Engine Business Profiles

Not only do customers use search engines to find new products and providers, they also trust the ratings and reviews that are displayed in search results to help them pick the best match for their search. Your business should claim and fill out completely your business profiles on Google My Business and Bing Places for Business. This not only helps you rank higher in their respective search results, it gives search engines users a high-profile location to leave reviews for your business. Plus, it enables your business appear on maps and local listings that are highlighted on search results pages.

4. Manage Your Online Business Listings

Your online business listings make your business visible online to both search engines like Google and customers searching online for your address and phone number. When your business does not have a strong online presence search engines are pulling your information from these online business listings to verify you are a legitimate business and to provide accurate location and contact information to their search engine users.

You’ll need to create and accurately fill in your business listings on trusted online directories. There are hundreds of these directories and you can do this manually. But a better way to ensure that these important listings are accurate, consistent and where they need to be is to automate the process with low cost services that automate the management of your business listings like Reputation Loop’s Listings Management service.

5. Claim and Optimize All Relevant Social Media and Review Site Profiles

Building a healthy social media presence on the social networks your customers use is a powerful and effective marketing tactic that any small business can benefit from. But if you don’t have the time and know-how, or just aren’t ready to start, you still need to participate on a basic level. At a minimum protect your future social media efforts and your online reputation by claiming your business and personal names on social media sites. Use a photo or your logo, write a brief one or two sentence description and fully register your business on the major sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Then consider what social networks impact your industry, and register on those as well.benefits of social media marketing

The same way social media sites help small businesses be found online, review and local sites show up high in search engine rankings, providing more exposure for your business. Claim your profiles on these high traffic sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Angie’s List. Provide your locations, photos, business hours, description of your services, payment options and categories to provide all your information to potential customers and build citations for your business.

6. Manage Personal Reputations Tied to Your Business

You and your employees represent your business offline and online. Behavior and commentary not suitable at work, may seem less harmful online but in fact the opposite is true. Once an unflattering photo is posted or an offensive comment is made it lives forever on the internet and can cast a shadow on your business. Avoid ethical dilemmas, negative associations, and embarrassment by having a written and signed social media and online policy for all employees. Keep it simple by clearly defining to do’s and don’ts, and the consequences of not following the guidelines. Also be sure to include instructions on the use of disclaimers, copyright laws, as well as the importance of maintaining privacy of others and the disclosure of confidential information.

7. Actively Gather Feedback and Promote Your Best Reviews

To manage your online reputation, you need to know what customers think about your business before they post reviews online. You do this by proactively seeking feedback from customers. When you know what your customers have to say about your business you are able to resolve issues quickly and encourage happy customers to post their good reviews on the business profiles that matter to you most.

positive_reviews_local_shoppers_online_statsGetting feedback from your customers can be done in a variety of ways. You can use comment cards, emails, or even links on your website sending customers to your Yelp or Google profiles. Develop a system that lets your customers know that you want their feedback and gives them an incredibly easy way to provide it. With a reputation management system like Reputation Loop you can set up an almost hands-free system that contacts your customers via email soon after purchase to get their feedback. Positive feedback is routed to the most impactful review sites for posting and less than stellar feedback is routed back to the business for special handling to resolve issues.

8. Have a Plan for Handling Negative Feedback and Reviews

Negative reviews and comments that show up online should be addressed immediately. If you feel they highlight actual problems with your business, take the time to respond both publicly on the review and privately with the customer through email to make it right. This allows you not only to lessen the impact of that review, but also provides the opportunity to correct an issue or satisfy a dissatisfied customer. Fast and thoughtful customer-centered responses to less-than-positive reviews show future customers that you care about their experience and value their feedback as a way to improve your business.

9. Create Positive Online Links with Consistent Blogging

Maintaining a blog that reflects your business brand and standards helps to establish a positive online reputation and builds up your web presence. This supports your legitimacy as a respected business, and helps to establish your expertise in your community and your industry.  Consistently blogging high-quality, relevant content is important to building your online presence, but note that proper search engine optimization is key.  Blogs are easy to set up, become more powerful for you the longer and more you use it, and they rank well in Google – all at little to no costs.

126 percent more leads with blogBeyond providing links for content marketing that help customers find your website when they are searching the internet for solutions to their problems and places to spend their money, effective blogging ensures that content, images and web pages you control occupy the valuable space of the first pages of search results when people search your business by name.

10. Know What is Online So You Can Optimize Your Online Reputation

To create an effective reputation management plan you need to research and monitor your own online reputation.  Use the Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites so you know where your business online presence is shining bright and where you can implement a plan for improvements today.

Reputation Management for Local Small Businesses

Most small business owners and managers have their hands full just trying to get or remain profitable. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, right? But neglecting your online reputation could be devastating to the health of your business. When you think about the role the internet plays in the purchases you make for your own business and yourself, you have to see how influential stellar online reputation is to consumers. Proactive online reputation management is not a luxury, and when effectively executed it could be the key to reaching the next stage for your business.

 

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

 

The post Reputation Management for Local Small Businesses – 10 Pro Tips appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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Facebook Reviews Threaten Yelp! ?

Online Reviews Matter for Small Businesses, and Now Even More So as Facebook Gets Into the Reputation Game.

We hear screams coming from Yelp! these days…well maybe not, but you got to believe they are nervous about the recent moves by Facebook to join the online review game.

We don’t dislike Yelp!. It has been and continues to be a good source of online reviews to check out local businesses.  We just don’t like their marketing efforts – we had to say NO! a lot more times than should have been necessary to their incessant phone solicitations to get us to advertise on their system.

In fact, I posted a positive review for a local body shop that did a quick repair on my car the other day at a more than reasonable price on Yelp!.

But it is time for those of us who work with local businesses to pay more attention to Facebook Reviews.  To start with you need to know how to turn Facebook Reviews on or off for a business.

I found a quick Blog Post by Andrea Vahl that covers the basics…

1.  How to Enable Reviews or turn them off

The Ratings and Reviews feature (where you see the star rating on the main Facebook page) is available when your page is categorized as a Local Business and has a physical address. By default, reviews and star ratings are displayed. However, you can change this setting if you’re in the Local Business category and don’t want to show your ratings and reviews.

facebook reviews

To make sure this feature is enabled, go to the About tab, find the Address section and click Edit next to the address. You’ll see a map with your address.Check the box next to Show Map, Check-Ins and Star Ratings on the Page.  To turn the reviews off you can uncheck that box.

Read the entire post here.

One limitation of the Facebook system so far is that it does not have anyway of sharing the positive reviews outside of Facebook and only limited within.

That is of course one of the many benefits of the RepPilot system.  With RepPilot you can send potential positive reviewers to Facebook as well as any other review site, including Yelp! and Google Maps to leave a review.

Whether they actually do or not, the system captures their original positive review and displays the most recent such reviews in a widget on your WordPress based sites or by adding some simple code on HTML sites.

That’s a great improvement over the canned and static reviews of dubious veracity many small businesses use on their websites.

Go to http://reppilot.com/info/

 

Want More Leads? How to Make Your Website Work Harder

Your website is mobile-friendly, you’ve put pop-up opt-ins on each page, and your call to actions are bold and enticing. But that’s not enough! If you want more leads, your website needs to be working harder for you. With the right strategy you will be able to leverage your website to create more growth and profit for your business.

Make Your Website Work Harder for Better Lead Generation

SEO – A Modern Necessity

Search Engine Optimization helps customers find you by getting your website ranked high enough to be considered by prospect searching specifically for the solutions your business provides. Properly done, SEO without a doubt increase traffic to your website and boost your conversion and sales rates. A 2015 lead generation study by BrightTalk found that SEO was the No. 3 most effective lead-generation tool, surpassed by only websites at No. 2 and events/conferences as No. 1.

It may seem complicated and overly technical but the basics of SEO is something you can quickly master. Learning it is free and easy with the dozens on online resources available including SEO blogs that will have you optimizing like a pro in no time.

To start you’ll need to do two things:

  1. Learn who your customers are and develop buyer personas that let you focus your marketing
  2. Research and identify the keywords that bring quality leads to your website

From there you can create and search engine optimize quality content that informs or entertains your target audience and entices them to click around your website. The longer they hang around on your website, the more likely they are to buy from you.

Display Fresh Testimonials and Reviews on Your Website

Your current customers trust you enough to have worked for you or bought from you. But how can you get prospects who are new to your business to trust you? How can you convert leads into sales?

With on-site testimonials and reviews. Almost every consumer in America is searching the internet for reviews and recommendations before they make a purchase (over 90%). If a lead comes to your website before or after the research stage of their buying cycle they should get a clear and bold message about how awesome your business is. Not because your mom said you did great, but because customers cannot stop talking about their great experience or your wonderful product.

You’ll notice my focus on fresh testimonials and reviews being highly visible on your website. A two-year old testimonial isn’t going to wow anyone and it isn’t going to give prospects a clear representation of what you can do for them today. Luckily, you can easily automate the posting of reviews and testimonials to your website with reputation management services like Reputation Loop. Good star ratings and customer testimonials are proven to be highly influential in the buying process for consumers.

streaming reviews on website

Inbound Marketing with Your Blog

Creating compelling blog content is where your inbound marketing journey begins. So what is “compelling” content? It’s content that speaks to your customer’s pain points and provides actionable solutions to their problems. Satisfy their curiosity, answer their questions, and provide relevant and valuable information and your content will quickly build trust with prospects. Converting a lead that already trust your business makes every part of the selling process easier.

Creating content is something you can do yourself, or outsource. But one of the most important and most often neglected rules of effective inbound marketing is to blog and create compelling content on a consistent basis. Start small – once a week if you need to – but get it done and get it live online. And remember that content can take many forms on your blog: articles, infographics, podcasts, videos, photos, testimonials, and more.

Use Videos and Slide Presentations

Publishing slide shows on your site or sites like Slideshare.com give the ADHD internet user a quick and easy way to digest the content you are giving them. It is the same with videos. In an overpopulated internet, your prospect are looking to get the information they want faster and easier.

Quick click slide presentation that educates me or answers my questions? Yes, please.

Hands free, no reading video that demonstrates a product or shows me how to do something? Even Better!

Video Marketing Statistics 2015Additionally, video marketing for lead generation is across all sectors of business and retail, and for good reason. You can use videos to gather email addresses as a prerequisite for viewing or place email sign up forms at the end. You can even have in-video call to actions to collect lead information or automatically redirect viewers to dedicated landing pages.

Lead Magnets – High Value Content that Goes Beyond the Blog

A lead magnet is a resource you give people in exchange for their email address. You are going to use that email address to build a relationship that leads to more traffic and more conversions. Prospects are more willing to sign up for your email list in return for valuable content and according to Marketing Week 66% are likely to make an online purchase as a result of a marketing message like those found in high value content. Additionally, as part of the BrightTalk study I quoted earlier, 59% of B2B marketers stated that whitepapers and eBook downloads were the top producers of leads.

More Leads Lead MagnetsAgain, you really need to know your customer to get this right so dig deep and invest the time in finding out what really drives your customers to buy. Know their pain points and the problems they are facing and find a way to make their lives better. If you can provide insight that will help their problems go away, they will far less resistant to connect with you. Your sales and customer service teams know what customers are looking for and complaining about. Ask them what lead magnets will truly provide value for your future customers (and current customers).

Here is a long list of lead magnets that you can look into creating for your website:

  1. Whitepapers (a report or guide that succinctly explains a complex issue or process)
  2. eBooks
  3. Case Studies
  4. Demos and Free Trials
  5. Free Tools
  6. Email Courses
  7. Webinars
  8. Video Training
  9. How To’s
  10. Workbooks
  11. (Ultimate) (Epic) Guides
  12. Resources or Tools Lists
  13. Cheat Sheet or Checklist PDF
  14. Downloadable and Customizable Templates
  15. Content Upgrades
  16. A Calendar or Planner
  17. Short Free Consultation (15-30 minute)
  18. Coupons, Discounts, or Promo Code
  19. Subscription or Membership (w/ Members-Only Goodies)
  20. Free Samples or Free Gift
  21. Tickets to Local Event
  22. Giveaways and Contests
  23. Test or Assessments (like at the bottom of this post!)
  24. Buyer Guides
  25. Freemium Accounts

Rest assured there are many ways to increase your leads and revenue without redesigning or rebuilding your current business website. Having an effective lead-generation strategy that leverages high-value content ensures that your audience gets what they want, while getting you the quality lead contact information you want.

 

Use the Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites so you know where your business’s online presence is shining bright and where you can implement a plan for improvements today.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post Want More Leads? How to Make Your Website Work Harder appeared first on Reputation Loop.

from Reputation Loop http://ift.tt/1JjLIo2
via IFTTT From Our Associates at Reputation Loop

Build and Protect Your Online Reputation – Getting Started

Have a Plan to Protect Your Online Reputation

To protect your online reputation, you first need to know what your reputation is. You need to know what is currently being said and read about your company online. You’ll want to know from the start what hurdles you are facing in building a positive online reputation. Make notes of everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. This is your starting point.

Then you will need an actionable plan that you can commit to. Without a plan you are leaving your reputation in the hands of anybody with internet access.

Do you really want to trust any person who can find a Wi-Fi signal with your precious online reputation?

Are you prepared to handle unsatisfied customers, respond to negative reviews, or silence damaging social media chatter?

You need a plan that helps you dominate search engine results, monitors your online presence, manages your reviews, and creates positive content and links for your business. You can use the guidelines in “Reputation Marketing in 5 Steps” to help you get started in creating a plan that lets you leverage your positive online reputation to grow your business. And there are areas you can focus on that will ensure that people can easily find you online and will want to do business with you.

Manage Your Business Listings

Both people and search engines use your online business listings to find you (online and offline) and verify that you are a legitimate business. Search engines use business listings to deliver accurate business information to their users. Ensuring accurate and consistent information is contained in your business listings gives your business the edge over your competition by helping you rank higher in the local search results that attract new customers.

Business Listing Stats

People use business listings to get your phone number and address information to find the businesses closest to them providing the specific products and services they are looking for. Missing, duplicate, incomplete, or inconsistent will inevitably hurt your business and that is why it is so crucial that your business listings be monitored and managed. Read “The What, Why and How of Business Listings” to get a better understanding of what business listings are, how they work, and how you can automate the management of this crucial aspect of your online identity.

Have a Blog and Publish Quality Content Consistently

Consistent, and properly search engine optimized, blogging ensures that content, images, and web pages you create and control occupy the valuable space at the top of search engine results for your name and your business. If you don’t love to write, don’t have the time to write, or the budget to outsource your content creation, this may be the hardest thing on the list. But it is one of the best ways to control what is being seen and read about you online.

Check out the blog post How to Blog to Protect Your Online Reputation. You’ll get the run down on the multitude of benefits and tips on blogging in a way that attracts traffic to your website and your location. Here’s the short version of what you need to know:

  • Set up your blog, which is probably already a part of your website even if you don’t use it.
  • Consider your audience, and think like your ideal site visitor, when creating your content.
  • Plan out the development of relevant and authentic content that supports your brand.
  • Post content to your blog consistently. One or two times a week at least to start.
  • Search engine optimize each blog post to include headers, tags, url’s, and images.

beginner blog SEO checklist

Online Review Management – Solicit, Respond, Post, and Promote

Customers research online before making purchases:

  • Online search engines are now a more trusted source for general news and information (64 percent) than traditional media (62 percent).  2015 Edelman Trust Barometer

Customers trust online reviews to guide their buying decisions:

  • 92% of consumers now read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014)
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews (vs. 29% in 2014)
  • Star rating is #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
  • 44% say a review must be written within 1 month to be relevant
  • Only 13% of consumers consider using a business that has a 1 or 2 star rating
  • 68% say positive reviews make them trust a local business more (vs. 72% in 2014)
  • Consumers are becoming more concerned about fake reviews BrightLocal 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey

The facts are clear. Properly posted and promoted online customer reviews drive new business to your door more effectively than almost every other marketing activity.

The same way you control your social media presence, you’ll want to claim your profiles on the major review and local listing sites. These profiles also show up high on search engine results, so it is vital that you are in control of how these profiles are filled out. Yelp, Google My Business, Angie’s List and similar sites let you claim and fill out your profile with ease.

Most review sites have a simple verification process for businesses to claim their profiles. But that is not always the case. For example, Yelp even allows customers to create a profile for your business if you haven’t done so yet and they want to leave a review. That is a lot of extra steps to leave a simple “I loved it” comment so a committed disgruntled customer is more like to create a profile for a business that has not yet claimed their Yelp profile. Don’t let that happen!

Once you have established your profiles, you’ll need to work on getting real customer reviews posted on the sites that matter most to your customers. You’ll want to develop a system, with a dedicated manager, that works at acquiring feedback, works with customers who are less than very satisfied and pushes five-star reviews to the review profiles you have set up.

Just one more thing for you to add to your business owner To Do list, right?

Luckily, review management is one of the business operations you can easily automate with effective reputation management services. With the right software it can be as “simple as set it up and forget it” to give every customer the opportunity to give you feedback or link directly to your review site profiles with just one click to leave a review. Honestly, you’ll wonder why something so useful as automated customer reviews management, when customer reviews are so vital to the success of your business, doesn’t come with your business license.

Create All of Your Social Media Profiles

If you have never Google’d yourself, take a minute and do it now. (I’ll be here waiting when you are done.) Now do the same with your business name. (Go ahead.) What you will usually see for those people and businesses who have yet to build a strong web presence (with business listings and content) is that social media profiles show up high in search engine results.

Google Search Social ProfilesThere are three really good reasons to claim and establish your social media profiles immediately on the social networks your customers frequent:

  1. A healthy social media presence is a great marketing tool that lets you promote your brand and your content, while creating relationships with your customers where they spend the most time online.
  2. Social media profiles rank high in specific personal name and business name search engine results. If you have little else online that you have created, you can control a lot of what page one is showing about you.
  3. Profile names are first come, first serve with social networks. Someone could claim your name and your business name, so grab yours as soon as possible. Best case scenario they never use the profile. Worst case scenario THEY manage a profile pretending to be your business and murder your reputation.

Learning how to leverage social media to grow your business is a broad and lengthy topic we won’t touch on here. There are dozens of amazing resources out there to learn social media marketing. I strongly suggest you check out an article by one of the most trusted leaders in digital marketing, HubSpot: How to Learn Social Media Marketing: 41 Resources for Beginners.

What you need to do right now is claim your personal name and business name on all the major social media networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn). Also claim and optimize your profiles on the social media networks important to your industry (for example: Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat, and Vine). Fill out your profile entirely and make sure you include your website, physical address, and logo/photo. Make a commitment to learn how to grow your business with social media marketing.

Get Started Building and Protecting Your Online Reputation

You’ve put blood, sweat, and tears (or at least a considerable amount of time and money) into your business. Don’t jeopardize all you’ve invested by neglecting to build and maintain a positive online presence. Unfortunately, online perception is now more important to the health of your business than in-store reality. You still need to sell a great product, and provide exceptional customer service. There is no doubt that is a winning combination for any business. But you must also make sure that the good work you are doing for your customers is reflected online.

Use the Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites so you know where your business’s online presence is shining bright and where you can implement a plan for improvements today.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post Build and Protect Your Online Reputation – Getting Started appeared first on Reputation Loop.

from Reputation Loop http://ift.tt/1l8Twx2
via IFTTT From Our Associates at Reputation Loop

Big List of Online Customer Review Sites

The Big List of Online Customer Review Sites

Online customer reviews are very important to the growth of your small business. The numbers might vary from survey to survey but the results are clear. Each year the influence of online customer reviews on the buying habits of increasingly mobile and internet-savvy consumers continues to grow with most estimating that over 90% of consumers are looking at online reviews.

92 Percent Consumers Read Online ReviewsAdditionally, customer reviews have a direct impact on ranking in local search results. Consistently earning and posting positive reviews on sites that matter most (like Google) give you an opportunity to show up in Local Pack and Google Map listings at the top of local search results. Diversifying your review sites populates the internet with positive links that search engines draw from when someone is searching online for your business.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Read back in the Reputation Loop blog to learn more about the importance of customer reviews. But if you already get it, and you are working on your reputation management plan, here is a list customer review sites you should consider. Review sites that pertain to your business, claim and optimize your business profiles, and learn how to manage your online reputation by gathering, monitoring, and promoting your online customer reviews.

·        ALSO READ: Latest Research Shows Importance of Local Reviews

·        ALSO READ: Using Customer Reviews to Improve SEO

Top Online Customer Review Sites (in no particular order)

Google My Business

If you want your reviews and star ratings to show up in Google search results you have to get reviews posted to your Google My Business profile. With the best reviews in your local area you can show up in the Local Pack and prominently on Google Maps results. To optimize for search set up your verified account, completely filled out with photos and accurate name, address and phone number. With a stream of highly rated reviews you will rise to the top of Google’s local search results. Also see Bing Places to cover your bases.

Better Business Bureau

Over 13 million BBB business review are read every month. Where the BBB is different is they have a customer review verification process that includes verifying the reviewers email and sending the review to the business for further verification. According to BBB, 41% of respondents to their survey said they trusted BBB reviews ahead of Google, Angie’s List and Yelp. Not exactly an unbiased opinion but with over 390,000 business using the BBB accreditation seal to promote their business, it’s clear that the trust is there.

Angie’s List

Angie’s List is a highly trusted review site largely because users have to pay for membership. This investment cuts down on the fake reviews that can crowd free review sites. Reviewers cannot be anonymous, so you’ll find more thoughtful and useful reviews. It’s free to set up a page for your business and memberships start at around $50. A small investment considering you’ll get in depth reviews of contractors, businesses, and service providers you plan to spend thousands of dollars with.

Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor is one of the most trusted review sites for everything travel (and local) that has to do with hotels, airlines, restaurants, venues, and attractions. Optimize your business listing by appealing to Trip Advisor’s ranking algorithm which focuses on quantity, quality, and how recent a review is. Enter your business name to claim your listing and find out your cost.

Yelp

Yelp is the well-known free review site that lets you rate any business on a five-star scale. It’s free to set up your business listing. If for some reason you have not done this, stop reading and go do it right now! This powerful and popular website let’s reviewers (any soul with internet access) create a business listing if they want to leave a review but can’t find your business listed.

Facebook

I’m sure you know that you can “Like” a business on Facebook. But you can also rate and review businesses on their Facebook page. Ratings are an average of all public star ratings, but reviewers can select other audience categories like “Friends” which would not be calculated in your page’s average star rating. Only people in the chosen category would be able to see star reviews if the “Public” audience is not chosen. Facebook does not moderate reviews so if one shows up that you think should be removed you will need to report it to Facebook by clicking “I don’t like this review” on your page.

·        ALSO READ: Building Your Online Reputation with Positive Reviews

Review Sites for Software Businesses

G2 Crowd

People who buy software rely on G2 Crowd to provide useful customer reviews to compare and make buying decisions. Another five-star review site, G2 Crowd goes further by asking reviewers questions like “What business problems are you solving?” and “What benefits have your realized?”. Plus users like that reviews show if they are validated and if the reviewer is a current user. To add your product simply click on “Add Your Product” in the footer, log in with a LinkedIn profile, and fill in a form.

TrustRadius

TrustRadius authenticates its users through LinkedIn, allowing reviewers to see what their connections think about a software. But reviews can still be anonymous. Users can read reviews or compare several aspects of a company side-by-side. Create a listing for free and you will get notified when reviews are posted. TrustRadius also allows you to respond to reviews and provides paid packages that include enhanced listings, review programs and lead generation services.

·        ALSO READ: Reputation Marketing in 5 Steps

More Review Sites to Consider

YP (Yellow Pages) – this business listing site is a great place to list your business, and customers can leave reviews, but their business model relies heavily on pushing ad sales so be clear on what you want to accomplish before you join.

SuperPages – like Yellow Pages you can claim your free listing and SuperPages users can find your business and you can pay to advertise on their network.

SiteJabber – this is a review site for online businesses. Users can make better choices and avoid scams by reading reviews. It’s free to create and manage your business profile, even respond to reviewers.

Want Help Managing Your Customer Reviews?

RepLoop-FeedbackTagOL-white_pageReputation Loop – get a free demonstration on how Reputation Loop can manage, distribute, and promote your customer reviews and manage your business listings while you build a five-star online reputation with features like feedback generation, monitoring, reporting, and social media integration.

Trustpilot – proactively collect customer reviews on this platform where customers write both third-party-reviewed product and seller reviews. You are able to collect and post feedback, as well as respond to reviews. Starting at $399/mo.

TestFreaks – collects customer reviews on products, but it also compliments those by writing seller review. Post reviews on your website and let potential customers ask a question before making a purchase. Contact from the website for pricing.

More and more, you will have less contact with your customers before they make their buying decisions. Window shopping, test driving and sampling are now largely done virtually instead in-store. Still, more than ever consumers want to trust a business before they spend their hard earned money. Let consumers know you are the right choice by actively monitoring and managing your customer reviews and online reputation.

Use this free Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites to see where your business’s online presence is working hard for you and quickly find where you can make improvements.


What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post Big List of Online Customer Review Sites appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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