Customers can search for vendors of a particular industry and specification on VendOp. The site provides a portal for purchasers to share their experiences with other customers. Users can search reviews by ratings, service, and location on VendOp.
Manta is mainly a business review site, one dedicated to small business. Business owners can claim and customize their page to improve online visibility and marketability. Consumers can search from millions of businesses, and registered users can leave star ratings and write reviews.
Avvo is a business review site for attorneys. Consumers can review their lawyer for the benefit of other consumers and assign up to 5 stars. Avvo claims to include 97% of all lawyers in the United States in its database, and also lists them by practice specialty. All reviews are subject to approval by Avvo, which separately provides its own rating of 1 to 10, based on specified criteria.
WebMD is a vast site getting over 100 million visitors a month, containing medical information for consumers. It also has listings of doctors and dentists, and allows consumers to leave business reviews of them.
FinancesOnline is an independent review platform that addresses B2B, SaaS, and financial companies. It helps users find and compare software products and services best suited to their needs. They can also read customer product reviews and reports from experts. Currently, the site has more than 50,000 online reviews from users of software products.
24. Merchant Circle
Opening its virtual doors in 2005, Merchant Circle has more than 15 million local business listings across the U.S. in its database. Consumers refer to Merchant Circle to find businesses, read reviews by consumers, and get competitive quotes from companies they seek out. Make sure you claim your business listing. It can be a source for acquiring new customers.
Sitejabber is a site with online reviews of businesses which also lets customers get answers to questions from other customers and the business itself. After making a purchase, customers can leave their own feedback and get help resolving any issues that may arise.
Which? is an independent not-for-profit UK-based consumer review site that reviews services and products and then writes and shares the reviews. Managing to have commendable reviews written about your products or services on Which? can go a long way in generating a sound and credible online reputation.
Business Review Sites Comparison
|Review Site Name||Description|
|Google My Business||Essential review and listing tool for local businesses.|
|Bing Places for Business||Bing's version of GMB. Allows consumers to leave ratings and reviews.|
|Facebook Ratings and Reviews||Platform for followers to leave ratings, reviews, and recommendations.|
|Better Business Bureau (BBB)||Ethical marketplace that allows individuals to recommend businesses.|
|Amazon Customer Reviews||Review platform for products and services.|
|Yelp||Consumer destination for business reviews.|
|Foursquare||Allows users to check-in, rate venues, and leave tips.|
|HomeAdvisor||Review site for home improvement businesses.|
|Yellow Pages||Digital platform for local marketing and reviews.|
|TripAdvisor||Review platform for the hotel, travel, and restaurant industries.|
|Angie's List||Credible business review site with non-anonymous sources.|
|TrustRadius||Online review source for software businesses.|
|OpenTable||Reservation and review platform for restaurants.|
|PlanetRate||Customers can write reviews on businesses of all industries.|
|Salesforce AppExchange||Marketplace for Salesforce platform with a five-star rating system.|
|Trustpilot||Profile generation and customizable review invitations for businesses.|
|Glassdoor||Reviews and ratings for over 700,000 businesses globally.|
|G2||Review site for companies that sell software.|
|VendOp||Portal for purchasers to share their experiences with vendors.|
|Manta||Dedicated business review site for small businesses.|
|Avvo||Review site for attorneys.|
|WebMD||Medical site with listings and reviews for doctors and dentists.|
|FinancesOnline||Review platform addressing B2B, SaaS, and financial companies.|
|Merchant Circle||Local business listings across the U.S. with consumer reviews.|
|Sitejabber||Online reviews of businesses with Q&A functionality.|
|Which?||UK-based consumer review site that reviews services and products.|
Other Review Sites
Over 100 larger sites allow user-generated reviews, plus many smaller niche-specific ones.
Some prominent review sites include:
- General & Local Businesses: CitiSearch, Local.com, ConsumerAffairs
- Product & Service Reviews: Viewpoints
- Handmade & Vintage: Etsy
- Books: Goodreads
- Automobiles: Cars.com, Edmunds, CarGuru
- Services & Freelancers: Care.com, Thumbtack, Fiverr
- Food & Restaurants: Zomato
- Travel & Accommodation: VRBO, Airbnb
- Real Estate & Housing: Zillow, Houzz, Apartments.com
- Financial: Bankrate
- Apps: Apple Apps Store, Google Play
5 Tips for Leveraging Business Review Sites
The following best practice tips will help you use online review sites to get highly sought-after, positive reviews.
Claim Your Business Profile
You can claim a listing on many review sites such as Yelp and Google My Business — and you should. Doing so enables you to verify or add your business information such as your phone number, hours of operation and email address. You can respond to user reviews, add photos and sometimes add links to a blog post or articles. Your profile becomes an extension of your business website, and a great way to draw in new customers. Google My Business is especially crucial because Google is the world’s largest search engine.
Encourage Business Reviews
Make it a habit to encourage customers to share a review or give feedback on your Facebook page, Yelp, the BBB, or other review sites. Reviews essentially are word of mouth. Instead of speaking one-on-one with a neighbor or friend, consumers take to review websites.
Some business owners dread looking at customer reviews because they expect them to be negative. Have confidence. Embrace each review as the equivalent of free advertising and an integral part of your digital marketing through happy customers.
Don’t Incentivize Reviews
While you can encourage reviews, do not incentivize users to give them. Also, it’s important to understand the rules for each review site. Some, like Yelp, have strict guidelines about asking for reviews.
Don’t Write Fake Reviews
Writing fake business reviews could get your business banned from the review site. Review sites work hard to preserve consumer trust and have algorithms to detect and remove fake reviews. No matter how tempting, it is not worth the risk and could damage your company’s reputation should you be discovered.
Respond to Negative Reviews
Never let negative reviews go unanswered. Keep an open mind, remain unemotional and apologize if necessary. Take negative comments back to your team and use them to improve. If you did nothing wrong, acknowledge the situation and empathize. Avoid arguing with a customer or flaming the reviewer.
It turns out that 30% of consumers reverse negative reviews on online review sites when the company responds, according to a survey by ZenBusiness. Yet, only 12% of consumers say their reviews are often or always responded to. Therefore, by responding, you gain a real advantage over all the other small businesses that never respond.
Do I Still Need My Own Website if I Have Review Site Listings?
You should always have your own company website. Some businesses use their Google My Business profile, Facebook page or other business review sites as a replacement for a website of their own. But this is not wise, for one simple reason: third-party sites are outside of your control.
If Facebook decides — however unjustly — to delete your Page, it could take weeks or months to appeal and get it back, if ever. An effective digital marketing strategy should include both your own website as well as business review sites.
Should I Display Reviews on My Website?
Yes. A number of software apps are available to help with aggregating reviews and displaying them on your site. The software reminds customers to review your business post-sale. The apps also automate collecting reviews that have already been published on third-party sites, and provide widgets so you can embed and display reviews on your own website. Examples: GatherUp, Reviews.io and BirdEye.
Do Customer Review Sites Help with Search Engine Rankings?
Information from business listing sites, including user reviews, can show up high in search results in numerous ways. In particular, GMB and Bing Places information is often displayed prominently in the respective Google search engine and Bing search engine pages and maps. A search engine optimization (SEO) professional who specializes in local SEO can help you with a local SEO strategy and explain more.
Rather than focusing just on rankings, however, think broadly about “visibility”. Review sites give you more places to be found online. Too many small businesses are effectively invisible online. The more review websites your company appears in, with positive ratings, the better.
The internet has given consumers the power to make or break a business’s reputation by leaving reviews on social media sites like Facebook, search engines, or any number of business review sites like Yelp. It’s in your best interest to embrace review sites to make a positive brand impression.
Image via Shutterstock; various screenshots