Reviews for small businesses can be a double-edged sword. While all of the satisfied customers get a chance to talk about the positives of working with you, your unsatisfied customers get the chance to speak out about their less-than-satisfying experience.
Each happy customer will spread the word of your excellent services to 10 of their friends. That being said, an unhappy client will share their experience with 100.
At the end of the day, a positive review means the world to a small business. However, there is another factor involving reviews that impact small businesses. That would be the review site that is used.
We have listed 19 of the best review sites found across the internet, and these sites are ideal for small businesses to build a name off of. Many of these sites can be used to monitor a business’ reputation online, reach out to more customers while keeping track of what customers have to say about you.
One of the largest and well-known advocacy groups for consumers is the Better Business Bureau. Not only does it have diverse users that can be quite valuable to your company, but they help customers discover businesses anywhere in the US.
There is a downside, the BBB does indeed charge companies to join. Meaning, expect to pay if you want to be on the list.
Though the BBB can’t dictate what you do as a business owner, their public reach and recommendations can apply enough pressure to you in order to make changes that they’d like to see made.
The reason they can get away with this is their strict BBB Code of Conduct. It is basically a stringent version of the US trade and advertising laws.
That being said, it is still a massive help to be listed on the BBB, especially because you are able to put a badge on display that represents your integrity. However, it is up to you whether or not you join the BBB. Accepting their terms of conduct is worth the money. Trust us.
Starting as a local business review site, Angie’s list is another great tool for bettering your reputation as a business. Pretty much, if you need a general contractor, you use Angie’s list to show you a local listing for what you are looking for. This was revolutionary when they started because it was rare that a site focused on local listings.
Nowadays, every site utilizes local listings. However, that doesn’t write out Angie’s List. They have transformed with the times, keeping up with the competition by offering free membership to the businesses that want to be listed. You can also pick one of two paid plans if you want more invested services.
It is important that the odds will be stacked against you from the start. That is due to the main appeal of this review site. They make sure to defend the consumer.
Another thing to know about Angie’s List, they also act as an intermediary between businesses and customers. This is especially true with conflict resolution. This just means that in the event of a bad review, the site could still side with the business if the customer is in the wrong or being unfair.
The only way to survive on Angie’s list is to run a hardworking and honest business. For small businesses, that isn’t difficult to do.
Business Consumer Alliance
This review site is dedicated to providing honestly-ranked businesses with a fair environment. They are a non-profit (Private) organization. They offer you a chance to resolve any complaints that are made against your company, mediating over 30,000 complaints each year.
Based out of California, they help connect users with the appropriate contractors for any projects they need. They do this with honest reviews and rankings.
They also give you a chance to view any recent scams, that way, users can choose safe contractors.
Facebook is more than just a place to share cat videos and pictures of your dinner. In fact, if you don’t have a page on Facebook for your business, then you are behind. When we say behind, we mean it is like a race. In this race, instead of mile markers, you are trying to beat the competition to consumers. There should be some urgency in your actions; make a business page.
Facebook has over 2.7 billion users that are active each month, catering to individuals and businesses alike. They offer the largest variety of functionality and options over all the sites listed here.
For starters, with a page on Facebook for your business, you are able to directly communicate with anyone interested in your brand. Facebook also gives customers a chance to leave a review, allowing you to respond. You can address concerns, complaints, problems, and questions either in public or in a private message.
Facebook is incredibly involved, but we have more to say about this wonderful platform.
If you have the money to invest, you can also take out ads on Facebook. This will help you promote your product/service to groups of people who are interested in your brand, turning them into customers.
The ads you invest in on Facebook allow you to target your key demographics and reach out to people who didn’t know they needed your services. Based on job titles, interests, and other personal info, you are able to expand your target audience. Put simply, Facebook is one of the single greatest ways for you to reach out to the customers that you need.
With Bing Places, you are able to add several pieces of important information to their search engine. Such information includes:
- Phone Number
- Company’s Name
- Hours of Operation
While that doesn’t sound like it would make a difference, however, Bing is still in control of a large portion of the search market share. Adding information on Bing will still bring in some business, even though it isn’t Google. Also, Bing Places has the perfect price tag, 0$.
You don’t have to sign a code of conduct, and unless you are in violation of their terms of service, they will not make you change anything involving your business.
Because you fill out the information to be listed on Bing Places, you are able to show up in the Bing Maps, other Microsoft properties, and searches. Honestly, this is one of the absolute best ways to raise your brand awareness, no matter where you are operating.
This software focuses on getting feedback for your brand. The feedback will be all honest, and when you subscribe to their services, you can ask your customers to submit their reviews during or after they work with you.
This software is marketed as a tool for listening. It streamlines the process of reviews for the customer. While this may feel like it is counter-intuitive, HundredX has made the discovery that reviews given are usually positive when the customer finds it easy to post them. That just means you will see the positives of your company instead of as much negative.
In the event you do get some negative feedback, then you are given a chance to address the matter privately. This allows you to resolve issues without the internet, knowing everything.
What’s the catch? It will cost you. However, the cost is worth it for how effective it is.
This site began as a social network in 09. It allows users to check-in at different businesses and landmarks. However, since it began, it has adapted to the ever-changing mobile market. They have also enabled a search function that also provides contact information for businesses.
Though Facebook lets you do the same things, with more users, Foursquare is still formidable. They have 45 million users, and after their rebound in 2013, they are beginning to rise through the rankings. They have a database of 75 million businesses worldwide. They cater to people looking for businesses on the go, making it a goldmine of foot traffic for physical stores.
They recently put a second app on the market, Swarm, which adds an element of competition to local businesses. Keeping that in mind, you are able to use both Swarm and Foursquare to get more traffic through your doors.
Angie’s List’s greatest competitor, Home Advisor, specializes in reviewing home services. Such as:
- Other Utility Services
You could have reviewed it there and not even know it.
They focus mainly on residential customers, instead of companies just looking to improve their areas of work. You are able to make an account on this site to either claim a listing that already exists or creating a listing for your brand.
You will also show up in the Home Advisor searches on their site. Just like with Google AdWords, you are able to promote your company over those of your competitors. The greatest part is, Home Advisor sees millions of different visitors a month, making it a site you must have your company listed on.
This site may not sound like it is a spot on niche, but it is still the leading provider of B2B software online reviews. G2 is worth billions.
Leading software-as-a-service providers, such as:
The reason this is important information is that it provides G2 with a good amount of clout with owners of businesses. Startups especially.
For software providers, it is important that you search for yourself on G2 Crowd. They collected over 90,000 reviews for varying products, so you can bet that someone has talked about yours at some point. However, there isn’t any way you can change the reviews on the site. This is more of a monitoring site for the overall brand sentiment. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important still. In fact, most of the individuals who leave their reviews are business-savvy, informed, and offering honest criticism that you should really pay attention to.
When it comes to reviewing employers, Glassdoor is the top site. It isn’t dependent on your services or products, but instead your employees. How they feel and how they are treated will determine the reputation of your business.
However, that doesn’t mean that this site can’t have an impact on the future of your company. Hiring worthwhile talent is difficult if you have negative marks on your company from previous/current employees.
As a matter of fact, hiring becomes significantly more difficult with negative reviews.
With 30 million users and over 500,000 companies reviewed, they have well over 10 million reviews on their site. If you haven’t taken a moment to look, you need to. You are able to find out what people are currently saying about the business you run.
The reviews aren’t changeable. However, the feedback is helpful when you are trying to improve in areas to gain an edge on the competition. Only this time around, you are viewing reviews from past and current employees/interviewees. This is valuable information because a well run ship can sail the roughest waters.
Similar to Yellow Pages, you will find lists of businesses from all over. They cover almost every industry that you can think of. Pretty much, it is a directory in which you most likely already have your company listed. You are able to claim/create a listing for free, giving you the chance to inform more people about your business.
SuperPages’ main focus is helping users find a company that is ideal for them. While this site does operate like an old-school phone book, users are still able to leave reviews.
In order to show up in relevant search results on SuperPages, you only have to set up your listing and add the contact information of your business. You are able to boost the listing above your competitors’.
All that being said, you may not find it worthwhile. It all depends on the revenue and how much you’re able to actually earn from SuperPages. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have a listing on SuperPages.
Since it was founded, Manta has grown amazingly quick. It is an online directory that operates as a Yelp alternative. However, what sets it apart from Yelp is the marketing packages it offers. You are able to promote your brand and claim your listing.
That being said, their business model is based solely on their directory. It specializes in small businesses, so it is another one of those sites that may already have you listed, and you just don’t know it yet.
To claim your listing on Manta, all you have to do is look up your business and click on the ‘Claim’ button. Doing so will give you access and control over the information of your business. You just don’t have any control over the user reviews that are posted. Still, it can be beneficial as it gives you another business search engine you will be listed on. That gives you a chance to expand your brand to further reaches.
This review site is focused on restaurants, acting as a business directory that is designed to show off the best eats in the user’s area. It was initially a way to streamline the process of reservations, but it evolved into a place where customers could leave reviews.
The reviews also include a way for customers to leave an (up to 5 stars) rating based on:
- and More
On this site, you can layout your menu and the prices, giving customers an idea of what to expect when they sit at your tables. Like we said, it is solely for restaurants. OpenTable is proof that the food industry is heavily reliant on customer reviews. It can help your business succeed or fail.
This simple directory for businesses works the same way as Yelp and Manta. However, unlike those two, it incorporates a good amount of ads. These ads lead to a slightly unpleasant experience for users, so it isn’t as popular as some of the other ones listed.
With that on the table, it doesn’t hurt to make sure your free listing is claimed, and information on your business is added to the directory. It is just another way you can affordably and passively gain new leads.
SiteJabber covers a wide variety of services for reviews, such as:
- Video Games
- Pet Services
- Baby Food
- And So Much More
While it acts a lot like the other review sites and directories on this list, it is still a valuable site to use. It offers a wide range of different industries that make it a one-stop-shop for reviews. What this means for you is, even if there aren’t any reviews, you can probably find that your business is already listed. They list businesses, so they are ready for any review about them.
All that being said, there is one characteristic of SiteJabber that sets it apart from other sites, the type of reviews it has. The reviews are amazingly negative. There are overwhelming numbers of one-star reviews that just keep going.
This site is honestly the place where (seemingly) only negative reviews are given. The user profiles seem to be on a short life span, with only a couple reviews each.
When it comes down to it, it is your choice whether you want to use this site. If you offer honest, quality, and affordable products to customers, you could be one of the only listings to get a positive review. However, with a name like SiteJabber, I think their intention is to literally take jabs at businesses for their downfalls.
Since we have mentioned it multiple times on other listings, we feel it is time to talk about the original customer reviews focused sites, Yelp.
While they focused mainly on restaurants, in the beginning, its popularity made way for expansion into different industries. Now, it is one of the most (if not the most) popular site for consumer reviews on anything.
It is important that you look your site up on Yelp. Their traffic rate is higher than almost all other directories, and they have a hyper-focus on local businesses.
Without knowing it, you may already have some reviews on Yelp. Even if your company is new, there might be something on this site about your business.
You are able to claim your business listing pretty quickly. They also allow you to keep a constant watch on what is being said about your brand. If anyone is going to talk about your business anywhere, it will most likely be Yelp.
The reviews aren’t able to be changed, but they do offer learning opportunities to make changes to your approach. To show dedication to your audience, customers, and potential customers, you are able to respond to the reviews.
Yelp is so much more; they even have entire sections on their site housing advice for connecting better with customers. So, keeping an eye on your brand, responding to reviews, and improving your reputation can all be done on one site.
A lot like G2 Crowd, TrustRadius is a business software review site. However, unlike G2, it has a business directory, blog, and vendor profiles integrated. This makes it a search engine that is comprehensive. You are able to find almost anything you want to know about a software company.
If the software is a service you provide, this should be a site that you need to look at for listings into a directory. It is important to have listings for both your company and product. Also, you can categorize the products you offer to help users find them without the search function.
Basically, this is a straightforward, simple way for you to list business online. Considering that there is no cost to start out, for software companies, it is considered a real steal.
Yellow Pages is a business directory with a great reputation and is well-known around the world. This is due to their publication before the internet, as well as their quick adoption into the internet. Next to Google, Yellow Pages is one of the largest directories for businesses across the globe. It covers millions of companies and possibly thousands of industries. To be frank, you could already have a listing found on Yellow Pages. You can claim the listing by looking up your business in the directory. However, there is a price you have to pay.
You will find a few problems with Yellow Pages; for starters, they create individual listings for businesses that make physical location moves. That means there are multiple listings for several companies that have moved a number of times in their growth as a business.
Next, like we said before, you have to pay for your listing claim. This can be obnoxious. If you don’t have much of a budget, this may not be the site for you to worry about right off the bat. In the future, however, you should definitely invest in claiming your listing.
That all being said, there are still tons of searches being done on Yellow Pages a month, so an investment into it is still worth it for your business. Even if you don’t invest, then you are still able to check your listing and the reviews it gets.
Which? is another directory for businesses. They are also a UK review search engine that focuses on expert advice. Though they only focus on one country, they do get reviews for apps and software from all over. If your audience is wide scoped, then this site is useful for almost every industry/company.
Which? Will offer different services to companies in order to help them boost their brand, trustworthiness, and the revenue they get. Their main target is customers in the UK, meaning that your American business isn’t the right fit for this site if your demographic is local to the States.
For a startup, it is a great fit. It gives a business who is shooting for the stars a chance to reach new customers.
While we listed many different sites for reviews and directories, there are more ways out there to increase your brand reputation and visibility of your business. In fact, while these sites are super helpful and effective, nothing beats good old SEO.
If you need help increasing brand awareness for your company through SEO, then reach out to us, and we will be able to help you do just that.