Online Customer Review Sites

It’s really easy to get testimonials for your website and add them yourself, but most companies use external review websites. We’ll run through the main reasons you should follow suit. 

Do People Even Read Reviews?

Online reviews add an element of Social Proof to your products and services. Studies show 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchase decision.

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Can't I Just Ask for Testimonials?

There are certain benefits to testimonials on your own site, we can style them however you want, they are available at point of purchase and they are controlled by you - no need to publish anything that isn't 5 stars. 

That is exactly the issue though, everyone knows that you're in control of these reviews and they don't have the same authenticity that external reviews have. 

Which Review Sites Are My Customers On?

There's a lot of options online, and to a certain extent, it depends on your industry and what your business goals are. 

Travel and tourism businesses invariably lean on TripAdvisor to show their potential visitors that they're up to scratch. Anyone who sells products on Amazon will be familiar with their on-site rating system. Checkatrade is built for tradesfolk reviews like builders and plumbers to help show they're trustworthy before people let them into their homes. Capterra helps you select the right software and offer a financial incentive for people to write long, thought out reviews of the software they have used. 

There are loads of other review sites, many of which apply to a variety of different industries. Here are some examples of review logos we're sure you'll have seen:

Which Review Site is Best for SEO?

First and foremost, any and all third party reviews are good for SEO. You're getting an online citation on another site, UGC (user-generated content) and legitimacy. Although you might lose out ranking for on 'best wedding caterer in Exeter' to a review site, they will more than makeup for it with the traffic they push your way.

Unfortunately, there is no one top review site for us to unveil as not only does the industry that you're in play a part in your top review site, it's also important to have reviews on multiple sites. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Google doesn't hold it's own reviews in higher regard than other review sites either, a rare moment of fairness from the search engine giant. 

To identify which sites you should use:

  • Search for [industry keyword] reviews (e.g. wedding catering reviews) and see which review sites Google ranks highest.
  • If you see a lot of competitor sites for your keywords then bring up their knowledge panel, about halfway down you will see links titled more reviews - these are good sites to choose. 
  • Sites which feed their reviews into other websites (the more the merrier) for example Yahoo! local reviews display on their site AND Yelp, then Yelp reviews go to Bing and Apple so that's four points of visibility.

The Power of Reviews

Now you know that a review in your favour can have benefits for your SEO and your bottom line, it's important to remember that not all reviews are good. If you are not providing a quality service then reviews are going to cause you more harm than good, and even the best of the best may receive a poor review every once in a while. 

It's such an important part of selling online that we still recommend that you venture into reviews, claim your listings and when you get a negative review take some of those criticisms on board to improve your product and your company. Here's a full rundown of how to handle negative reviews

Need a hand? If you're not sure how to claim your listing, where your reviews are or how to keep on top of your online reputation then get in touch and we can help. 

Posted by Becky Cockman on May 18th 2020

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