Influential (and free) online review sites for SMEs
Online reviews of products and service are today pretty commonplace. A review site is a website that allows consumers to post reviews of businesses, products or services.
One of the most popular customer review platform in South Africa is HelloPeter. The platform allows consumers to report both good and bad service with the aim, according to its website: “to increase the level of our suppliers”.
While criticism of your product or service can be disheartening, criticism does have it’s benefits.
In a Business News Daily article, business journalist Sara Angeles, writes that not only do consumer evaluations deliver key insights into what your customers think of your business, but that online reviews also provide an opportunity to attract even more customers, by making you appear higher on search engine results.
Here are 2 online review websites your small business needs to join right now according to Angeles.
1. Google+ Local
Once upon a time, there was Google Places and there was Google+ Business. Now combined into a single platform called Google+ Local, the resulting site makes it easier than ever for customers to find local businesses and trusted reviews straight from Google search results, says Angeles.
Why Google+ Local: Angeles says if you want to be found, Google+ Local is the place to be. “First, this free service offers premiere Web search real estate by placing your business listing on top of search results, which gives customers instant access to reviews and comparisons to similar businesses,” she says. “Google+ Local is also a social platform that lets customers review your business and recommend it to friends and followers.”
2. Yahoo! Local
Angeles says you must try Yahoo! Local if you need a higher ranking on Yahoo! search results .” Similar to Google+ Local, Yahoo! Local showcases your business and its reviews on top of search results. Reviews are based on a 5-star rating system and show both reviews on Yahoo! Local itself and those from around the Web,” she says.
Why Yahoo! Local: “Think of Yahoo! Local as a single-platform version of Google+ Local,” Angeles says. “Although the service doesn’t integrate your business with other Yahoo! properties like Google+ Local does with Google properties, it does give your business its own listing and business page where reviews appear. With this potentially high-traffic landing page, Yahoo! Local presents an opportunity to turn readers into paying customers.” Angeles adds that not only can you control how your business looks by adding photos, a tagline and an about section, but you can also list rates and offer online deals and other exclusive promotions right on your profile.