One of the best ways to find customers and expand your business is through review and directory sites. It's also how you grow your online reputation and can learn valuable lessons about your marketing, product, and even how your employees view your business. So it's essential that you know where people are talking about your company and what they are saying.
By staying ahead of the game and keeping an eye on your public image, you can be aware of any negative reviews or opinions of your company, plus it gives you the chance to quickly make amends and improve your online reputation.
There are also review sites that give the employee perspective on businesses. This is valuable not only so you can see what type of work environment your company has and how it is perceived by your employees, but what image is going to be presented to any potential future workers.
Some review and directory sites also offer higher levels of involvement for a fee. You can place ads as well as have your company suggested when site visitors are investigating categories connected to your business. Other sites offer lead generation, web design, and services geared toward growth and expanding your online presence.
No matter what the goal is for your company, here are 20 business review sites you need to know.
Arguably the best-known and most widely used business review site, it's vital that companies not only claim their profile on Yelp but closely monitor their reviews and comments. This can be essential for business growth as 94% of consumers claim that a positive review makes them more likely to patronize a business.
Yelp is one of the top ten social networks in the United States, with studies showing an estimated 12% of American consumers use the site regularly. That works out to almost 75 million people a month. In addition to having businesses claim and maintain their profile, Yelp has opportunities for paid advertising and placement to reach customers and visitors to the site.
Founded in 2007, Trustpilot is a free website for businesses and consumers built on a platform of transparency. It has over 167 million reviews with nearly 8 billion monthly impressions on its content.
The site is listed as one of the top Alexa sites on the Internet and offers a highly detailed category system allowing potential customers to search for the exact services or products they need.
3: Better Business Bureau
One of the oldest services for customers to learn about companies, the Better Business Bureau was established in 1912. For generations, it has been a standard setter for good service and has become synonymous with positive business practices. The BBB is also unique because it has local offices in every US state and in Canada, allowing it to be active on a community level.
In addition to offering support for businesses as well as BBB accreditations, the organization tracks scams and allows consumers to leave reviews and file complaints. They handle dispute resolution as well as fielding grievances against non-profits and charities.
4: Google Reviews
It's estimated that nearly 8 billion searches are conducted on Google every day, making it essential for companies to monitor and use the service to represent their company. Companies can easily add or claim their Business Profile through the site, which ensures their information will show up when people directly search not only for their company but for related terms about their business or product.
5: WHOIS Search
OK, this one is not a review site, but WhoIs is a powerful tool for consumers to gain trust in a company. The website offers a domain lookup that allows the public to find out who is really behind a website or company. While it doesn't offer direct reviews, it can be vital when a company is working under a different name or to show that it is a legitimate business and not a scam or fly-by-night operation.
6: SEC Edgar Database
Operated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Edgar Database stands for Electronic Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system. It contains millions of company and individual filings, allowing investors, corporations, and customers access to information through the free public database. This can be vitally important to businesses as they grow and look for potential investors.
7: Trusted Company Reviews
Trusted Company Reviews offers company and product reviews as well as expert recommendations. They use pricing, value, interest, and reputation to develop their reviews. The site also breaks topics down into smaller categories, such as electronics, appliances, and health & beauty. Companies can directly submit their product or business for review by their editorial staff.
Boasting a directory of over 180,000 companies and more than eight million reviews, Sitejabber has been providing customer input on small businesses since 2007. Sitejabber estimates that over 150 million people have used the site. Businesses are encouraged to claim their profile and the site also lists trending companies in addition to offering a browser extension to assist with reviews as users surf the Internet.
Launched in 2010 specifically for restaurants, Zomato is a review site that allows customers to write reviews on eateries and their services. Reviewers can also upload photos, place delivery orders, and make reservations. Zomato offers visitors curated lists of restaurants based on cuisine, themes, location, and more.
For restaurant and food-based businesses, Zomato provides marketing tools as well as a blog with operations tips, case studies, and even charity information. Another unique aspect of Zomato is Hyperpure, a procurement service that allows businesses to acquire high-quality ingredients and kitchen products.
Formerly known as Angie's List, Angi has been providing reviews and price estimates on companies and services for more than 25 years. Originally created to showcase local contractors and offer honest reviews for homeowners in Columbus, Ohio, the site has grown to showcase more than 250,000 businesses with reviews and interactions from over 150 million users.
11: Bing Places
Part of the popular search engine alternative to Google, Bing Places allows businesses to claim their profile and include it in search engine results as a verified company. With almost a third of desktop searches conducted on Bing, it definitely can be a vital part of a larger online reputation plan and shouldn't be neglected by businesses.
12: Business Consumer Alliance
The Business Consumer Alliance is a non-profit membership program that has been around since 1928, originally part of the BBB but venturing out on its own in 2013. It promotes self-regulation and assigns letter grades ranging from AAA to F, which allows the public to see firsthand how a business operates. It also takes complaints about businesses in an attempt to resolve issues before they escalate.
Glassdoor is unique because it provides reviews of businesses written by the people who work at the companies. These entries provide in-depth and often personal experiences of what really goes on inside offices and businesses in a safe and anonymous way. It has an average of 55 million monthly visitors who peruse over 115 million reviews.
Glassdoor also allows businesses to claim their profiles, respond to reviews, and post job listings, not only in the United States but in 20 countries around the world. The site publishes several annual awards, including the Employees' Choice and Best Places to Work honors.
14: In Her Sight
Another employee review site, In Her Sight is unique because it is woman-centric and provides insight into how companies treat their female workers. In addition to information on telecommuting, the flexibility of work hours, and salary satisfaction, In Her Sight also provides an inside look at how companies approach family growth support, leadership roles for women, and diversity within the business.
While mostly known as a job-searcher site created in 2004, Indeed also hosts 72 million company ratings. It sees over 300 million visitors to the site every month and operates closely with its sister site Glassdoor.
With its proximity to job seekers, being active on a site like Indeed can be vital for a company to ensure it has the best public image in order to attract and hire the best possible workforce.
16: Consumer Affairs
Boasting hundreds of thousands of reviews, Consumer Affairs also works with industry experts to provide the public with how-to articles and specific areas of interest including senior care, education, and homeownership. They offer a paid "Authorized Partner Program" for businesses that provides more interaction with reviews as well as data and analytics.
17: Trust Radius
A site that is specifically for software companies and their products, Trust Radius has over 444,000 reviews from verified users. With their entries averaging over 400 words, reviewers are verified and the site doesn't sell leads or paid placements. The site also has a blog specifically for companies with tips and information on growing their tech products and business.
18: Merchant Circle
The largest online site for local merchants, Merchant Circle strives to connect people with small businesses right in their backyard. With 2 million listed merchants, it allows its 100 million users to support local and smaller businesses with honest reviews. They offer paid services to small businesses to help develop advertising campaigns and leads.
The UK-based review website Which? promotes itself as a champion of consumers. A membership-run non-profit site, members have access to thousands of expert company and product reviews as well as category-specific magazines. The site is independent and doesn't accept freebies or samples from manufacturers or companies.
20: US Reviews
US Reviews is based on a mission of transparency and a site "for and by consumers." Reviewers are encouraged to leave their honest opinions on companies, and categories are broken down into over a dozen smaller categories. The site also offers a blog with business advice for smaller companies in unique niches.