February 16, 2017 in Strategy by

When someone looks for your company, what do they find? Does it make you look good? Does it make people want to work with you?

Why You Want Business Reviews (on third-party websites)

It’s one thing to call yourself credible (or, “reliable”). Of course, your testimonials page will have all good things to say about you. It’s another thing if other websites testify to your expertise. Positive reviews on these sites help reinforce your true abilities.

Second, you want to make a good first-impression in the SERPs. A good SEO campaign can introduce people to your business. Before they make the final decision to go with you, they will look at what others say about you. Make sure the search engine results make a good impression. Third-party review is especially helpful if they’ve encoded their site to include stars in the SERPs.

Third, you need to do this before you cheese someone off. I had a client that kept delaying our initiative to get reviews. There was always something else that was more important. One day, a disappointed customer gave them a bad review on Facebook. This wasn’t a fair review. It wasn’t even accurate. Unfortunately, when someone Googled this customer, they saw this one-star review. What will people find the first time you make a mistake? It won’t look so bad if you got ahead of this by seeking reviews ahead of time. In other words: stack the deck in your own favor, before you need to.

Clearly your company needs third-party reviews. But…

Where Should You Try to Get Reviews?

I use (and recommend) Yext to manage local profiles. One of the advantages is that many of the Yext profiles allow people to post reviews.

Out of all the profiles in Yext that take reviews, which should you ask people to add reviews? To find this I pulled the Quantcast ranking for each of these profiles. Why Quantcast? Because it considers website as well as app usage, in their rank of popularity.

Why do I care about app usage? Because people don’t just go to the web, to find your company. They also search their favorite app. If you want people to find good reviews, don’t forget apps.

The Five Essential Websites for Reviews

Considering Quantcast’s data, if I only attempted to get reviews in 5 websites, I’d focus on:

  1. Google
  2. Facebook
  3. Yahoo
  4. Yelp
  5. Superpages

This isn’t much of a surprise. Of all the Yext profiles, these are most well known.

Why Not Nine More?

The data for Quantcast only goes so far. It’s limited to the 100,000 most popular sites and apps. Is there anywhere else that might be worth the effort to get a review?

To find that, I turned to Alexa‘s data (not to be confused with Amazon’s new device). This ranks the 1 million most popular websites (at least, in the available data). So, it might not hurt to get people to review you in some of these sites, as well.

  1. Merchantcircle
  2. iGlobal
  3. ShowMeLocal
  4. BrownBook
  5. Chamber of Commerce (dot com)
  6. Cylex
  7. EZ Local
  8. CitySquares
  9. Insider Pages

Three More to Consider

If you have a little extra time, here are a couple more sites/apps to consider. These appear in the top 100,000 Quantcast sites and take reviews. They don’t, however, allow customer to give a number-rating of your business. Think of these as ways to accumulate testimonials:

  1. Topix
  2. Foursquare
  3. CitySearch

These might all be productive, third-party places to get reviews but…

How Do You Get Reviews?

The short answer: you have to ask. Who should you ask? Here are some ideas:

The trick: have something prepared to give these happy customers. This could be an email, word doc, or even a printed handout that makes it easy for people to give you a nice review. I’ve prepared a couple of these for my clients. They’ve found it very helpful.

Most importantly, please don’t try to cheat on reviews. Most of these sites know, if they want to be a credible source of reviews, their reviews need to be trustworthy. They are already watching out for people trying to game their review system. For the time it would take you to game their system, your time is better put into getting legitimate reviews.

Harvard Business Club of Charlotte MDP

David Zimmerman participated in the Management Development Program by the Harvard Business Club of Charlotte in 2018.

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