Online review sites are a valuable resource to every company. They provide unsolicited feedback from customers on how well your company is doing.
The most popular review sites are Google+, Yelp and Facebook Places. How important these sites are to your business depends on how much you value their unique benefits.
The unique benefit of Google+ is Search. Online reviews that appear on your company’s Google+ page increases the company’s ranking in local (location based) search results. These used to require individuals to enter the name of their city when searching for a business (“minneapolis plumbers”), but with prominence of mobile devices, location is baked into many search. 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine, with location data automatically appended.
The unique benefit of Yelp is Syndication. It’s the universal review engine for other apps, websites, and devices. Yelp shares its reviews via Yahoo, Bing, Whitepages, Mapquest and many other websites. It’s also the review engine built into Apple Maps and most GPS systems. This means that individuals that are already in their car, seeking a business, have access to Yelp reviews when they decide where to go.
The unique benefit of Facebook places is Social. Reviews on Facebook Places pages are natively social. This means the pages can be leveraged effectively for social marketing and campaigns.
The common benefit of review sites is their ability to influence customers and sales:
- Reviews on a site can boost conversion by 20%.
- 92% of consumers have more confidence in online information than information from any other source.
- 71% of consumers consulted a business review site prior to making significant purchases.
- 72% say reading a positive customer reviews increase their trust in the business