Review sites help you connect with consumers in a meaningful way. Plus, they give you a chance to hear directly from your customers.
An added benefit is that they can help you climb up local search engine results and reach more leads. A 2021 study by Podium found reviews influence 88% of consumers when they’re discovering local businesses.
Do reviews matter for SEO?
Review sites are great for search engine optimization (SEO), particularly for local SEO. According to the 2023 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey by Whitespark, they account for around 16% of local search ranking factors.
Reviews help you to attract the attention of people in your geographic area. Therefore, they can help your business land higher in search results when someone searches for businesses like yours.
Customers are increasingly likely to research companies before they buy from them. A lack of visibility could cause your business to miss out on leads and sales.
As the biggest search engine in the world, most businesses have some type of Google review strategy in place. Google reviews matter, but there are lots of other places your business should establish a presence on.
The following are the best review sites for SEO:
Since 2004, Yelp has accumulated more than 265 million reviews and 33 million unique app device downloads. That makes it one of the best Google reviews alternatives for local SEO. Yelp rates businesses on a 1- to 5-star scale. Users have the chance to write out reviews and interact with other reviews by endorsing them.
You can interact directly with reviewers after verification. That’s a powerful tool for your review strategy. Especially as Moz research finds that 90%+ consumers are moderately or extremely influenced by owner responses to reviews.
2. Better Business Bureau
One of the main differentiators of the BBB compared to other review sites is its investigation team.
Customers can file a complaint about a business to the BBB, which will then investigate the issue. The BBB will contact businesses that have complaints filed against them. The business owner has the opportunity to respond. Interactions appear for public view. So, other customers can see how the business handled the complaint.
BBB also offers accreditation. This provides a seal on the business profile and enhances exposure for accredited businesses. The BBB requires accredited businesses to respond to customer complaints. When businesses respond to customers, it helps improve customer perception.
The reputation and professionalism that drives BBB practices improve its trust and authority in the review site space.
Trustpilot, founded in 2007, has become another popular review site. It featured more than 167 million reviews as of December 2021. Plus, landed in the top 1% of most popular websites, according to Alexa. Like Yelp, Trustpilot reviews are on a 1- to 5-star scale.
In an attempt to live up to its name, Trustpilot released its first transparency report in 2021. The report stated the company removed more than 2.2 million harmful or fake reviews. It used fraud detection software to identify the nearly 6% of “untrustful” reviews the site eliminated.
You can access Trustpilot features like verified review invitations and website widgets. These features aim to increase your visibility on the site.
If your business operates in the hospitality and tourism space, consider building a presence on Tripadvisor. This was the second most-visited travel and tourism website in January 2023. The site had 161.4 million visits that month, second only to booking.com.
The local SEO review site features reviews on anything that’s related to vacations. That includes tours, restaurants, hotels, and landmarks.
Business owners can sign up for a free Tripadvisor listing and customize it with location details, photos, and information regarding what they offer. You can also respond to customer reviews and track performance data as a business on Tripadvisor.
Customers can also book excursions right on the Tripadvisor site. That makes the website a powerful lead generator for tourism businesses.
Love it or hate it, Facebook has a significant review presence.
According to a 2021 study by ReviewTrackers, 19% of consumers checked Facebook before visiting a business. That landed Facebook fourth in the rankings of review sites. Behind the top three Google, Yelp, and Tripadvisor.
Facebook matters for reviews because it’s still the most popular social media network in the world, as of 2023. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Facebook had 2 billion daily global active users. 266 million monthly active users were in the U.S. and Canada.
Any business with a Facebook business page can get online reviews on the social network. Users can choose to recommend a business on the page’s “Recommendations and Reviews” section. Then, provide context to the review with text and photos. You can then interact with the reviews on the site.
Angi (formerly Angie’s List) provides reviews for home contractors. Anyone who does services like plumbing, roofing, installations, house cleaning, landscaping, repairs, and more.
Contractors can showcase work projects and communicate with homeowners and leads right through the site. The platform also provides business insights, including contacts, calls, quote requests, and claimed deals.
For contractors who are looking to build their businesses, Angi can be a great place to start. In February 2023, SEMRush reports the site received 9.2 million visits, competing with BBB’s 13.3 million.
Review site best practices
If you do have a presence on a review site like those mentioned here, keep in mind the following best practices:
- Optimize your review site with accurate contact information.
- Make your review profile SEO-friendly. Write detailed descriptions that feature relevant keywords for your business.
- Acknowledge user reviews, including the negative ones. Let customers know how you’re handling issues. So, other review visitors can see your business response.
- Thank users for positive reviews. That can help you build stronger customer relationships and build customer loyalty.
- Treat each review site as a potential search result for your business. Strategize what type of user experience you want potential leads and customers to have. Populate review pages with content and photography that positively depicts your business.
Add review sites to your local SEO strategy
Review sites can help more leads discover your business. Plus, they give current customers the opportunity to build a deeper relationship with your company.
Research your competitors to see what review sites they’re active on. Decide if those sites are good for your business, too.