A World Beyond Yelp
Online reviews. Just the mention of that phrase immediately brings Yelp to most people’s minds. In some way, you could say that Yelp has been genericized as its name has become virtually synonymous with online reviews just like Band-aid is to bandages, Xerox is to copies and Kleenex is to tissues. While there may be no disputing the dominance or importance of Yelp in the world of online reviews, it is nonetheless important for businesses to be in tune with the other review sites and options available.
Following are some other review sites that you should consider as you look to manage and cultivate your online reputation:
What originally started as a site focused on providing information to visitors, tourists or those new to living in a particular city has expanded beyond that. Now, people can use Citysearch to find just about anything from a dry cleaners to a doctor to a great happy hour. Their method of reviewing businesses is different than what you will find on other sites. Instead of seeing a 3-star or such rating, you will see what percent of reviewers recommend the business.
The unique take that Local.com offers to companies is the ability to not only solicit and receive reviews but to promote special deals. Businesses can even put up coupons for consumers to use. Despite a poor search function, it is a site that receives relatively strong levels of traffic.
- Angie’s List
Because of the requirement to purchase a membership, Angie’s List may have a smaller user base but those users are fiercely loyal—and they put a lot of stock in the recommendations or rejections of their fellow members. Every review on Angie’s List is individually curated for legitimacy which adds to the amount of power it can have. If your business receives a positive review here, that is great. If your business receives a negative review here, that could be more troublesome than on other sites.
- Google My Business
This site, formerly Google Places, has gone through several iterations in recent years but having the Google name behind (or in front, really) of it should make it one you check out. It no longer only gives location, hours and other information but allows people to post reviews and assigns star ratings.
In addition to these review sites, there are several industry-specific ones that could be well worth your time depending upon the space your business operates in.
Keep Your Eyes Open
Your business may choose to rely predominately on one review site, making it the place you actively push people to in order to post reviews. That is fine however that does not mean you should ignore all other review sites. Just because you focus on one site only does not mean your customers cannot post somewhere else. It is 100% your responsibility to monitor your reputation and that means you should stay abreast of what is being said about you and where, not just on your one hand-picked and preferred review site. Your company philosophy about how to respond to reviews should also be done consistently across all channels. In doing this, you can most effectively be in control of your online reputation.