Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Rating and Review Websites 2014

Rating and Review Websites 2014

Customers use rating and review Websites to research, ask questions and leave feedback about brands. The interactivity of the Web allows users to connect with companies, professionals and other consumers in a new way. Review and rating Websites are a prime example of how this interactivity can work for (and against) businesses.

Getting to know Rating and Review Websites

Customer review and rating sites are mainly listings of businesses, where users can add reviews and opinions about different companies they have worked with. People who use these rating sites can search for a company or service in a city, and are presented with lists of related businesses in that area. Along with the business listing, users also have access to ratings and reviews left by other users of the Websites. This feedback is crucial in helping potential customers decide who they will give their business to.
Some of the most popular rating and review Websites right now include:
There are many other review sites on the Web. Some review sites are carving out an online niche, specializing in one type of business or service. For example Zagat and Urban Spoonare restaurant rating Websites, populated with user generated content based on their personal experiences. CNET allows users to research and review top electronics products.Health Grades allows members to leave feedback about the health professionals in their area.

Why are these Rating and Review sites important?

Consumers and brands alike are trying to make the most of these Websites. The 2011 Social Media Report released by Nielsen claims that 60% of Social Media users write reviews of products and brands. The same report states that consumer-created reviews are the preferred source of information about products and services.
Search engines also use these rating and review Websites to determine which companies deserve an increase in online visibility. Listings on these pages will increase your Web exposure. As these different sites grow in size and popularity their search visibility increases as well.
When searching for a restaurant in E-Power Marketing's hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 5 of the 6 top search positions are held by rating and review Websites.
It's clear that these rating and review Websites offer an important key to search visibility for both local businesses and larger brands alike.

How do you make ratings and review Websites work for you?

With the long list of these kinds of Websites out there, it's hard to know which review sites are worth focusing on. Where do brands start when trying to make the most of these Websites? E-Power Marketing has put together a quick list to get you started on these kinds of social Websites.
  • Create, claim, and improve - Check out some of the rating and review sites to see if your company is listed on them already. If you're not, create a listing! If you are already listed, make sure to claim the listing and fill in any details that may be missing.
  • Check out the reviews - See what people are saying about your company. Appreciate the good reviews, and take the bad with a grain of salt. Listen to what your customers are saying, improve on what you can. Be glad you're creating online buzz!
  • Make those reviews happen - Don't have any reviews yet? Let your customers know you're online on these Websites! Send a link to your listing out to your happy customers. Post the positive reviews you receive in your store. Get creative!
  • Keep an eye on your listings - In the same way you have to supervise your other Social Media accounts, you need to monitor your listings on these rating and review Websites. Grab the RSS feed or create a Google alert so that you can easily watch over the activity on your listing.

Even Negative Reviews Boost Sales

Establishing a presence on rating and review Websites allows business owners to get a better handle on what is being said about their company. Reviews won't always be positive though. It is important to understand how you can use negative reviews to benefit your Website and company.
  • Customers look for negative reviews
    • That's right; many people turn to rating and review Websites, to look for the negative reviews. Before making a purchase, they want to hear about the bad experiences other customers have had. Many times, customers will see the negative reviews, determine whether the setbacks are important, and make a more informed decision.
    • Also, a listing with all positive reviews seems a bit unrealistic. Customers look for listings with both positive and negative reviews so they are sure they are getting authentic (not spammed) reviews.
  • Online review sites are today's suggestion boxes
    • You will get personal feedback as to what is working and what isn't. Clients will tell you when salespeople are rude, when products don't live up to expectations, and more. Take the criticism with a grain of salt, but address the issues that matter.
    • You can pull the products or services that are earning the bad reviews. This will save you money and time on returns and unhappy future customers.
  • Positive reviews typically outnumber the negative reviews
    • Though many businesses worry about negative reviews, the fact is, they typically don't overshadow the positive ones.
    • When you actively seek reviews from your customers, you will likely acquire many positive reviews from your satisfied customers. The occasional negative review will help your business grow.

Let E-Power Marketing Help!

The Social Media Marketing team at E-Power Marketing can help your brand make the most of these rating and review Websites. Contact us today and ask us how you can improve your search visibility with these Websites.


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