There are several review sites out there on the internet, and you are probably wondering which ones are the most deserving of your time and effort.
The simple answer – You need to be set up to receive a review wherever your customer wants to leave it. This blog post outlines 9 essential review websites that we recommend based on their popularity and relevance to the home service industry.
- Google My Business
Google's famous algorithm utilizes location information and organic rankings to display the most relevant local search results. In order for your business' website to be properly optimized for search, you'll need to set up verified accounts with any and all the local directories, but especially Google My Business. Getting reviews, comments, pictures, etc. on Google, will give you a boost in search. You’ll also need a verified local Google+ page if you want to respond to reviews.As an added bonus, Google Maps pulls that information and those reviews into their mobile app, so having a lot of content in there will make your business look a lot more reputable.
- Angie's List
Built specifically for the home service business, Angie's List is an upscale review site. All of its users are required to register an account, reviews are verified and can never be anonymous. Just like high school, businesses are graded on an A-F scale, and the quality of the review itself is higher than other sites, usually more thought out with less ranting and raving. It has been able to maintain that review quality despite moving from paid to free memberships. The lack of anonymity contributes to fewer fake or misrepresentative reviews, and businesses are able to respond to their reviews.It's free to set up an account and relatively easy to set up an Angie’s List page for your company. Once you have your account set up and optimized, encourage your customers to create their own free membership and leave you a review.
Yelp is a review site that is free to use and allows users to rate businesses using a five-star scale. Any business can create a profile on Yelp at no cost that includes details like hours and location. Likewise, users are able to create their own profiles and write reviews, but they are able to maintain a level of anonymity. Businesses have the ability to respond to reviews, though they should always take a professional approach to responding to any negative reviews. Yelpers are known to be a tight-knit community and retaliate when they feel wronged.Yelp has stirred up some controversy in the past few years for some questionable practices. They’ve been known to reward businesses who advertise with them with top search results and making negative reviews less visible. Yelp claims to have corrected this, but it’s definitely left a sour taste in many business and consumer user’s mouth. Despite this, you shouldn’t skip out on participating on the site. There are a lot of “buyers” hanging out here.Most Yelp users have learned over time to consider multiple reviews for a business rather than relying on a handful of (highly entertaining) negative reviews. It is still important to strive for a consistent stream of positive online reviews on your business' Yelp profile so your most satisfied customers always appear at the top of your review feed.
- Yahoo! Local Listings
Yahoo! offers businesses the ability to set up a local listing with a very similar set up to Google My Business. Users can leave a review on a five-star scale that you are able to respond to. You can set up a free listing with them, but Yahoo does make it a little tricky to find the link to do so. Here is where it is:You may be asking yourself, “Do people still use Yahoo!?” Well, according to research from Search Engine Land, Yahoo! receives over 10% of the total share of search engine use. While 10% may not seem like a whole lot, it's still people searching for exactly what they need and you have to offer through a search engine, so it’s worth it to spend some time completing your Yahoo! Business profile, and encouraging your customers to leave positive reviews.
- Better Business Bureau
Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) is a well-known nonprofit organization that evaluates businesses using a rubric of best practices and customer service. A business profile on BBB.org includes a general overview, a short company bio and their accreditation status, a history of complaints and if they were resolved, customer reviews, and an A-F grade. They do not offer recommendations or endorsements of businesses, products, or services. What they do is provide useful information about businesses, and say whether or not they meet their accreditation standards.I will say that a lot of business owners I've talked to about the BBB have said they are not excited about the program. If that's you, just know that consumers do visit this site to help with buying decisions. I'd advise you to at least set up your business listing and start gathering reviews.
- Facebook Ratings & Reviews
Did you know there's a place on Facebook for fans to leave ratings and reviews for your business? There sure is … it's named, aptly, Facebook Ratings & Reviews. It appears on the left-hand side of your Facebook Page, and you can't move or remove it like you can other parts of your Page.Anyone logged into Facebook can post a rating or review of a business. All they have to do is go to the Reviews section of your Page, click the gray stars to choose a rating, and then write an optional review. They can make that review public, visible to friends, or visible only to them. So, with over a billion users on Facebook, you'll definitely want to leverage this as a marketing tool for your business.
Houzz is another directory tailored to home service providers that you can get leads from, but also gather comments and reviews. Houzz showcases home improvement, home remodeling, and interior designers using lots of images, project images, and idea boards.If your company has physical products that you sell, you can also upload pictures with those products in them and tag your products to be in the shopping area that offers products on the site. To take it one step further, you can reach out to fellow contractors that show your products in their images and ask them to tag your products in their photos as well. You can also participate in their discussion forum where consumers are asking questions, which could lead to more business. Of course, make sure you're asking Houzz customers to leave your business a review after they've experienced your services or bought your products.
- Home Advisor
Home Advisor is another great place for home service business to have a company profile. A quick heads up, it is free to set up an account but you'll have to go through a screening process for criminal records, bankruptcy issues, bad reviews, sex offenses, and cases of malpractice before you can list your business. In addition, you'll have to really look at the pay per lead system that they offer. They also offer tools like ProFinder, Pro Reviews, Cost Guide, Instant Booking and DesignMine to make sure the customers have resources and easy ways to take quick action on their projects.Once you set up your account and start getting leads from their system, be sure to have a consistent, reliable way to ask these customers to go back to the Home Advisor website to leave your business a review. It is a 1-5 star rating scale and the more positive reviews you have the more likely people will be excited to call and work with you.
Porch is a local home services website that helps homeowners with projects, maintenance and repairs by connecting them with quality professionals. Porch also serves as the exclusive in-store resource in over 1,720 Lowe’s stores across the U.S.
Once you set up a free business profile on the website you'll be able to view projects that customers post and offer your services. Customers can also reach out to you directly after reviewing your profile. Be sure to review the site and decide if you want to get set up with a subscription model or pay as you go. Regardless of how you set your account up, you'll want to pay close attention to the projects you complete with Porch customers, so you can strategically increase your review base.
There you have it… 9 ESSENTIAL sites your service business needs to be set up on. I hope you found this list helpful.
Utilize the above mentioned review sites to their maximum strength, sign up for Maxx Reviews automation tool and take your online reputation management to the next level! Give us a call (888) 593-0505, or shoot us a message and we'll show you how it works.