Blog Home

Why Google Reviews Aren’t the Only Ones You Should Worry About

You probably already know that Google and Facebook reviews are great. But did you know that there are way more review platforms out there to consider? Do you know which of those to focus on? Do you know how to get more reviews on them? In this post, we’ll reiterate why reviews are so important, help you find a few review platforms that make sense for you, and share a few secrets for getting more online reviews.

Why Reviews Matter

If you run a local business, you’ll want to remember a few key things:

Customers will look at your reviews - 97% read reviews for local businesses before working with them (BIA/Kelsey and ConStat)

If you have enough good reviews, you’ll likely convert more customers - 90% of people who read online reviews before purchasing said that positive reviews swayed their buying decision. (Zendesk)

Getting a better average star rating can net you more revenue - Improving your review score by a single star can increase your revenue by 5-9% (Harvard Business School)

Keep Your Strategy Simple

For most brands, it’s not reasonable to solicit reviews across more than a few platforms—there just aren’t enough hours in the day to invest the time. And as you gain more traction, it’s difficult to respond to reviews, both positive and negative. Instead, here are some things you can do to keep it all simple.


  • Narrow Your List – Focus on a few review platforms. Most businesses will find 2-3 sufficient, depending on the industry.  
  • Find Tools to Help– As we’ll see in the last section, there are also tools that make it easy to gather and manage reviews, even on across a few platforms.  
  • Implement a Review Strategy – We cover this topic in detail in another post, but done correctly, a review strategy is free advertising. You must do things like solicit reviews (text message is best), actively engage with customers, and constantly improve your business, so your reviews are always great.

Simple enough, right? But which review platforms should be on your list?

How Do I Pick the Right Review Platforms?

When you think of online reviews for your local business, you probably think of things like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. These just scratch the surface. There are hundreds of review platforms and it’s easy to get lost in the mire. But as we’ve explored in another post, the best online reputation strategies focus on elevating your status on just a handful of these platforms. Less is more—as long as you’re targeting the right platforms.

The best way to choose a platform is to consider two factors: which review sites are popular (because who wants to spend time on a review platform without reviews), and which are specific to an industry.

Picking a Traffic-Heavy Review Site

The sites on the following list (curated by Vendasta) get up to hundreds of millions of visits a day, but they may not always be the perfect customer for you. Although some of the following won’t be relevant to your business type, it’s still important to consider focusing on a few. Note that for some niche industries (say, legal) these heavily visited options might not be a good fit at all. But for many industries, people will find your business on these sites, and when they do, you’d better look great. Aim for one or two of them.

Picking Industry-Specific Review Sites

As you may know, there are dozens of review sites geared toward specific industries. For instance, Healthgrades is a review site geared toward healthcare and dental care providers. Avvo is a review site geared toward attorneys and law firms. These review sites have fewer visitors, but people reading reviews here are more likely to be looking for the exact thing you’re offering. Reviews on these sites might also be more technical or specific in nature, which is particularly helpful for software and hardware industries. In any case, here are some platforms to consider:

General

  • BBB
  • Dex
  • FourSquare
  • Merchant Circle
  • ReviewBuzz
  • Superpages
  • Yahoo Local
  • Yellow Pages
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Yelp

Automotive

  • CarGurus
  • Cars.com
  • Carwise
  • DealerRater
  • Edmunds

Healthcare

  • Caring
  • DemandForce
  • MD.com
  • NationalDentalReviews
  • RateMD's
  • RealSelf
  • SolutionReach
  • Vitals
  • Wellness
  • ZocDoc
  • HealthGrades

Home Repair

  • Angies List
  • HomeAdvisor
  • Houzz
  • SolarReviews

Employers/employment

  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor

Legal Services

  • Lawyers.com
  • Avvo

Lifestyle

  • PotGuide
  • SpaFinder
  • Weedmaps

Real Estate

  • Realtor.com
  • Rent.com
  • Trulia
  • Zillow
  • NextDoor

Retail

  • BizRate
  • Consumer Affairs
  • The Knot
  • Wedding Wire

Software

  • Capterra
  • G2 Crowd
  • Gartner
  • GetApp
  • SoftwareAdvise

Sports

  • GolfAdvisor

Travel

  • Expedia
  • TripAdvisor

This list is by no means complete but should point you in the direction of a few review sites that might be relevant to your industry. A quick online search will reveal more—this list is growing constantly.

Tools for Review Generation and Management

As complex as this all might seem, it’s simple with Swell. Swell was built with local business growth in mind. It’s an easy way for business to get more reviews, rank higher in local searches, and communicate with people who’ve left reviews—even across multiple platforms. Here’s what you can do with it:

  • View review scores from multiple places – Swell gives you a dashboard that shows you review scores across platforms of your choice. This way, you can see how you’re doing on individual sites as well as see an average of how you’re doing everywhere
  • Reply to Reviews From One App – Instead of bouncing between different tabs and review platforms to reply to reviews, you can reply instantly in one place.
  • Solicit reviews via Text – Don’t have enough online reviews to stand out? Is one platform lagging behind another? You can bulk-send text-message invites to customers asking them to leave you a review. These are incredibly effective.

Conclusion

A review strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Pick a few review platforms that matter most to you, then use tools to make managing them easier and more effective. And if you’re looking for a tool that helps you use reviews and customer engagement to grow your business, sign up for demo of Swell to see if it’s right for your business.