Online review sites are an important way for potential customers to judge a business before buying from it.
We understand that you might be apprehensive about giving away your details on such sites before you’ve had a chance to investigate them properly. But we hope you’ll trust us when we say that the benefits of doing so go way beyond just being able to hide your identity as well as your company name before reviewing any company.
This article will explain everything you need to know about maximizing your presence on online review sites, including how they work and what kind of impact they have on the success or failure of a business in general, as well as its reputation among potential customers.
What Are Online Review Sites?
Online review sites are platforms where users can leave reviews and feedback about various types of businesses and services. These platforms have a huge influence on the success or failure of a business, as well as its reputation among potential customers. The primary reason is that these review sites are visited by tens of millions of people each month.
According to numbers published by ComScore, the following are the most visited review sites in the United States as of October 2018. There’s no denying that these sites have become an essential part of the modern business landscape. Fortunately for you, as a business owner, there are ways to maximize your presence on these sites and reduce the negative potential impact of negative reviews.
We’ll discuss that in greater detail shortly. First, let’s take a look at how these sites work.
How Do Online Review Sites Work
The best way to understand how online review sites work is to use an example. Let’s say that you’re a customer who’s just bought a laptop computer from a certain online retail store. If you want to leave a review, you’ll likely start by clicking on the “leave a review” button on the website’s product page.
You’ll then be taken to a form where you’ll be asked to enter a few things, including your name, your email address, and your rating. The reason you’ll be asked to enter your email address is that not all review sites operate a “hidden” system of ratings. Instead, some of these sites might display your name and email address next to your rating and review.
And that’s how you end up with what looks like a personal testimonial on a website where you never intended to leave a review.
The Pros of Being Listed on Online Review Sites
Ranking Higher On Google
Given that the first result on Google is widely considered to be the most important result in general (since it’s the first thing a potential customer will see), it’s no surprise that businesses are doing whatever they can to ensure their website appears at the top of the list.
But what if you could increase your chances of ranking higher and also get a positive review from a potential customer who’s been helped by your business, published on their website? Well, you can.
The fact is that Google takes reviews, ratings, and overall reputation into account when ranking companies, meaning that someone who’s just starting in business or who has a bad reputation is likely to be at the bottom of the list. But if you have plenty of positive reviews on your website, your chances of being at the top of the list increase significantly.
Having A More Accurate Picture Of The Services Or Products That Your Company Provides
If you’re a company representative who’d like to review the products or services that your company sells, you may be worried that if you use your real name, your review will come across as too promotional and you will no longer be able to offer an unbiased review of those products or services.
In this case, you’re probably better off using a pseudonym (a false name) when posting a review to avoid skewing the results. For example, if you’re reviewing a product like a pair of headphones, you could review them as if you were reviewing them for personal use. You could talk about what type of music you like to listen to, what volume level you usually listen at, and so on.
This will help you avoid coming across as too promotional and will ensure that you’re offering a more objective review of that product.
Building Trust And Strengthening Your Relationship With Your Customers
As well as allowing you to leave a detailed review of another company’s product or service, review sites give you the chance to share your own positive experiences with other customers. This can help you to build trust and strengthen your relationship with them.
By leaving reviews of products and services that you’ve purchased from other businesses, you can demonstrate that you’re a real person and that you’re committed to helping other people make the right choices when shopping. When you leave a review, you have the opportunity to be as detailed as you’d like to be.
This means you can also use the review as an opportunity to correct any false assumptions or inaccuracies that may be surrounding the product or service.
The Cons Of Being Listed On Online Review Sites
All this talk of benefits is, of course, not meant to imply that being listed on such sites comes without its share of disadvantages. There are, after all, both positives and negatives to anything in life. Here are a few of the cons of being listed on review sites:
It Takes Time Before Your Review Is Posted
There’s no telling how long it might take before your review is posted on the review site. Some sites let you log in and out at will, meaning your review can be posted almost immediately. Others automatically publish your review soon after you’ve submitted it but before you’ve logged out.
Some review sites may wait to publish your review until they’ve received comments and ratings from other users. It’s also worth noting that some review sites take a few days to approve your review before it’s published. This means that you may have to wait a few days before your review is published on the site.
Your Review Is Unlikely To Be Seen
While you may be certain that you’ve left a valuable and helpful review, there’s nothing stopping someone from reading your review and ignoring it completely. This can happen for several reasons such as:
- The reader may be looking for positive, negative, or neutral reviews only and simply ignore all other comments.
- The reader may have only skimmed your review, paying more attention to the title and first paragraph than the rest of the review.
- The reader may have logged into the review site after reading your review but may have opted not to view it.
It May Be Difficult To Determine Whether The Review Is Genuine
There’s no denying that some review sites are laden with fake reviews. If you log in to the site and see that there are several reviews submitted by people with the same name and that they all have the same tone and wording, they’re likely fake. Some review sites allow people to create multiple accounts and often don’t carry out stringent identity checks.
This means that it can be relatively easy for a fraudster to create fake accounts and leave false reviews. Some ways to tell if a review is genuine were identifying if the customer leaving the review was verified, assessing if the review is detailed and informative, and checking if the review has been posted on the site for some time without being deleted.
You May Have To Provide Your Details
This varies from site to site, but some review sites require you to provide your name, email address, and other personal details before you can leave a review. Once you’ve provided this information, you’re more likely to be contacted by telemarketers, scammers, and fake identity thieves.
You may also be added to email lists and mailing lists, as well as have your details sold to other companies. This can be extremely frustrating and is likely to affect your experience on the review site. It may take longer to have your review published, for example, and you may receive more spam emails and marketing materials.
How to Maximize Your Presence on Online Review Sites
The best way to maximize your presence on online review sites is to always be proactive about your reputation and be willing to make a positive impact wherever you can.
Start by registering on the most popular review sites and connecting your profile to your business. Letting other customers know that you’re open to feedback, suggestions, and reviews will often result in them contacting you to give you their honest opinions.
Another way to maximize your presence on review sites is to act as a moderator and be a good friend to your industry. Check out the review sites where your customers are leaving reviews and make an effort to interact with those people by offering constructive feedback and solutions where you can.
That way, when customers online review your business, they will likely see your name in the comments and be more inclined to want to leave you a positive review as well.
Customer reviews are an important part of a business’s reputation and growth. We’re often shocked by how many businesses we interact with in our day-to-day lives who have yet to establish themselves on a review site. This article will provide you with some tips on how to get started on review sites and help you get set up for success.
It’s important to be strategic when deciding where to post your content and what type of content you want to post. Review sites are perfect for providing valuable feedback about products and services. Review sites provide a space for customers and potential customers to provide feedback about businesses to other customers, as well as to businesses themselves.
Review sites can be powerful tools for brands, but brands need to be careful not to get lost in the weeds of feedback or to present themselves as flawless. It’s important to engage with your customers and prospective clients to learn what they like and what improvements they’d like to see. The goal is to get their feedback, so it’s important to be willing to take the time to respond, even if the feedback isn’t positive.
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