Customer reviews on sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List have long posed major challenges to companies in industries like retail and hospitality. But now—especially with the advent of Google My Business— customer review sites reach every industry, and are a potential concern for every company.
How your company lands on review sites
If your organization is listed in public telephone directories, information about it is most likely published on a variety of content aggregators as well as on consumer review sites like Google My Business. Those sites often make the decision for you. In some cases, you often can’t opt out.
There are numerous consumer review sites on the Internet. Many work to maintain the integrity of their forums, but often their primary interest is in driving reader engagement—not protecting your company’s brand. The more businesses they have listed, the more visitors they attract. The more clicks they receive, the more advertising revenue the site can charge.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your business is represented better on review sites. The most proactive is using a review management service.
What review management services do
Review management services work by monthly subscription. They provide clients with a dashboard where they can monitor over numerous online review sites in real time as well as with aboveboard methods to invite customers to review your company or services.
As positive and legitimate reviews come in, you can amplify their exposure by publishing them on many online platforms after establishing a profile about your business on them. This does not prevent negative reviews from appearing on review sites. Instead, it simply posts the reviews you choose to emphasize on social media and review sites—providing an effective counterbalance to reviews that may be biased, or have low credibility but high visibility.
Review management services also work to make your company’s website more visible to search engines. A key way of improving a website’s SEO (search engine optimization) is to increase the number of highly ranked sites that link to it. By allowing you to easily create profiles for your company across many review sites, review management companies also allow you to create many such inbound links from high-ranking platforms.
Review management sites aren’t right for every business. Many companies do not have storefronts and do not actively market their services and products to widespread groups of consumers. They are less likely to utilize review management services and more likely to remain detached from the online review space.
If your business would benefit from taking more control over your brand, though, it is a service worth looking into.
Related reading: How to Handle Bad Reviews