Services: Online Review SitesLet happy customers share their feelings
What is an Online Review Site?
Online Review Sites are websites on which reviews can be posted about people, businesses, products, or services. These sites use different mechanisms to gather reviews from site users or may employ professional writers to author reviews on the topic of concern for the site.
In addition to general, full service review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Local, Bing Merchant reviews, etc., each industry vertical has its own specific review sites. For example, travel industry has TripAdvisor, Recruiting has Glassdoor, and so on.
Yelp is a free review site that lets consumer’s rate businesses on a 5-star scale
Yelp’s website, Yelp.com, is a crowd-sourced local business review and social networking site. The site has pages devoted to individual locations, such as restaurants or schools, where Yelp users can submit a review on their products or services using a one to five star rating system. Businesses can also update contact information, hours and other basic listing information or add special deals. Yelp also has the ability for business owners to respond to reviews. It has 132 million monthly visitors and 57 million reviews. As of 2010, Yelp had an established user-base in 33 cities.
Geared toward service-based businesses, Angie’s List is a “higher end” review site, because users actually have to pay for membership.
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Why is YELP important?
Studies by independent research groups like Forrester Research, comScore, The Kelsey Group, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association show that rating and review sites influence consumer shopping behavior. In an academic study published in 2008, empirical results demonstrated that the number of online user reviews is a good indicator of the intensity of underlying word-of-mouth effect and increase awareness. In 2007 even large companies such as Best Buy and Walmart began to mention online reviews in television advertisements and on the back of receipts.
Today, in the age of internet, everyone wants to do a detailed research for the choices they have including the services, products and places that they might need. If you are in a new area and in the mood for Italian food, you might open the UrbanSpoon or Yelp app on your phone and search for restaurants that are highly rated and choose it.
According to SearchEngineLand, about 72% of consumers surveyed said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.
As a business, you want to make sure that you have the reviews and kudos from your happy customers so that your prospective clients can make an informed decision about you and your work style.
Online Review Sites – What am I getting?
A detailed Yelp page (business profile) with business details, business classifications, contact information, hours, business photos and other listing information.