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Consumers use more than Google to discover local businesses. Consider setting up local business listings on these 5 sites to maximize your visibility.
It’s undeniable that Google is the most trusted review platform across all industries. This behemoth of a search engine also houses an enormous volume of reviews; 73% of all online reviews are posted on Google. Today, it’s a must for your local business to be getting reviews on Google.
With 87% of shoppers using Google to evaluate local businesses, Google’s relevance cannot be overstated. At the same time, it’s true that consumers use many other review sites to help make purchasing decisions. Brightlocal found that nearly half of all consumers used Yelp or Facebook to evaluate local businesses in 2022. Over 25% used Tripadvisor and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to inform decision-making as well.
Yes - populating a large number of directories can seem like a daunting task, but there are many business listings management tools and services that can make this important facet of local marketing/SEO more efficient. The important thing is that you're getting it done, somehow.
Further, Google will crawl and take into account the quality and accuracy of your business listings on these other sites when deciding how high to rank in search results. Google leads the pack, but in no way should other relevant review sites be ignored.
Managing your local business listings involves getting your business listed on multiple review sites. You never know where your customers will find you, so it’s important to look your best from all angles.
This article will suggest 5 different review sites to list your local business on in addition to Google.
More than half of consumers use Yelp reviews to judge local businesses. And 29% of searchers trust Yelp over every other review platform specifically for food and drink recommendations. The platform is conducive to long-form reviews, which are especially helpful for searchers seeking the best restaurant or bar and needing to know the ins and outs of every dish and drink.
While perhaps most often used for finding local restaurants, many other types of businesses are listed on Yelp. Not all businesses are eligible though – generally, E-commerce businesses and businesses without a physical location aren’t permitted. Yelp primarily allows traditional brick-and-mortar businesses and local service providers, but the review platform also features mobile businesses, government services, parks and attractions. Yelp is a great spot to be listed for most local establishments.
Note: Yelp prohibits soliciting reviews. Aka: don’t ask your customers to leave you a review on Yelp. For this reason, Widewail has found that many businesses' Yelp ratings tend to be lower compared to their other business listings. It’s a shame that Yelp doesn’t allow you to ask your happy customers for reviews to boost this, but we encourage businesses to continue providing a top-notch customer experience and hopefully those positive reviews will follow.
Apple recently launched Apple Business Connect, a refreshed version of the free tool that allows businesses to create a custom listing card that appears for all Apple users. Businesses have always been findable in Apple Maps, but now the business listings can be customizable by business owners. A huge win for businesses looking to stand out. The platform sources reviews and images from Yelp but also has its own simplistic rating system (👍 or 👎) for a few categories. Definitely claim your business’ listing on Apple Business Connect to manage how your business looks in the hands of Apple users.
Though trending down gradually, 46% of consumers used Facebook to evaluate a local business in 2022. That’s nearly half of all consumers.
Instead of using a 5-point star rating system like Yelp and Google, this platform allows users to either “recommend” or “not recommend” a business.
A strength of this platform is that it aligns with the fact that personal recommendations are the most trustworthy. According to a report by Kantar, 93% of people trust recommendations from their family and friends. Shoppers can see which businesses their network of Facebook friends recommend and, consequently, make their own buying decisions. Facebook doubles as a review site where users can search for a business, find the average rating, and read reviews from past customers. It’s still a must to be on Facebook in 2023.
Hotels, motels, and Holiday Inns alike: make sure you’re listed on Tripadvisor. Nearly one in three people used Tripadvisor to evaluate a local business in the last 12 months. Specifically, 31% of people trust Tripadvisor the most out of every review site when evaluating a hospitality business. While many choose Tripadvisor as their most trusted platform for evaluating accommodations, only 3% of people prefer the site for food and drink. So, restaurant and bar owners, consider claiming your listing to maintain accurate information but also know that your customers prefer Yelp.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) is focused on helping you grow your business and ensuring online customer feedback is legitimate. If customer complaints arise, BBB aims to help resolve customer disputes. With 24% of shoppers reading about businesses on BBB, your listings get a lot of eyes, so it’s worth optimizing the listing for your business. This is especially true for professional trades and real estate companies; 17% of people are most likely to trust BBB for information on real estate agents and 21% trust BBB for choices on home services businesses.
Unlike Yelp and Trip Advisor, which seem to be more or less created for specific industries, BBB is for any business, but it happens to be especially trusted for certain industries over others.
I’m a writer, philosopher, climber, mountain biker, and a fried-egg enthusiast. Before joining Widewail as a Review Response Specialist, I attended Middlebury College and studied Philosophy and Art History. I grew up in Michigan, but I fell in love with Vermont while in school.
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