Online review websites are gaining more and more traffic as customers and travelers seek the best businesses for their money and families to go. As the Internet world of reviews becomes more and more common, more review sites are popping up and it can seem overwhelming for the average customer and even small business owner to know which sites are best to focus on.
As a rule of thumb, it is best to stick to the bigger, more known sites. There are two types of review sites:
First, there are the general websites that offer a place for reviews of all kinds of businesses and even medical professionals. And second, there are designated reviews sites for specifically focused industries.
There are probably several review websites you have already heard of and even used; however, there are some you may have forgotten or did not know existed. RenegadeWorks has compiled a list of reviews websites that receive higher numbers of traffic.
Better Business Bureau The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reviews all sorts of businesses. They base their evaluations on how businesses should treat the consumer; they do not endorse any businesses or products. Their goal is to provide communities with the best information they can about a business and will evaluate accredited and non-accredited businesses. They rate their listings with the A-F rating system.
CitySearch is a free, local review site for users and businesses. Reviewers can write a comment for their review as well as rate the company on a 5 star rating scale. Customers may or may not go directly to the Citysearch website, but reviews posted on the site can show up in search results using the SERPs.
Dexknows is a free to use site that allows for users to rate and review businesses. Businesses can either have a basic free profile they establish or pay a subscription fee per month to have stronger profiles and connections on other review sites like Yahoo Local and Superpages. They have a 5 star scoring system.
One of the biggest social media websites allows for people to leave reviews for a business. It is known as Facebook Recommendations. These recommendations will show up on Friends’ timelines, although this can make it easy for them to blow right past the recommendation. It is important to keep up a strong Facebook reputation because it is such a popular site.
Foursquare is a unique local business review site that caters to the user. Having a profile on foursquare allows for the site to get to know the user’s likes and ratings so it can better recommend places for the user to go. The consumer also leaves reviews and comments for places they’ve been. Users can connect with friends and they can recommend places to one another.
Google My Business
Often times, when searching Google for a business, some of the first results to pop up are Google reviews. Google is a free site for all users and businesses can create their own Google listing for reviews to be left on. Google’s scoring guide is based on the 5 star scoring system.
Insider Pages is another free to use review site; it is very similar to Citysearch. It also has a 5 star rating system. While this review website may not be as common as some others, it is indexed in the SERPs. So while the consumers you are trying to target may not necessarily go directly to this site first, they may easily come across an Insider Pages review.
Judy’s Book is a website that allows for local reviews, recommendations, and even shares local deals for the community to use. Judy’s Book uses a five star rating scale.
LinkedIn is another social media site that can be used as a review website. Not only can you market yourself and receive recommendations from others, but businesses also have the ability to gather reviews on LinkedIn. There is a products and services page where users can review businesses and even products.
Local is a search engine that helps users find local places in their community. Reviews and comments can be made and read by anyone. They have a 5 star rating scale.
MerchantCircle is a review site that sets itself apart from similar websites by advertising available deals and coupons from businesses on their site. Users can leave reviews. They have a 5 star rating system.
Simply type in your location at the SuperPages website and you will be connected to local businesses. You can read reviews and even write your own. They also have a 5 star rating scale.
Twitter is a well-known social networking website. Twitter has a unique nature in that it is a fast paced status site. While most consumers will not go directly to Twitter to read reviews, they can come across reviews made in Tweets through SERPs. Also creatively reviewing an item or business with a hashtag, promoting a tweet, or marking it as a favorite will help in SERP searches as well as resulting in followers to see it.
Yahoo! local is very similar to Google+ local. It is a free way to review businesses for users and companies can have a free profile as well. They are scored on a 5 star scale.
Yell is a UK review site that allows for users to rate and review local businesses. They have a 5 star rating system.
Yelp! is one of the more commonly visited review sites. It is free for the reviewer to leave their comments and ratings and uses a 5-star scale. Any business is welcome to make a free profile on the site and include other details like hours and business location.
YellowPages (YP) Yellow Pages is another local listing site. It lists information about a business and allows for reviews and ratings by users. They have a 5 star rating system.
Oyster prides itself in ‘uncovering the truth of each hotel’. They do this through visiting every hotel on their site, taking actual, non-edited photos and posting them for the users to see. It’s the ‘what you see is what you get’ philosophy. They write full reviews and give a rating of 5 points.
TripAdvisor allows for the traveler to read reviews and advice from other travelers. Not only is this a great travel review site, but it also a place to plan, book, and reserve travel accommodations, restaurants, and attractions. Ratings are given on a 5-point scale. This site is critical for hotels and drives a lot of guests and revenue for the best reviewed ones.
Urban Spoon provides local restaurant information, user reviews and ratings. They are have a quick rating system of ‘like it’ or ‘don’t like it’ and show the percentage liked.
OpenTable is a website that not only specializes in rating and reviews of local restaurants, but they will also assist you in making a reservation at the restaurant of your choice. They have a 5 star scale system.
Zagat is a specialized restaurant review site that takes reviews and ratings and summarizes them for the user. They have a 30-point scale system that is separated into 4 categories: food, décor, service, and cost.
Cars.com is a frequently visited website for consumers looking for reliable reviews from consumers and experts. They help the user better understand what to buy, where to buy it, and how much to pay. They have a 5 star rating scale. This is one of the biggest sites to consider for automotive reputation management.
Edmunds is an online resource for new and used automobiles. They offer all the information on vehicles and allow for user comments and ratings. They rate on a five star scale.
DealerRater allows for the user to search auto dealerships, reviews, and find car deals through classified ads. They do have dealer, service, and car reviews available as well. They have a 5 star rating scale.
Angie’s List is intended for home service type businesses. It is a membership based review site, leading to users and businesses having a higher standard of quality than many of the free review sites. People who pay to use this service often take it seriously allowing for thought out reviews and higher levels of trust with other reviewers. Reviewers give grades much like in school, as the review scale is A-F. Businesses are allowed to respond to reviews people have left about them.
HomeAdvisor is a review site that pre-screens (background checks) and allows for customers to review home service providers. This allows for the users to have a sense of security when inviting a stranger into their home. It is free to use.
HomeStars connects the user with local home services of repairmen, renovators, and retailers. It is also a place to rate and review services one has used. They have a 10 star rating scale.
Houzz is a website for those interested in home remodeling and design, both inside and out. On their site, they have ideas and photos for users to find inspiration. They also connect you with local professionals who specialize in the area. They have a five star scale system.
Kudzu exists to help the consumer find the best service providers for the home and family. They allow for the users to rate and review each business with a 5 star rating system.
Site Jabber provides website reviews to prevent the public from experiencing a scam or a fraud. The Internet can be a risky place to do business, but with a review site like SiteJabber working for the public, a sense of security is created. There are tips from online consumers and a place for people to report fraud.
Healthgrades provides the community with hospitals, physicians, and healthcare information and ratings. They have a 5 star rating system. Since this is one of the more popular medical review sites, physicians concerned with with doctor reputation management should pay attention to it.
RateMDs seeks to help the community find the right physician for them. They also allow for ratings and reviews of healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics. They have a 5 star rating system.
Vitals compares the cost, quality, and access information for users when choosing a medical facilities and/or doctor. Ratings and reviews can be given by users on a 5 star scale. This site is important for all physicians and medical practitioners to monitor their reviews on. Its often used when potential patients want to find a new dentist as well, so be sure to include it in your dentist reputation management strategy.
Apartments.com Apartmens.com is a national review site that helps the user find apartments. Renters can leave reviews and rate apartments on a 5 star scale system.
ApartmentRatings is an online resource for the public to help one another out with rating and reviews apartments across the US. Users rate on a 5 star scale and can recommend and find a city average.
Apartment Guide is an online site geared towards users finding rental properties. User Ratings are given on a 5 star scale.
Rent.com is a free to use rental site that allows for users to rate and review properties. Ratings are given on a five star system.
RentersVoice is specifically designed for online reviews. They have independent evaluators who pose as potential renters and leave reviews about their experience. Tenants can also review as they know more about living there than the independent evaluators. They have a 5 star rating system.
Trulia allows for homebuyers, sellers, and renters to find the tools and information they need about a property. They also connect users to agents.
Similar to Trulia, Zillow offers rental and sales information on available properties. They provide all known data and information about each property.
Buzzilions is an online review site for consumers to review and rate products. The idea behind this site is to help consumers avoid costly mistakes. They do not sell products, but merely allow for transparency among users to come and review items they may love or hate. They have a 5 star rating scale.
Consumer Reports is a nonprofit organization that tests, rates, and reviews items. They have millions of followers and subscribers. They pay for the products they test and will not allow any advertising. For each product category, they have specific requirements of what the product must go through before they review the item. They share with the consumers what their criteria and tests are for each product to help them better understand the quality of the item and how it ranked. This is not an open review site for the public to write reviews, but it is one of the most legitimate review websites a consumer can read.
Consumer Search is a unique review site that gives reviews and reports on the common 5 star scale. They are a little different in the way the run in that they gather reviews from print publications and the Internet. They also analyze the reviews and rank them for their reliability. It makes finding trustworthy reviews on products much simpler for the consumer.