TOP-25 Business Review Sites for Local SMBs in 2019

Online Business Reviews | 6.5 Min Read
by Olivia Williams
@OliviaW
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Looking for an efficient freemium tool to help you get the status of a trustworthy business among customers? Take note of online customer reviews. They can seriously affect the online reputation of a small business and determine its position in the local listings.

Study the two lists of global and local business review websites where small and medium entrepreneurs can claim local businesses and start to actively interact with their consumers.

Global Business Review Websites

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Amazon
  • Yahoo
  • Yellow Pages
  • Trustpilot
  • Testfreaks
  • Consumer Reports
  • Influenster
  • Planet Rate

Google

Year founded: 1998

U.S. Alexa Ranking: 1

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 184.14 billion

Reviews for:
Any business

Yelp

Year founded: 2004

U.S. Alexa Ranking: 37

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 437.5 million

Claimed number of local businesses: 4.5 million (as of Q1 2019)

Reviews for: Any business

Facebook

Year founded: 2004

U.S. Alexa Ranking: 3

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 61.45 billion

Claimed number of local businesses: 90 million active business pages (as of October 2019)

Reviews for: Any business

Amazon

Year founded: 1996

U.S. Alexa Ranking: 4

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 7.30 billion

Claimed number of local businesses:
1 million small business sellers (as of July 2018)

Reviews for: E-commerce related businesses

Yahoo

Year founded: 1994

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
6

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 11.63 billion

Reviews for: Any business

Yellow Pages

Year founded: 1886

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
655

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 68.70 million

Claimed number of local businesses: 20 million (as of 2015)

Reviews for: Any business

Trustpilot

Year founded: 2007

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
800

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 85.6 million

Claimed number of local businesses: More than 270,000 reviewed businesses

Reviews for: Any business

Testfreaks

Year founded: 2006

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
206,955

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 390,000

Reviews for: Any business

Consumer Reports

Year founded: 1936

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
630

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 72.30 million

Claimed number of local businesses: Around 8,500 products reviewed

Reviews for: Any business

Influenster

Year founded: 2010

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
3,100

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 13.35 million

Claimed number of local businesses: Over 100,000 product brands (as of 2014)

Reviews for: Mostly skincare, makeup and cosmetic goods

Planet Rate

Year founded: 2016

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
1,794,831

Reviews for: Any business

Complaintsboard

Year founded: 2004

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
14,254

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 3.65 million

Reviews for: Any business

Resellerratings

Year founded: 1996

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
8,150

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 2.61 million

Claimed number of local businesses: 2,500 retail brands

Reviews for: Mostly skincare, makeup and cosmetic goods
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Best review sites for local businesses

  • Angie's List
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Bing Places
  • HomeAdvisor
  • Manta
  • Merchant Circle
  • Site Jabber
  • Houzz
  • Foursquare
  • VendOp
  • Epinions

Angie's List

Year founded: 1995

U.S. Alexa Ranking: 1,153

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 28.70 million

Claimed number of local businesses: 55,000 participating service providers

Reviews for: Service-related businesses

Better Business Bureau

Year founded: 1912

U.S. Alexa Ranking: 666

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 36.70 million

Claimed number of local businesses: Nearly 400,000 accredited businesses

Reviews for: Any business

Bing Places

Year founded: 2005

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
12,552

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 1.07 million

Reviews for: Any business

HomeAdvisor

Year founded: 1998

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
834

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 41.40 million

Claimed number of local businesses: Nearly 100,000 pre-screened service professionals (as of 2015)

Reviews for: Service-related businesses

Manta

Year founded: 1996

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
968

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 27.85 million

Claimed number of local businesses: Nearly 40 million companies

Reviews for: Any business

Merchant Circle

Year founded: 2005

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
26,137

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 1.99 million

Claimed number of local businesses: 2 million merchants (as of 2019)

Reviews for: Any business

Site Jabber

Year founded: 2006

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
3,463

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 6.6 million

Claimed number of local businesses: Over 100,000 reviews (as of 2019)

Reviews for: Any business

Houzz

Year founded: 2008

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
379

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 54.10 million

Claimed number of local businesses: Over 2.3 million home remodelling professionals (as of 2019)

Reviews for: Home and interior design related businesses

Foursquare

Year founded: 2009

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
1,723

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 97.10 million

Claimed number of local businesses: 2 million businesses (as of 2019)

Reviews for: Any business, mostly restaurants

VendOp

Year founded: 2014

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
1,723

Reviews for: B2B

Epinions

Year founded: 1999

U.S. Alexa Ranking:
92,280

Reviews for: Commerce-related businesses

Open Table

Year founded: 1998

U.S. Alexa Ranking: 676

Total number of visits in the last three months (according to SimilarWeb): 42.8 million

Claimed number of local businesses: 51,000 restaurants

Reviews for: Restaurants

How Websites for Customer Reviews Work

Business review sites encourage customers to leave reviews about people and products, as well as, to share their experiences of businesses and services on special webpages. It is a cost-effective solution for local SEO and small business marketing.

Customer review sites help:

  • Strengthen your business's online presence.

  • Get in touch with customers and respond to feedback.

  • Elevate the level of trust in your business.

Such sites gather reviews from site users, providing potential customers with information from consumers on their experiences with your products and/or services, which may impact their final decision on a purchase. They influence the organic local search and help local businesses rank higher on search engines.

Advertising and enhanced listings

Review sites generally have no base charge, but they may offer chargeable additional services. They may use different business models, but, generally, review sites raise funds from advertising. Some sites, like Yelp, enhance listings in return for payment:
topxx yelp ads
Sponsored results and ads on Yelp
topxx advertising
"Sponsored by" banner by Better Business Bureau

However, product review sites, like Amazon, may provide links to partner websites that sell the reviewed items:
sponsored products by amazon
Sponsored products at Amazon

Sometimes review sites use rather aggressive sales strategies, even extorting businesses to buy additional services.

How review websites moderate customers' reviews

Business review sites may immediately post only positive reviews and notify businesses about the negative ones, giving businesses time to respond to the reviews left by disappointed customers and fix the problems.

On the other hand, they may follow a hands-off policy regarding the posting of reviews, which would require small businesses to regularly monitor the incoming reviews themselves.

Are review sites trustworthy?

Consumer review websites admit that the problem of fake reviews exists. They apply different algorithms to detect false reviews. Some of them invest intensively in new filters to identify fake reviews and have strict penalties. Others are more loyal to their content policy and fines. No matter what, you should never buy reviews to maintain your good online reputation.

Are Website Reviews Worth the Effort for Local Businesses?

Two important traits of local businesses are lower revenue and a limited area for customer contact points. It means they have to be very creative about how to reach potential customers at no expense.
statistic_business review sites us
Source: Worldpay, Socratic Technologies

How to Choose a Business Review Website for a Local Business

When deciding about where to claim your business for collecting customer reviews, analyze the review sites in your category and keep in mind that there are many partner sites. Review sites may feed other directories with customer reviews, for example, Yelp pushes information to Apple Maps, Yahoo Local, Bing Places and MapQuest. Resellerratings has a strong partnership with Google, Bing and Facebook. Yellow Pages is a part of the CityGrid network and published reviews appear on yellowBot, City.com and OpenList.com.

How to Identify The Most Suitable Website

  1. Check connection to smaller directories.
  2. Check the covered industries.
  3. Analyze the audience.

1. Check Connection to Smaller Directories

Choose one platform which feeds into smaller directories.

2. Check the Covered Industries

Check which industries the review site covers. It could contain online reviews only about software (G2 Crowd), restaurants and hotels (TripAdvisor) or employers (Glassdoor).

3. Analyze the Audience

Find out the audience geography: some ratings and reviews cover only a single country, like review site "Which?", which is only relevant for the UK. You don't need to focus on the top review sites if they are irrelevant to your industry or location.
Originally published Aug 28, 2019 10:00:00 AM

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