Most entrepreneurs understand the importance of online reviews and star ratings, but many don’t realize how beneficial it is to actively manage them across the internet. Having a strategy to solicit, manage and market reviews can significantly boost your bottom line.
If you’re marketing in Canada, that begins with finding review sites that are popular among consumers in this country. But which sites are best for Canadian businesses?
Review sites are pretty straight foreword. Consumers leave feedback on their experience with a business or product, and usually give the business a ‘star’ rating. It’s amazing how powerful this simple concept can be.
Reviews can seriously impact revenue, be it more or less. That’s because consumers rely heavily on these ratings. In fact, in a recent HubSpot research survey, 1/3 of respondents said review sites played an important role in their purchase decision-making process.
Actively benefitting from reviews and ratings is also a relatively straightforward concept:
- Solicit reviews
- Use them in your marketing
- Let your customer’s sell your product or service for you
Ratings contribute to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well, specifically on individual review engines like Google My Business. Rating factors that can improve your rank in search engines include how many reviews you have, the number of ‘stars’ you receive and how recently the reviews were posted. It allows consumers to prescreen you, resulting in website visitors who are ready to purchase from you.
If nothing else, a shopper who goes looking for reviews and doesn’t find you, will find a competitor instead.
Review management software and apps (like British Columbia’s NiceJob) exist to help you track and interact with reviews placed on multiple websites. This functionality may be added to, or included in, your existing CRM software or ecommerce platform. If not, there are standalone digital solutions available to you. Automating review management and marketing will save you a lot of time and ensure you never miss an opportunity.
Top Review/Rating Websites For Your Canadian Business
While there are many rating sites, a large chunk of them are fed by a few top review sites, namely Yelp, YellowPages.ca, Trip Advisor and HomeStars. For example, 411.ca grabs listings from YellowPages.ca. Practically all major rating & review sites are fed down into WebLocal.ca.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that your company listing will be passed along through these sites. Wait a few months and then check the other sites below to see if you’re there yet. If not, add your business directly if they have the option to do so.
There are review platforms that practically every business should be on, like Facebook and Google My Business. Additionally, if your business is a good fit for niche or industry rating platforms you’ll want to be on those as well.
Google My Business is most helpful for ‘shopping local’ and bringing website traffic from shoppers within your service area.
Facebook offers ratings and reviews that can be left on your business page, which in turn will be visible on the reviewer’s profile and may appear in their newsfeed. Referrals and recommendations from friends are some of the most powerful purchase motivators in Canada and around the world.
Following are the general rating/review websites we use most often:
Social Media, primarily Facebook Business Page Reviews
Yahoo Canada (via Yext)
The two industry-specific sites we use most are:
HomeStars (home related listings)
TripAdvisor (travel listings)
If your target market is outside of Canada, research the most popular rating sites within your industry or niche in whichever country you’re targeting.
Get More Reviews
Get more reviews by asking for them! No matter how fabulous your product or customer service is, most people won’t provide a rating or review without prompting. Make the process as easy as possible to maximize responses. As you grow, automate the entire review request process with reputation management software, app or service, because it’s tough to manage it all effectively otherwise.
Which review/ratings websites do you get the best response from? Please share in the comments below or join us in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.
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Marie has an M.Sc. in Marketing and a certificate from the Ryerson Digital Media program. She's enrolled in one course or another most of the time and is always in the middle of a new business book (or three). Marie enjoys writing, traveling and volunteering at local events & trade shows.