The internet has made so many parts of life easier in recent years, and one such area is review sites like Yelp, Google and Facebook. These sites help people make basic decisions like where to eat or who to enter into business with.
In many cases, though, people are becoming distrustful of some review sites based on the way reviews are garnered. Sites might advertise freebies in exchange for reviews, or otherwise game the system by using people who are paid to leave reviews. As a manager in online marketing, you have to be careful – here’s a brief look at a few of the most common review sites.
The Better Business Bureau was founded in 1912, and is a nonprofit organization focused on advancing marketplace trust. It’s made up of 112 different local organizations, coordinated by a central council. It’s great for viewing full transparency behind how a business communicates with customers – ratings, reviews, complaints and responses are easy to view.
You can also see how businesses respond to customers – BBB also helps with mediation for complaints. They hold strict standards, and an “A” rating here shows that a company responds promptly to customers.
Google reviews are often the first thing you look for – 63 percent of customers use a search engine for online reviews, and Google is easily the most popular search engine. They have a strong review policy that allows people to flag reviews that are inappropriate, and they audit their reviews to ensure validity.
Any company is able to make a Facebook business page and then turn reviews on. Facebook has been known to take a less active role, though – they may be less proactive on complaints or negative reviews, so keep this in mind.
Yelp uses crowd-sourced local business reviews, but they also filter out some reviews according to a partially private algorithm. They explain that the goal here is to filter out fake reviews – they track IP addresses and can investigate suspicious trends. This is a good tool for leveling the marketing playing field.
For more on review sites, search engine marketing or any of our other services, the pros at SEO Werkz are standing by to assist you.