How to Stand Out on Review Sites

Review and listing sites can help you promote your business and build community.

Sites like Yelp, Google My Business, Yahoo! Local, and other review and listing sites provide a venue for you to get customer feedback, promote your business, and address issues when they arise. When consumers find a business they love—or one they don’t—these sites are the first place they turn to share their experiences. So, it’s important for businesses to actively update and monitor their presence on these sites, says Kate Proykova, managing director of digital marketing firm Hop Online.

To make the most of review sites, use these simple tips.

  • Claim your space. “Claim” your business identity on Google, Yahoo, Yelp, and other directories that syndicate local listings and you can make changes to your listing, updating the business description, telephone number, or address. You also can receive notifications when new user reviews are posted, to help you monitor and address them, Proykova says.
  • Keep your listing up-to-date. Posting regularly, updating your business description or posting promotions, special events, or other content can help boost your overall search- engine rank. Adding virtual 3D tours also can help attract customers.
  • Avoid multiple listings. Having more than one person working on digital marketing or creating a new profile instead of claiming or updating an already existing one can confuse customers. Be sure you’re working on/building one profile.
  • Ask for positive reviews. “The most important thing is to have a system for collecting user reviews. Ask your happy customers via email to leave a review about your services,” Proykova says. You don’t need hundreds; set an achievable goal of one or two new reviews per month, and they’ll accumulate quickly.
  • Monitor reviews. Once you have a regular inflow of reviews, be sure you’re monitoring them and replying promptly, Proykova says. Thank people who review your business positively, and invite them back. Even negative reviews can bring in business if you handle them properly, she says. Be objective and try to understand the customer’s concern, and invite them to contact you to resolve the issue. Don’t get into a back-and-forth or slip into a negative tone. Keeping the correspondence courteous and professional will speak volumes about how you do business.