As a small business, it is important to market your business in order to find new customers. One great form of marketing is online reviews. Research shows that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. We are finding each year the number of people that use review sites just grows. Moreover, which site the review is hosted also holds much importance.
In August, ReviewInc ran a survey to see which site’s ratings, recommendations and reviews are most trusted. We also ran similar surveys in 2015 and 2016. The eight options we offered were Google, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, TripAdvistor, Facebook, YellowPages.com, None and Other.
Like in prior years, Google Maps and Better Business Bureau are still the most trusted review sites. The Better Business Bureau is most popular among users ages 55 to 65+. If you add the top two together, they equal almost 50%. Yahoo Reviews was taken down in late 2018 in favor of Yelp reviews, so now Yelp reigns at number 3. Trip Advisor is not far behind at number 4. Facebook is at number 5, like previous years. Yellow Pages is in sixth place followed by none or other.
Yelp is particularly popular among younger respondents and especially in terms of the hospitality or service industries, such as restaurants, hotels, salons, etc. Trip Advisor is next, popular among local businesses or travel locations that out-of-town visitors are sight-seeing. Facebook started out as a social network, not a review site, so not as popular as the other sites but growing in number due to the popularity of its’ business pages. However, note that it is trusted less by ages 18-35. The social network has lost a lot of credibility particularly among young users in recent years due to privacy issues and personal data breaches.
It is no surprise that the Better Business Bureau holds credibility with older users due to their brand name recognition and legacy as a trusted organization for business.
The takeaway for business owners from this survey is once again that they should encourage customers review their business on as many sites as possible including the ones mentioned in this survey in order to gain credibility and reach the most potential customers.