Why Online Reviews for B2B Small Businesses Are So Darn ImportantMonika Jansen
When you think “online reviews,” you probably think Yelp and consumer-facing businesses like restaurants, bars, and salons, right? Reviewing a great meal at a new neighborhood spot is fun. Reviewing your accountant – not as sexy.
Well, online reviews are just as important for your law firm, consulting company, coaching practice, and enterprise app development company – at least if you want to stand out online! Here’s why online reviews for B2B small business are no longer an option – they’re a must-have:
Let’s say you’re shopping for a digital camera on Amazon.com. Are you going to buy the one with hundreds of 4- and 5-star reviews, or the one that has just three reviews – and only one is 5-star?
Reviews are social proof. Even if you don’t know the people reviewing the product or service, you are more likely to open your wallet if it garners lots of positive online reviews. This is especially important for a big-ticket purchase, like the thousands of dollars you will spend on that executive business coach.
Search ranking and results
As long as you are earning online reviews through big, reputable companies (more on that below), it will positively affect your search ranking. When, say, Facebook or Yahoo links to your company’s website, search engines think, “Wow, that is a big company linking to this website – this website must be important.”
Now, if someone conducts a search for your business by name, it’s always nice when they see a lot of positive results on that first page. Sure, a list of your social media accounts is important, but those 5-star online reviews speak volumes and make a very good impression.
Where to get online reviews:
People can add reviews (one to five stars), comments, and even photos. Since Google is the emperor of search, this will affect your ranking in a big way.
This works just like Google My Business. And yes, Yahoo is still relevant, so don’t leave them out.
You didn’t think about the Better Business Bureau (BBB), did you? Your profile listing can include a short company bio, whether you are BBB-accredited (not necessary, but nice), complaint history, reviews, and the BBB’s rating of your business (A through F).
- Facebook Reviews
If your company has a Facebook page, your fans can post a rating and/or review in the Reviews section of your Page. They can also choose to make the review public, visible to friends, or visible only to them (though I don’t know why you’d choose that option).
When a follower says something nice about your company on Twitter (and you’ll be tagged, so you’ll see it), favorite it, retweet it, save it for future use, and share it elsewhere (you can embed it on your website or in a blog post).
- LinkedIn Recommendations
LinkedIn recommendations are gold in the B2B world. And yes, I know they’re for individuals and not companies, but when someone is doing their due diligence on your company, it’s likely they’re looking you up, too. The more awesome recommendations you have, the better.
How have online reviews helped your small business?