How to Leverage Review Sites & Directories for Your Brand
Online reviews sites are an essential channel for companies. Buyers research and learn about any (and almost every) product, before they reach out to the business directly. Here’s how to make sure that your brand is represented on review sites, so you are part of the consideration buying stage.
The fact is, 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before even visiting a business. Similarly, 77 percent of B2B buyers conduct their own research before talking to salespeople. Not only that, but buyers who consulted online reviews during the software selection process were ultimately more satisfied with their purchases.
Software Advice found that a mix of positive and negative online reviews inspire the most trust in buyers because they make feedback on the product or service feel more authentic. No surprise there. What you say isn’t nearly as important as what others say about you.
It’s no wonder that reviews have become an absolute necessity in the buying process and something that marketers need to manage and monitor. Third-party B2B software review sites, such as Capterra and G2Crowd, operate in the same manner as review websites for consumers, such as TripAdvisor and Yelp.
If you lead or market for a B2B software or SaaS company, get familiar with software review sites, claim your listings, manage your presence, and monitor your reviews.
Here’s how to get started.
Identify the Relevant Review Sites
There are dozens of B2B directories where you can list your business and products. Take the time to identify the sites that align well with the buyer you are trying to reach.
How do you know which directories are best for your business? Unfortunately, there is not one right answer. The list will vary from industry to industry. HubSpot has created a helpful list of the top-25 business directories to give you an idea of where to get started.
Once you’ve decided on which sites to focus on, take the plunge and optimize directory listings for your business. Steps to the process are:
Claim your business
Just like any social site, you will need to go through the steps and processes of claiming your listing on each review site. For example, you might need to be sure your LinkedIn account states you work for the company and have an email domain address that matches your business’ website URL.
Consistent Contact Information
According to Moz, one of the keys to organic discoverability are signals like name, address, and phone number. To maintain consistency, it’s important to maintain the same information on all of your business directories and listings that you have on your website.
We discuss the importance of consistency in one of our recent articles on, 5 Strategies to Create Social Consistency for Your B2B Brand. Learn more about it here.
Top to organic discoverability, are signals like name, address, and phone number (NAP) according to Moz.
Add a Business Description
Having an accurate and consistent description of your business is important. It will help searchers understand what type of service or product your business offers. I would suggest including relevant keywords in your description, but don’t overdo it. Many businesses have used the description as an opportunity for keyword stuffing and directories have noticed.
In addition, I would create three consistent snippets of 20, 50, and 100 words that are approved and agreed upon by your company. This way, any directory listing that is created will have the same message across the board.
Photos humanize your brand. Include photos of your company, people, and product. Buyers are looking for context and product shots provide that. By adding photos you help the viewer imagine how your product might serve their needs, who they might work with, and how your company might support their work.
Collect Reviews and Reply to Them
Many business directories give you the ability to collect online reviews. This is one of the most important pieces and the reason for claiming and managing a listing in the first place. Without reviews there’s no social proof that your product is used by anyone and/or that it helps people. In addition to receiving reviews, reply to them. Thank those who review your product and address any negative reviewers. Negative reviews, without a response, do more damage than if you honestly and genuinely address the reviewers complaints.
Maintain Your Listings
Review sites show up in search results related to your brand, sometimes more often than your own website might. Prospects and customers use the information on these sites to support their product research. Maintain an accurate database of where your company is listed and perform a daily or weekly check of reviews and a quarterly update of product descriptions, reviews, and correct any inconsistencies or errors.
The purpose of review sites is for current and past clients to share their experience regarding your product and service. It is important to be sure that your listing has at least five reviews. We encourage clients to request reviews from their current customers.
Taking the time to claim and optimize directory listings on multiple sites is just one piece of a digital marketing strategy for B2B Startups and midsize companies. However, a successful digital strategy is built on a collection of activities like this that when executed correctly will increase the visibility and awareness of your brand and its products.
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