Six Tips for Success on Review Sites & Directories
Online reviews are essential to any product. With the internet at our fingertips, we now innately tend to research and learn about any (and almost every) product, before we purchase it. This is particularly apparent when making a large purchase.
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 be monitoring and managing. Third-party B2B software review sites 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. A few places to start are G2Crowd, Capterra, and Glassdoor.
What are the Best Listing 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. You will need to do your due diligence to figure out where your customers are going to conduct research. This will help you determine which directories you should prioritize. 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, take the plunge and optimize directory listings for your business. Steps to the process are outlined below.
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. Some sites might also require a verification process to be sure that you are r update and maintain the page. 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 top to organic discoverability, are signals like name, address, and phone number (NAP). To maintain consistency, it’s important to maintain the same NAP 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 are important because it humanizes your brand. Include photos of your company and product. People are looking for context and product shots provide that. By adding photos you help the viewer imagine how your product might serve their needs and work within their day to make their lives easier.
Collect Reviews and Reply to Them
Many business directories give you the ability to collect online reviews. This is one of the most important parts 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. Companies must build and 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 any inconsistencies.
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. Prospects are looking for peer-to-peer insight and external review sites are a great way to share the positive experiences your customers have.
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.