Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 1:13 pm by TRUiC Team

Best Review Sites for Small Businesses

In today’s market, small business owners cannot afford to skip listing their businesses on online review platforms. While there are numerous websites you can list your small business on, each platform is designed for a somewhat different user.

In this guide, we'll go over the benefits of leveraging online reviews and help you figure out which review platform can provide the most value to your business.

Why Should You Care About Online Reviews?

Small businesses can no longer rely on the Yellow Pages, traditional advertising, or word-of-mouth to increase their brand awareness. Small business owners must care about review sites, and there are several reasons why:

  • Online review platforms like Yelp have effectively replaced the Yellow Pages
  • Most consumers check the Internet for reviews before purchasing a product or service
  • When consumers perform an Internet search for a business or service, review sites typically rank higher than local business sites
  • Reviews can make or break a small business — good reviews can bring traffic, while negative reviews can send people running
  • Review sites are often an excellent source of lead generation

How Your Business Can Use Review Sites

Review platforms are not simply for reading and responding to reviews. There are several ways small businesses can benefit from leveraging review sites:

  • Improves search engine optimization (SEO) on your business’ website. By listing your business (and website) with review sites, small businesses can receive high-quality backlinks to their website, thus improving their internet search rankings.
  • Helps you reach new customers. Some review sites allow customers to contact businesses directly and even book services. By listing your small business with these sites, owners can increase their methods of attracting and booking customers.
  • Allows you to interact with customers. Businesses can take advantage of the features of review sites and find unique ways to interact with current and potential customers. Consumers like to feel like they know the people behind the business, and engaging with customers on review sites is an excellent way to build trust and brand awareness.
  • Review sites let you know what is working and what is not. Analyzing positive and negative reviews on these sites is an excellent way to learn what parts of your business need to be improved and what is working.
  • Helps you build confidence in your brand/services. If you are a new business or are not well-known, having a few solid reviews on these platforms will increase awareness of your brand and help customers have confidence that you are a legitimate business.
  • Gives you a second chance. What could be better for your business than turning a negative experience into a positive one? Many review sites permit owners to respond directly to reviews, which can give owners the opportunity to apologize for poor service and afford them the opportunity to make things right

Best Online Review Platforms

Depending on your internet savviness and general interest in browsing online, you may have heard of some of the most popular business review sites. Depending on your niche, there are a number of business review platforms that are appropriate for your small business.

Yelp: Best Platform for Local-focused Businesses

Yelp is probably one of the most well-known review sites on the web, and they are perfect for both brick and mortar businesses and those that may not have a storefront, but still have a local presence like a roofer or plumber that practices in a local area, without a central office location. According to their website, Yelp has over 171 million reviews (as of the end of last year) and boasts well over 30 million unique visitors per month.

Some of the services they provide include:

  • Free business listings (including photos, menus, hours of operation, etc.)
  • Ability to read and respond to reviews
  • Paid advertising and marketing opportunities
  • Ability to receive and respond to direct messages
  • Ability to take restaurant reservations through the site
  • Ability to set up discount vouchers and check-in offers
  • Advanced profile options to add features like slideshows, removing competitor ads, and more

For a more detailed breakdown of these features, read our guide on How to Use Yelp.

How to Start an LLC Icon

Get $300 in Yelp Advertising Credit Free

How to Start an LLC Call to Action Get Started with Yelp Get Started with Yelp

Google My Business: Best Free Promotion Tools

One of the absolute best free promotion and review tools available to small businesses is Google My Business (GMB). Since many people utilize Google to research businesses and restaurants, leveraging GMB will not only boost your Google search ranking, but it can drive traffic to your business. GMB is great for brick and mortar businesses -- it can boost your local SEO and help local customers find you.

Owners can claim their business by setting up a verified business account on Google. From there, small business owners can provide key details about their business (hours of operation, website, location, phone number, etc.), and Google will use this information in search results. In addition, Google users can post reviews, and GMB owners can respond.

TrustPilot: Best Platform for Customized Pricing

TrustPilot is a Danish review site that has achieved trusted status by Google, meaning that businesses that have their services listed on this site will often receive a rankings boost from Google.

All small businesses can benefit from listing with this site, no matter where they are physically located. This review platform offers a wide variety of custom pricing plans to meet every small business’ needs. These plans offer a wide variety of features, including:

  • Ability to read and respond to reviews
  • Embedded reviews on your business’ website
  • Review sharing on social media platforms
  • Integration with Hootsuite and Zendesk
  • In-depth analytics

Better Business Bureau: Best Consumer Trust

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is probably one of the most well-known customer advocacy groups in the world, and therefore it is trusted by most consumers.

Although the BBB charges a fee for an accreditation review and ongoing monitoring, achieving accreditation will boost your business’ credibility and improve your Google search rankings. If you are considering listing your business with the BBB, make sure you thoroughly read their Code of Conduct and that you are prepared to adhere to the rules. Once your business is successfully accredited, you can add a seal to your website and highlight the fact that you have achieved BBB accreditation.

Facebook: Best Consumer Reach

With over 1 billion users worldwide, it is easy to see why Facebook is our top pick for achieving customer reach. Setting up a Facebook page for your business is absolutely essential and relatively easy to do. Some of the features include:

  • A listing for your business (including photos, menus, hours of operation, etc.)
  • Ability to read and respond to reviews
  • Paid ads (and target your customers based on location or niche)
  • Real-time updates to your clients real-time about events, services, specials, etc.
  • Ability to read and respond to direct messages

Amazon: Best Platform for eCommerce Business

If you are in the business of selling products online (B2C or B2B), Amazon is the absolute best platform for your eCommerce business. It is one of the most trusted sites for purchasing products online, and the platform makes it easy for consumers to provide product and seller reviews. Some of the features offered to businesses include seller page, seller reviews, advertising, sponsored items, etc.

G2 Crowd: Best Platform for B2B Software

If you are in the business of creating and selling B2B Software, G2 Crowd is the review platform you should definitely join, especially if you are a startup. This site boasts more than 1.5 million visitors per month and offers consumers verified reviews of software packages.

Listing your business is free, and owners can provide a logo, company description, and a few basic details. From there, users can submit reviews of your product, and you can include these reviews on your business’ website. G2 Crowd also offers a variety of paid sales and marketing tools.

TripAdvisor: Best Platform for Tourist Destination Businesses

The biggest platform for tourism-related reviews is TripAdvisor. If your small business is in any way related to tourism, including restaurants, you must list your business on this site. Registration is free, and you can utilize a number of free and paid features, including:

  • A listing for your business (including photos, menus, hours of operation, etc.)
  • Ability to read and respond to reviews
  • Online bookings
  • Paid sponsor placements
  • Additional marketing tools

Foursquare: Best Consumer Perks

What initially started out as simply a social network, Foursquare has turned into a great place to list your business, and this platform offers excellent consumer perks. This site is great for brick and mortar businesses that are seeking additional foot traffic. Users will “check-in” to various businesses in the area, and they can share their status (and reviews) with their friends on Foursquare and other social media networks.

By claiming your location on Foursquare, businesses can unlock some of the additional features, including:

  • A listing with accurate location details about your business
  • Ability to engage with people who have previously checked in (making announcements and promoting specials)
  • Paid promotional updates to users in the area
  • Specials offered to Foursquare users only
  • Rewards for returning customers through special offers

Angie's List: Best Platform for Home Maintenance Businesses

Over the past 20+ years, Angie’s List has become the go-to review platform for home maintenance businesses. The platform is free for consumers and businesses and is a trusted review site for services ranging from plumbing to housecleaning. By registering your business, owners are able to read and respond to reviews and access a number of paid marketing tools.

Wrapping Up

Listing your business on one (or several) of these review sites is one of the very best things you can do to build brand awareness, improve (or establish) your reputation, and obtain invaluable feedback about your services. Another great thing about these review sites is that the majority of them are free, and it takes very little effort to sign up and start reaping the benefits.