Where to Go for Online Reviews

It may come as no surprise, but 90% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase or spending money on a service. Most of those reading and making reviews are adults under 50, which is a significant portion of the total consumer buying power in the U.S. In fact, consumers say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.

There are many places to go online to make or read reviews. Some of the most helpful sites are product or service specific, only offering reviews on, say, restaurants or hotels. While the sheer number of reviews on large sites like Yelp may sound overwhelming, consumer habits show that reviews made in the past month are the most trusted and the most viewed.

Give these sites a visit and see if others’ recent experiences help with your next purchasing decision.

Multiple Products & Categories

Yelp – With over 100 million customer reviews since its founding in 2004, Yelp is unquestionably an online review giant. Categories of shops and services to review run the gamut, from car mechanics to veterinary clinics. Businesses can respond to reviews, allowing you a peak at how they handle customer service.

Google – If a company has a website and has set up Google My Business, customer reviews will display in the company information box on the right-hand side of the Google website. Here, too, companies can respond to reviews.

Facebook – If the business has a Facebook business page, users can read and leave reviews, and the business can respond.

Foursquare – Using the Foursquare app, customers can leave “tips” for others about their experience at local businesses. These tips, and their corresponding numerical ratings, are viewable by other users who search for the same business category—like “coffee shop” or “casual lunch restaurant” when they’re in the area.

YellowPages.com – Similar to TripAdvisor, users review and comment on other reviews for a wide range of businesses.

Better Business Bureau – The BBB is a non-profit organization designed to keep businesses honest. They not only collect customer reviews, but also assign a rating on an A+ to F scale, highlighting the most significant factors of reviews that affected the rating.

TrustPilot – Search over 120 million reviews of over 529,000 businesses in 20 countries! Businesses, once they’ve set up a TrustPilot account, can respond to reviews. This is a smart option for those traveling abroad.

Best Company – Best Company boasts its own proprietary ranking criteria, which takes into account reviews, scores, and rankings on their site. This site is unique in that its reviews focus primarily on financial institutions and companies. They have more than 360,000 verified reviews, and that number keeps growing!

Travel

TripAdvisor – This may be the most visited review website of them all, with a collection of more than 934 million reviews covering 8 million accommodations, attractions, and restaurants. It may also be one of the few websites that users trust more than personal recommendations or professional reviews.

Automotive

Edmunds – Here you can find reviews of automobiles themselves as well as of dealerships, including their sales team, finance officers, and auto service teams.

Cars.com – This is the heavyweight in customer-driven reviews for automobiles and dealerships. Smart dealerships respond to customer reviews, because car shoppers are three times more likely to become buyers at a dealership with a positive rating, according to one interpretation of data.

Restaurant

Zomato – Remember Urbanspoon? Well Zomato is the website responsible for replacing it. You can review restaurants, cafes, and bars in 24 countries on the site, as well as view how the eatery responded to previous reviews—good and bad.

Open Table – You might not know it, but you can do more than book a reservation on the Open Table website, app, and the websites of participating restaurants—you can leave a review, too. If you leave your email address (hidden from other users) as part of your review, the restaurant will be able to send a personal response.

Zagat – Another eatery review platform similar to TripAdvisor and Zomato, it also pulls reviews and overall star ratings from Google.

Healthcare

Healthgrades – Much like it sounds, this website offers online reviews of doctors, other medical professionals, and healthcare facilities. With over 10 million reviews since 1998, the site allows you to research, compare, and connect with healthcare providers all in one place.

RateMDs – If you want to be able to review more than two million physicians, read other patient comments, and read about the latest in medical specialty information, RateMDs is just the place. Doctors can “claim” their doctor profile/listing and then respond to patient reviews.

Vitals – Ratings for medical professionals here take into account a full range of factors: ease of appointment, staff and appointment promptness, courteousness of staff, diagnosis accuracy, doctor bedside manner, post-visit follow-ups, etc. Physicians are able to respond to reviews.