Should your business be using Angie’s List?

Having been in business for the past eighteen years chances are that you’ve seen an “Angie’s List” icon or badge on small business websites. But being the oldest operating online customer review repository doesn’t mean it’s still the best. New comers Google Plus and Yelp have taken the spotlight, leading us to the question. Do we still need Angie’s List?

What exactly is Angie’s List?

Firstly let’s describe what exactly Angie’s is and is not. Angie’s is a FREE service for businesses, allowing them:

• Managing reputation
• Customizing your business profile
• Reading & responding to reviews
• Access to business tools

It does allow businesses to ‘rank’ higher in its Angie’s List search results, in a roundabout fashion by having businesses pay a premium to advertise coupons, which then enable them to rank higher than other businesses. Therefore, if you want your business to have a high search placement within Angie’s you’ll probably need to invest a few dollars.

Angie’s is a premium-only service for consumers (requiring a fee of around $15-$30 a year). Only when a user has signed up and paid is he then able to read reviews of contractors and businesses.

Does my business need it?

To be blunt, not really. In the enduring spirit of the internet, users demand and expect free information about businesses. It’s not sufficient that addresses and phone numbers be free to see, but ratings and reviews must be as well. Google Plus and Yelp took notice and are very successfully supplying this demand.

For the small business trying to leverage its online reputation it needn’t choose more than one of the above (Angie’s, Google+, Yelp), for its online PR campaign. With Google’s recent emphasis on local business listings, having high quality reviews on Yelp is of great benefit. Additionally, Yelp is currently the web’s leading consumer-review website, while Angie’s seems to be fading out, with its company stock dropping 50% in 2014. This could be traced to its lack of changing with the times and not offering the free content consumers desire.