Should You Use Angie's List as a Local Business?

According to Angie’s List promotional information, more than 2.4 million households use the member review site to find service companies and health care professionals in over 720 categories in nearly 200 markets around the U.S.  And since Angie’s List was built around local businesses, it would seem a natural fit for your local business.  Or is it?

A U.S.-based, paid subscription supported, crowd-sourced local business review site, Angie’s List allows paying members to review local businesses, rating their experiences from A to F.  They are, however, a bit more restrictive that Google+, Facebook, Yelp and other non-subscription sites, allowing only one review per service transaction, and absolutely no anonymous comments.

Is There a Fee to List Your Local Business on Angie’s List?

While customers pay a fee in order to access and post reviews on Angie’s list — anywhere from $3.75 a month to $20.98 for a three year plan, businesses can create an account on the website for free.  In fact, similar to Google+, Facebook, and Yelp, your business may already be listed on the site if one of your customers has posted a review.

Although Angie’s List has long proclaimed that businesses can’t pay for good reviews, they CAN, however, pay for better positioning in search results, according to Jeff Blyskal, Senior Editor of Consumer Reports, which may serve to compromise the integrity of the site with some customers.

“Angie’s List makes a big point to say they’re consumer-driven, when in fact 70% of their revenue comes from advertising” said Blyskal.  “It’s not advertising Coca Cola, it’s advertising from the companies they rate.”

Benefits of Listing Your Local Business on Angie’s List

As a local review site, Angie’s List has a considerable loyal following.  In particular, homeowners often consult the site to find trustworthy local contractors, plumbers and home repair services, as well as doctors, dentists and other health care professionals.

Since Angie’s List is, by definition, a local business directory, it only makes sense for a local business owner to take advantage of the free listing, or claim your listing if it already exists.  All it requires is a few minutes to set up an account and provide your business information, similar to any other local directory listing.

Since Angie’s List members pay for their subscription, they are somewhat more likely to prioritize the site when searching for a local business, in order to feel they’re getting a good return on their investment.  Like Google+, Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List claims its own distinct share of the local business directory market, with its own unique customer base.

As a local entrepreneur, listing your business on as many local directories and search engines as possible is an important part of your marketing plan, so it’s definitely worth spending the time to set up an account on Angie’s List.