How to Use Software Review Sites to Your Advantage

A guide on how software companies can use review sites, feedback, and reviews to improve their products.

How to Use Software Review Sites to Your Advantage
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

Are you the owner of a SaaS company? Then you know that your brand's online reputation is crucial to ensuring the longevity and continued success of your company. To maintain or increase the popularity of your brand, you need to make sure that customers see your products in a positive light and have no reason to turn against them. This can be done by staying on top of what people say about your software on social media and on reputable review sites.

But how do you find good reviews? How can you use them to your advantage? How do you respond when a customer leaves a negative review? That’s where we come in. We’ve put together everything you need to know about leveraging software review sites for your SaaS brand, so read on!

What are software review sites?

Software review sites are exactly what they sound like: websites where users can post reviews of software products. These sites can be invaluable for businesses, both buyers and brands. Here's how:

  • Software buyers can use software review sites to find the best product for their needs. Not only can they read reviews of different software products, but they also have access to side-by-side comparisons that enable them to make more informed decisions.
  • Software brands benefit from positive user reviews that improve their reputation and increase credibility with buyers. The more positive reviews a piece of software has on these sites, the higher its ranking will be in search results when prospective customers look for a solution to solve their problems.

Where to find software review sites

It's easy to find software review sites. But the sheer number of them out there can make it tough to know where to start.

There are a few categories of software review sites that you might consider:

  • General sites: This type of site will give you an overview of a piece of software but won't get into its specifics or features. They tend to be free and usually have some community comments as well as reviews from experts in their field. You'll likely see this type of site at the top of your Google search results.
  • Niche sites: This type of site focuses on a specific niche, like business management software for dentists or email marketing tools for B2B companies. Though some may have paid options, these are often free and can help narrow down your list if you're searching for something more specific than what general review sites can offer. This is especially helpful if you need a tool that works with one system over another (like MailChimp vs AWeber). It's also beneficial when looking at expensive systems like CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) or ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning).
  • Premium subscription services: This type of site offers premium access by paying a monthly fee—usually under $10/month, sometimes less than $5/month—or through a yearly fee or one-time purchase price that can range anywhere from $50-250 per year depending on the level you want. These sites often offer full reviews and comparisons, though they focus only on more prominent brands (since they likely want those in their system). If you're looking for more comprehensive reviews from experienced users and IT professionals, these options could be worth the investment.

How can I leverage software review sites?

As a software company, you probably know that the key to success is establishing a positive online presence. Some of the benefits of this include increased brand awareness, boosted sales and revenue, discovering areas for improvement, establishing credibility in your space, formulating an effective marketing strategy, and winning over new clients. But what you may not realize is how much software review sites can help with all of these things.

Let's say you've spent some time browsing Software Advice's review platform. You might notice that certain companies are getting an influx of 5-star reviews about their products' capabilities or ease of use. Or maybe you stumble upon a negative review or two about one of your competitors: "They were pretty easy to work with during the sales process, but their implementation was terrible," or "I didn't like how difficult it was to set up."

All these reviews can serve as windows into what successful companies in your space are doing right—and what unsuccessful ones are doing wrong—which can be precious information when creating any number of successful marketing campaigns.

How do I get my software product reviewed?

Getting your software reviewed is simple. Follow these steps:

Create an account. Most review sites will require you to create a free account before submitting your product for review.

Make a list of review sites. To find sites that could be interested in reviewing your software, browse through the product categories on Capterra and FinancesOnline and note which ones are the best fit for your product.

Submit your product for review. Once you’ve created an account, look at the site’s instructions for submitting your product for review. These instructions will typically be located under a link called “Submit Your Software” or something similar. You may be able to fill out a form and receive a response within 24 hours, or it can take as long as 30 days to hear back from them, depending on how many submissions they receive each day. Either way, being patient is critical!

Should I ask for a specific score or rating in exchange for a free trial?

For many people, the selling point of using a review site is that it will provide them with unbiased information about a product or service. And by giving that information, sites like Yelp!, for example, are helping customers make decisions about whether or not to use those products and services.

But there's more to reviews than just their usefulness as an advertisement for a company. Many of the best software programs are also available on sites such as CNET and PC World, so if you're looking for a program and don't want to risk getting ripped off by not doing the research before purchasing, these sites can be extremely useful helpful.

That said, however, there is one major problem with relying solely on these review sites: They have an agenda. As much as they'd like you to believe otherwise—and quite frankly, they'd rather you believed it—many (if not most) of the review sites out there are owned by companies that make money in some way from selling their products. This means that when a company puts something new out there, it may be easy to find reviews saying things like "this program is awesome," but chances are pretty good that similar programs with different names on other review websites will get bad reviews too! The key here is to know exactly what you're looking for before buying anything.

Leveraging positive reviews can be a great way to increase brand awareness and boost sales.

Software review sites are a special breed of publisher, and understanding the nature of how they operate is key to leveraging them for your business. They exist to inform potential buyers about software solutions and provide leads to vendors selling those solutions.

For a vendor to win the opportunity for its software product or service to be listed on a given review site, it must pay a fee in some form or another. The cost is often determined by how much exposure the vendor wants—how big of an audience they want that site’s content writers and editors to reach—and where they want their listing to appear relative to competing vendors in search results.

What's important to remember is that every review that comes your way can be used for your company's benefit. Responding well to negative feedback and using positive reviews as testimonials are two ways you can leverage reviews. While these methods work best when dealing with a large number of reviews, regardless of how many or few you have, it's crucial always to respond thoughtfully and honestly.