This highlights one of the major benefits of HelpHound: that, as review managers - not a review website - we provide the best of both worlds for our clients.
Look at what one of the specialist review sites is saying - and showing - in their current advertisement:
We are perplexed about some of the things being said in this advertisement. Point by point:
- Google reviews show for every search on any business - for whatever kind of search: desktop/mobile/map
- Since Google introduced their filter Google reviews and scores are fundamental for appearing in search
- It is easy to get Google reviews - if you approach your clients in the right way - see an example of an agency that has over 700 Google reviews across seven branches here
- If an independent site is the right advice, HelpHound - as review managers - will recommend it. Read this for more on our current take on independent review sites
And look at what their client - the exact one they are using to illustrate the benefits of using their system - looks like in search:
This is a screen grab from the advertisement. Their client scores 4.8 next to the paid-for Google Ad and 3.8 from 90 reviews on Google. Which reviews are their potential clients going to a) read and b) believe? And: do you really want to be constantly paying Google to ensure that your reviews show?
First: local search 'estate agents Reading'
Again: Google reviews and those from the independent site. Whose will be read and trusted?
Then: specific (branch) search - 'Romans Market Place Reading'
Businesses need to choose one credible source of reviews and concentrate on that, and in 2016 - and for the foreseeable future - that source must be Google. Showing conflicting sources - and conflicting scores - in search only confuses consumers - and confused consumers rightly ask questions like "Which should I believe?"
You don't have to choose!
Our clients don't have to choose between Google reviews and reviews in natural search - they can have both!
The sharper-eyed will have noticed that there are two HelpHound clients showing for this search - one - Winkworth - in the Google 3-pack and another - Greene & Co - in organic search.
Lessons to be learned
- Reviews are vital. As more and more businesses adopt some form of strategy to manage customer reviews those that succeed will reap the reward of looking great, both stand-alone and against their competitors: more business will follow
- Flexibility is key. Today's top review site may not be tomorrow's. Remember AllAgents when they showed on page 1 of Google search? RaterAgent?
- You need to own your own reviews. Not give them away to a review site. When you own your reviews you can display them on your own site exactly as you wish, and you can then get them to any other site that matters - and currently that site is Google
...and an important P.S.
Feefo say... "To leave Google Plus reviews users also need to be logged in via Gmail* which limits the amount of reviews you can collect.
Most savvy estate agents are aware of this fact and instead of putting effort into something which isn't producing results are turning to Feefo to dominate search engine results pages."
*not strictly accurate. You actually need a G+ account, or one of its subsets.
...inferring that it is hard to get Google reviews. Have a look at this single branch of Greene & Co:
In less than two years
And this branch of Winkworth:
...in less than six months
Not if you are properly advised and supported, it's not!