It is in a variation of the 'before and after' format - this time we've called the two categories 'Without HelpHound' and 'With HelpHound'.
Note: we have intentionally chosen to use estate agency in this example as it is a high-value, low-turnover business, with relatively few customers to invite to write a review by comparison with, say, the hospitality industry (we have a central London hotel client that sends 300 invitations to review a day!). We are making the point that every business can benefit from professional review management.
- Without: Testimonials
- With: Reviews
Reviews are now universally acknowledged to carry much more weight in the eyes of your prospective customers. But to qualify as a 'review' they must be independently verified - that's where HelpHound comes in.
- Without: weak on Google
- With: strong on Google
The difference between these two businesses may not be as pronounced as you might think. It may well be that the second business has a mechanism for inviting reviews and managing negative comments offline - which, indeed, they do - for they are HelpHound clients. What is absolutely certain is that the image the first business is presenting on Google is deflecting custom and the great reviews and rich snippets the second business has are attracting it.
- Without: Filtered in search
See the 'FILTER' button at top right? If it is not appearing - yet - in your location, or for your kind of business, it soon will be.
- With: showing in search
Here is the same search with the filter applied: all businesses without at least 5 Google reviews and/or a score of less than 4.0 have been filtered out of this local search. Next to come from Google will ba a 'Top Rated' button.
- Without: negatives on Google
This business has made a step in the right direction, by engaging and responding (if only to one of the reviews). Businesses must acknowledge that potential customers do read reviews, and moreover, do click on the 'Lowest score' button that Google so helpfully provide.
- With: far fewer - if any - negatives on Google
Again, we have defaulted this search to 'Lowest score'. But this time for a clients of ours who have been proactive in inviting reviews, first to their own website and then to Google.
- Without: negatives on social media
Unsurprisingly we have struggled to find a business on Facebook that has enabled the reviews function and has bad reviews - they just avoid the issue altogether - but wouldn't you rather look like the example below?
- With: a really positive image on social media
Consumers have become increasingly influenced by what their friends are saying on social media. HelpHound takes the 'fear' factor out of engaging with the likes of Facebook and gives you wonderful raw material for Twitter and other social media.
- Without: no star rating in natural search
- With: star rating in natural search
With a link straight to these...
Not only does this enhance your marketing efforts in the most obvious way, by delivering your customer opinions to potential customers in search - it also gives the impression that you are 'modern marketing savvy'.
- Without: no reviews or rich snippets in the Google knowledge box:
Having no Google reviews - besides missing a great opportunity to impress - can easily give the impression that your business is new to the area or, perhaps even more damaging in the eyes of your potential clients: not engaged with modern marketing techniques.
- With: great reviews and rich snippets in the Google knowledge box:
Your business looks established, popular and professional.
- Without: weak in the sale
What do your customers think of your business, its products and service? Answer came there none.
- With: strong in the sale
Read exactly what some of our estate agent clients have said here.
- Without: "We are great"
- With: "Our customers say we are great"