And what did we learn?
First: here are the search results for two areas that are - with few exceptions - typical of 'beyond the M25', both decent size cities/towns:
And here's a fairly typical example of a London 'three-pack':
It is worth spending a moment analysing those reviews. The bare figures are as follows:
- Outside London: and average of 3 reviews per agency/branch
- London: an average of 22 reviews per agency/branch
These businesses have seen an explosive growth in Google reviews in the last 12 months - with even Barnard Marcus achieving a Google score. The argument that 'no-one can be bothered to post a review to Google' - which may have been true even twelve months ago - has now been well and truly laid to rest.
The implications for all businesses - wherever they may be
If you read our recent article - Google reviews accelerate - you will have seen an example of what can happen when perfectly well-managed business fails to engage with reviews: the reviews will still be written, but, human nature being what it is, less than happy customers are far more likely to make the effort to write one.
Our predictions for the agencies in the two Google searches at the top of this page
By this time next year they will almost certainly all have Google scores (a minimum of 5 reviews). If they don't adopt a proactive review management strategy, they will almost certainly fail the Google filter by scoring less than 4.0 - see here for more on this - and their potential customers will by then have got used to using the filter; after all, who wants to use a business that scores less than 4.0 out of 5?
Establish a review management strategy - now; before your business fails the filter. You can adopt the DIY route (getting customers to write reviews straight to Google), but why would any business do that when professional review management has so many benefits when set against the cost?
Impressed by businesses that have ten, or even twenty reviews? You should be - but how about this:
The only thing standing between your business and an image like this - and this...
...where there are 465 reviews, is a telephone call to Fiona Christie at HelpHound!
- credible reviews to display on your own site - to drive enquiries and new business
- great reviews to Google
- a tried-and-tested mechanism to allow you to manage inaccurate or misleading reviews pre-publication
- no linking away to a review site that shows your competitors
- a design that conforms with your own branding
HelpHound: professional review management for businesses