Friday, 20 January 2017

DIY - the biggest cause of personal injury in the home

...and - we are betting - the biggest cause of injury to business reputations in 2017!


 This chap is not a HelpHound client - to find out why not read on

We're talking reviews of course!

Let's first look at the motivation for adopting various review management strategies and then at all the options:

Motivation

Very few Luddites remain. Savvy marketers are all agreed - great reviews drive business, it's as simple as that.

So - every business wants great reviews where they will bee seen by the largest possible number of potential customers. And, in the main, that means:
  • on Google
  • on the business's own website

So what do those marketers do next? They look for a solution, and often, if they have not heard of HelpHound, their first - and perfectly understandable - reaction is 'Can we do it ourselves?'

So here we look at all the options and all their pros and cons.

1. Direct to Google (simple DIY)

Simply invite customers to post their reviews direct to your G+ page.

Pros:
  • you will get a Google score - once you have 5 reviews there, to show in the Google Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps
  • you will get great rich snippets - providing your reviews are positive
  • your reviews will be shown prominently in every search
  • you will stand out in the Google 3-pack*
*appearance in the Google 3-pack is currently SEO related - so it's something to speak to your web designers about. But when Google begin ranking businesses by their review scores you will need a) a great score and b) decent numbers of reviews to appear there
Cons:
  • you won't have independently verified reviews on your own website - a proven new business driver
  • if you comply with the Competitions and Markets Authority's (CMA) rules* and invite all your customers to write a review to Google you will run the risk of inviting unfair or inaccurate comments to Google - which won't help your business or your potential customers

Example:



A score of 4.9 from 28 reviews with 5* across the board apart from two 4* reviews. This business has selectively invited customers to post reviews - which is made obvious by the infrequency of the posts, generally one or two a month at most. It runs three risks; the first is that their less-than-happy customers will see the universally positive reviews and react by posting their own - uncomplimentary - review, the second is that prospective customers will ask them why they have so few reviews, the third is that thier competitors will quickly realise that their reviewers are being hand-picked and 'helpfully' point this out to potential customers.


* Important: The CMA is the government body that regulates reviews. It clearly states that all your customers should be able to write a review - whenever they choose. This rules out any mechanism which might allow you to hand-pick customers to write reviews to Google - or choose the timing of that invitation. For more information about the CMA read 'Reviews and the Law - an important update'.


2.  To an independent site and then to Google (DIY plus)

Invite your customers to post a review to any one of the number of independent review sites and then invite them to copy their review to Google.

Pros:
  • you will get a Google score - once you have 5 reviews there, to show in the Google Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps
  • you will get great rich snippets - providing your reviews are positive
  • your reviews will be shown prominently in every search
  • you will stand in the Google 3-pack
Cons:
  • you won't have your own independently verified reviews on your own website - you will have the independent site's reviews and then a feed or a link to display them
  • if you comply with the Competitions and Markets Authority's (CMA) rules* and invite all your customers to write a review to the independent site you will run the risk of inviting unfair or inaccurate comments - which won't help your business or your potential customers
  • You must then invite all the customers who posted to the independent site to copy their review to Google - again, to comply with the CMA rules

Example:




A score of 4.2 with eleven 1* reviews. This business has invited its customers to post to an independent site and then asked those who posted a 5* review there to copy it to Google. So why the 1* reviews? They have come from those customers the business has not invited to post a review anywhere, posted on their customers' own initiative.

A note on independent sites: they break down into two types; 'open' and 'closed'. 'Open' are sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor or allAgents where anyone can join and write a review of any relevant business whenever they want. 'Closed' are sites where reviews can only be written 'by invitation'. The latter business model is becoming increasingly rare as it so obviously favours the business and both consumers and the CMA regard them with a degree of scepticism.

3. HelpHound - full-time professional review management

Pros:
  • you will get great independently verified reviews to your own website - to drive business
  • you will be able to manage any reviews that contain inaccurate or misleading comments pre-publication
  • you will get a Google score - once you have 5 reviews there, to show in the Google Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps
  • you will get great rich snippets
  • your reviews will be shown prominently in every search
  • you will stand out in the Google 3-pack*
  • you will be fully-compliant with the CMA rules
 Cons:
  • your staff will need to understand how to build reviews into every customer touch-point
  • you will have to pay our monthly fee

 Example:


A score of 4.9 from 281 reviews, with two 1* reviews. A HelpHound client. Their customers are able to write a review to the business's website whenever they want, and all of those that have a review published there are asked to copy that review to Google. The volume and score together give their reviews massive credibility (and cannot be attacked by their competitors), backed up by nearly twice as many reviews - 467 to be precise - on their own website; and add that to their promise to every potential customer that they will be invited to write a review and you can imagine the impact on business.

In conclusion

You will, by now, have come to the conclusion that options 1 and 2 are no option at all - not if you want to be seen as operating within the CMA rules and presenting as an open and honest business. The next step? Speak to one of us - we will show you how we can help your business look like No. 3.

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