Thursday, 16 March 2017

Reviews - 10 reasons not to engage

Why bother? Surely no-one takes any notice? After all, who in their right mind writes reviews?

In this article we will address all the reasons not to engage with reviews.

Note: there are ten, but we will not number them, because one is no more important than another.
  • no-one takes any notice of them
Partly correct - not everyone takes notice of reviews - in the same way as not everyone takes notice of advertising. But that never put any business off advertising. Reliable research estimates that well over half of all purchasing decisions - from books to household appliances to services like insurance and estate agency - are influenced by reviews.

The answer: try it and see. If it makes no difference, then stop. 


  • all review sites are flawed
Not a million miles off the mark. Most review sites suffer from drawbacks, either they allow fake reviews to be posted or they are invisible to the overwhelming majority of consumers. But reviews on your own website? And reviews on Google?

The answer: try it and see. If it makes no difference, then stop. 

  • we can do it ourselves
Absolutely - not! A self-published review has a name: it's called a testimonial. And that definition is enshrined in law. Consumers increasingly - and understandably - want to see evidence that opinions published on a business's own website have been independently audited.

The answer: try it and see. If it makes no difference, then stop. 

  • we come first in organic search anyway
Well done. You have a great web designer who gets SEO. But you may have noticed some changes at Google in the last eighteen months, namely the introduction of their Review Filter and 'Top Rated'. Now that consumers can choose to see the best reviewed business in their searches great SEO is simply not enough.

The answer: you need to be the best reviewed business of your kind in your area, or you risk dropping out of Google search results altogether.


  • review sites don't show in search
Absolutely right. Many review sites don't feature in search any more.

The answer: it is essential that you focus your business's efforts on the review sites that show and the review mechanisms that suit your own marketplace. 

  • we have done fine without them until now
Like most things on the web, reviews - especially Google reviews - started off as a slow burner. Still lots of businesses have no Google reviews at all. That exposes those businesses to a very high risk that the first review they do receive will be a potentially harmful negative one (nothing drives business to HelpHound like a business that had no reviews one day and a negative review the next).

The answer: The best insurance policy against a harmful negative reviews is to have reviews from your happy customers in place.


  • our customers know us
So they do. But they will see your reviews anyway, every time they search, even for your phone number, and if they are negative their confidence will be dented. Just Google your own business and imagine a negative review shows. 

The answer: try it and see. If it makes no difference, then stop.  

  • our customers find us by word-of-mouth
Wonderful, but think what your potential customer will do when you have been recommended: they'll search on Google

The answer: try it and see. If it makes no difference, then stop.  

  • it's extra work
 An email - that can easily be automated, is all it takes.

The answer: try it and see. If it makes no difference, then stop.  

  • it's an added expense
Good review management should pay for itself, from day one.

The answer: try it and see. If it makes no difference, then stop. 


Further reading:
  1. A case history - a business that started with no reviews
  2. Independent review sites - the unintended consequences
  3. Google reviews accelerate - an example of a business that had next no review reviews and awoke one day to find it had 77, mostly negative, and all its twelve branches were failing the Google Filter

No comments:

Post a comment

HelpHound is all about feedback, so please feel free to comment here...