Thursday 6 April 2017

Why every business needs to own its own reviews space

Every so often we meet a business that has very little presence in the reviews space, sometimes no presence at all. In these cases a big part of our role is to explain the ultimate downside of adopting such a strategy - if you can call 'doing nothing' a strategy - where reviews are concerned. And it helps if we can find an example.

Here's Noble Caledonia in search:

Here are their reviews:

Upon further examination:
  • a year ago they had no reviews at all
  • a month ago they had just one
Now they have twenty-four, and a Google score of 1.0. This cannot be considered a PR dream scenario. It must be having a negative impact on their business. And it will take time and a proactive review management strategy to repair.

What should they - and any business in their situation pre-Raja Ampat - have done?

They should have engaged. A business of this size, with their marketing resources, would have had hundreds of reviews from their genuine customers on Google. It would not have prevented the eco-warriors from airing their views - some of the more extreme of which are undoubtedly appealable - but it would have put their happy customers' views in the frame.

So - imagine your business's 'Raja Ampat' scenario - and plan for it. You insure your business infrastructure and your key staff, insure your reputation as well. So... 

1. Look great on Google...

2. Look great anywhere else that matters...

3. Oh - and look great on your own website...

Then, in the unlikely event* that your business falls victim to a 'Noble Caledonia' attack, your happy customers will have already formed your first line of defence.

*Much more likely is the single well-crafted negative review, which, if posted on Google for a business that has no, or few, reviews there can do just as much harm.

A final note

All the businesses mentioned in this article also have presences on independent review sites - but they don't show prominently in search. Your business must focus its strategy on the areas of the web that are seen and read by all your potential customers, and these days, for most businesses, that means Google first and foremost.

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