Saturday, 14 October 2017

Not yet engaged with Google reviews? Here's what will happen...

Still - in 2017 - we meet businesses that have not engaged with Google reviews. Why?

For a variety of reasons, but three main ones which we will explore here, along with their consequences...


1.  Denial - 'We don't see the need to'
   


It took years for Google reviews to gain traction - and during that time some businesses were lulled into thinking they did not/would not matter. But now they do - and how.  

Consequences:
  • unhappy consumers write reviews - in rapidly growing numbers. Just look at these three businesses that had just six Google reviews between them two years ago...
 
  • competitors that do find a way to engage will succeed, at the expense of those businesses that do not...

  Three clients of ours that had less than a dozen Google reviews between them when they joined

Answer: Engage with reviews, on Google and on your own website - with HelpHound's advice and support


2.  Fear - 'We are afraid to ask our customers to write reviews'*


HelpHound - and professional review management - will help you overcome the fear - we promise!


Completely understandable. What business would willingly risk its reputation? How can a business know, or at least be as confident as possible, that its customers will not write inaccurate or misleading reviews?

*there is a subset here: businesses that genuinely don't provide a good service or value for money - the kind we see every week on BBC's Watchdog - and thank goodness for Google reviews in their case. Three years ago they would have got away with it, now there's a good likelihood that a significant number of their customers will find their way to Google and write a review there. The rule for consumers in the second decade of the 21st century? Don't use a business that has no reviews on Google - and be wary of businesses that promote their reputations on independent reviews sites instead.



Consequences:
  • unhappy customers will write reviews - in rapidly growing numbers. See the examples under 'We don't need to' above.
  • competitors that do engage will succeed, by having significant numbers of great reviews, in absolute terms and relative to their competitors - reviews win business
  • your business will stand out - but not in a good way (especially when Google begins to rank business by review score in search)

Answer: overcome the fear - engage, with HelpHound


3.  Reviews sites - 'We reckon we have it covered already' 




 The web has evolved so fast - look at all these review sites (and they are only the tip of the iceberg) - all supplanted in recent years by Google

Businesses that have committed to independent reviews sites over the last few years suddenly realise they have the wrong solution - Google is all.

Consequences:
  • consumers won't see your reviews, relatively speaking - just compare the visibility of Google reviews and reviews from any independent site, from the world's biggest like Yelp and TripAdvisor to the relative minnows like TrustPilot and Feefo - and credibility? - there's no contest
  • consumers will question why you have reviews on an independent site (if they see them) - why wouldn't you have them on Google?
Answer: get on board with a solution that is credible and future-proof: HelpHound - oh, and if an independent reviews site pitches for your business ask them the following questions...
  • will my reviews show under my listing in organic search?
  • will my reviews show in 'Reviews from the web'
  • do you have a CMA compliant* system that minimises the chances that an inaccurate or misleading review will be posted?
  • do I own my own reviews?
  • can a customer post a review of my business at a time of their choosing?
  • why should I choose to get my customers' reviews to your site and not Google?
 *it continues to amaze us that there remain reviews sites out there in the marketplace whose systems fly in the face of the Competition & Markets Authority's rules. If are unfamiliar with these we recommend you spend ten minutes reading this article - compliance is the individual business's responsibility and has the force of law.


Further reading:

 

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