No - seriously - that's what we hear from so many businesses when we first meet. Why?
Because HelpHound's solution to reviews - review management - wins hands down over committing your business to a single reviews site.
We are guessing that you are considering a reviews solution for your business for one or more of the following reasons...
- you would like your reviews visible in search - desktop and mobile
- you would like independently verified reviews to show on your own website
- you would like a star rating alongside your listing in organic search
- you would like the score from your reviews to show in organic search
- you would like a link to your reviews under 'Reviews from the web' in your Google knowledge panel
- you would like great Google reviews
So let's look at these six - an independent site will deliver on 1, 2, 3 (sometimes), 4 (sometimes), 5 (sometimes), but not 6. How important is 6 to your business?
We would suggest that 6 is the most important of all. Not showing in Google reviews is to miss the biggest opportunity of them all - and, not only that, it is to beg the question 'Why not Google?'
You want to look like this...
Score and star rating in natural search (top left), 'Reviews from the web' in your Google knowledge panel (centre right), Google reviews and score (top right), Google rich snippets (bottom right)
prominent (some might say 'dominant') in local search - both in the google 3-pack and in organic search (first below the 3-pack)
And with the following considerations in mind...
- you want to comply with the CMA regulations
- you want a solution that will last for the foreseeable future
- you want someone who will cover the whole market and advise you on exactly what changes in strategy you should be implementing in the future
Let's take these one-by-one...
A compliant solution
The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) regulations have the force of law in the UK. Most businesses are unaware of these when we first meet - and are surprised when we tell them that most independent reviews solutions are non-compliant. They are even more surprised when we tell them that the onus is on the business to comply with the regulations - and that these regulations specifically stipulate that whatever solution the business chooses it must allow anyone to post a review at any time.
A solution that leaves the invitation and the time of sending that invitation in the hands of the business is non-compliant, similarly a system that in any way denies a reviewer the right to have their review posted is non-compliant (evidence of purchase, for instance, should not be required).
A lasting solution
We have lost count of the times the flavour-of-the-month review site has changed. In estate agency alone we have seen the likes of ReviewCentre, allAgents, RaterAgent, Feefo, Trustpilot and now GetAgent. It's the same story from hotels to accountants. Just imagine how frustrated UK clients of Yelp must have been when they pulled out of the UK market last year? They all had to start all over again.
The one solution we know will last (barring some seismic event that none of us can foresee) is Google, so why commit to any other? If that seismic even does happen - then HelpHound will be here to advise!
A comprehensive solution
HelpHound are review managers - and part of that means understanding (and staying up-to-date with) all the various solutions out there in the marketplace, including developments at Google (who was first to tell the world about the introduction of the Google filter? ).
On top of that, and importantly, with HelpHound you, the business, retain ownership of your customers' reviews. So you can deploy them wherever they will be most effective, now, and in the future.