Now, we have a certain amount of sympathy for businesses that find that a tiny minority of their customers are impacting their Google (and Facebook and Yelp) images. At least the businesses in question have passed first base: they have accepted that it is essential to look as good as they possibly can on Google. But there are four big reasons that businesses should not knee-jerk into taking this kind of action...
- It is non-compliant with the CMA regulations - you will, in the UK at least, be breaking the law.
- It hands your competitors a really big stick to beat you with: 'I wouldn't trust [Dossett Dental]'s reviews, they are paid for'.
- It's against most sites' own T&Cs - and the last thing any business wants is to fall foul of any of these social media giants.
- It doesn't work - let's see what's happened to Dosset Dental's Google reviews since this promotion...
...Wow! Two whole Google reviews (and none on Facebook or Yelp) - at the risk of 1-3 above. It's simply not worth it.
What should businesses in this position do?
First - take a deep breath, then do what you would do in any similar situation - take professional advice. And what should that professional advice be? Here goes...
- Adopt a long-term review management strategy (how may businesses do we see every day that have tried multiple reviews sites - sometimes more than one a year - over the recent past?). Buy a solution, after serious consideration of the options available - don't be sold one.
- Ensure that strategy is 100% compliant with the CMA regulations
- Stick to that strategy until your reviews accurately reflect your business
- Why independent review sites can no longer compete with Google reviews
- The CMA rules - and how to ensure your reviews solution is compliant
- The sort of results you should expect when you adopt professional review management
- A detailed description of the Google Filter and its impact on businesses scoring less than 4.5