Tuesday 2 July 2019

'Agency saved from closure' runs the headline - did we need to read their Google reviews?

We are not for a single second saying that looking great on Google will save a business on its own - there are so many factors in play - but why is it that when we see a headline like this do we all sigh and say 'let's see what they look like in search?' So what does Wright Marshall look like in search?

We don't want to rub salt, but the lessons are far too important to ignore:

  1. None of their seven offices passes the Google filter
  2. Six of their seven offices score less than 4.0 - meaning that over twenty percent of their reviews are negative
  3. One of their offices has no reviews at all
  4. Six out of seven of their offices have less than ten Google reviews

This is not the end of the story - a low Google score means negative reviews, reviews like these:

Now, we've seen worse, far worse, but we also know that low Google scores and negative reviews deflect potential customers, especially when there are competitors that look good (and pass the Google filter):

And have reviews like these:

The sad thing is that looking good on Google a) is relatively easy (for a business that cares about its customers) and b) can cost anywhere from nothing to £100 a location a month.

Nothing: by simply enabling all the business's customers to write a review to Google*

Up to £100 a month: for a fully moderated review management service that will have your business looking like this in local search:

Our client (Winkworth) is not looking great (with a Google score of 4.9 and 104 Google reviews) in the Google 3-pack and leading organic search (with a score of 4.9 from 149 moderated reviews on its own website) by accident; they engaged HelpHound when they had less than a handful of reviews on Google (and none at all on their website). All their own reviews go through our moderation, so they and those reading the reviews can be sure they are an accurate representation of the business - and now they have the SEO kicker you see above and a reputation that drives clicks and calls in volume (see this case history).

*If you invite any of your customers to write reviews to Google you must, to comply with the UK CMA regulations, enable all of your customers to write a review, otherwise your business is guilty of cherry-picking. In addition, you must allow a review to be written at any time, so don't use an 'invitation only' system that is otherwise closed to potential reviewers. There's a full explanation of the regulations here.

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