Monday, 6 January 2020

Reviews - resolutions for success in 2020

It's 2020 and it's high time businesses were on top of the subject of reviews, after all they've now been around for nearly all of the - not so - new millenium. But many still lag behind. In this first article of the new decade we will outline what a) some of our clients still need to do and b) what other businesses should do.

Our clients

1.  Aim to have at least 100 reviews on your own website.

Front and centre, where potential customers cannot miss them...




With the number of reviews displayed alongside the 'write a review' button and a link to the verification agency (in this case: HelpHound), then all the reviews themselves a click away...




Note: the number of readers who found this review 'helpful'.

These 'stars in search' and the accompanying scores in the business's Google search are from those reviews, the company's own, not Google's...



As are these, in the most important search of all: local...




2.  Aim for at least 50 reviews - per location - on Google.


They show in every conceivable search. In the business's Google knowledge panel...




And in the rich snippets Google shows underneath...




3.  Then double both those numbers, as soon as you can.


4. Respond to all your reviews - on your own site and on Google. 

It is now a proven point that customers respond more positively to businesses that engage with reviewers...



A note on SEO: we will never be able to prove a connection between hosting your own reviews - not a review site's - on your website and a boost in SEO, but we can apply basic logic combined with a pretty thorough understanding of Google's published SEO criteria. Google likes changing content and it likes content that helps differentiate businesses for consumers, and what does both better than reviews? All we can say is that the overwhelming majority of our clients - irrespective of size and spend - do rank very well indeed in local search.


Other businesses

1.  Stop breaking the law. Seriously. We're betting most people reading this think it's still legal to selectively invite customers to write reviews. It is not. Read this.

2.  Stop breaking the law(2). It's not legal to use some kind of filtering system to try and ensure only happy customers write reviews. To be absolutely clear: you cannot send out a survey or email to find out which of your customers are happy and then only invite that subset to write a review; nor can you use a review site like Trustpilot to find those happy customers and then invite them, and only them, to post a review on Google. It's called gating and it is a) illegal in UK law and b) against Google's T&Cs. The CMA will fine you and Google will delete all your reviews. Read this.

4.  Focus on Google. Forget review sites like Trustpilot, Yelp and Feefo (most sophisticated consumers have) and get your own reviews to your own website and then to Google. More here.

3.  Embrace professional review management. It's inexpensive (less than three figures a month per location) and it pays back immediately. Read this.

Have a happy and successful 2020.

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