Monday, 22 March 2021

Don't hand your customers' reviews to a third-party

It is so important to think long-term when making decisions about reviews. We have already alerted readers to the value they are giving away in terms of customer data, but what about the reviews themselves.


Perhaps a short story will best illustrate what we mean. There was a national firm of estate agents that, back in 2012, was sold a reviews solution called Yelp...



But Yelp decided to pull the plug on its UK and EU operation in 2016, after the business had invested considerable time and energy getting hundreds of customers to write reviews on their platform (which Yelp retains to this day).

So they joined another review site called Rateragent...




But they folded. So the business responded to a sales call from Feefo...




But then realised that the so-called advantage that site was closed to everyone except verified customers was backfiring, and lots of tenants were simply going straight to Google as a result, so they moved to Trustpilot...




When they realised that, yet again, they had lost control of some very valuable content and their reviews weren't being seen a fraction as often as if they had been displayed on and by Google, and had to begin all over again.

This time they got the correct solution, a solution they could have adopted ten years ago - or eight, or five, or three, but did not: review management...

  • Getting their own customers' reviews to the business's own website, where they are able to take ownership
  • And then getting them across to Google, where they have maximum impact, far, far more than on any review site

That way they now retain ownership of their reviews and have them displayed on the most powerful medium on the web today. We cannot see a scenario where we will have to advise our clients to redirect their reviews away from Google, but should that become necessary at some far distant date, they will then be able to do so, without losing their historic reviews.

This is also a very good reason not to focus all your business's review efforts solely on Google, besides the fact that Google loves businesses that host their own reviews and gives them credit for that through their SEO algorithm.

The point of this story?

Is not to criticise the review sites, they have a business to run and exist in a competitive marketplace, it is to show you that it is essential that you commit to a solution that...

  • doesn't involve you 'giving' your customer reviews to an outside business, then losing all those reviews when you change solutions
  • has maximum visibility and credibility 
  • that will be as valid in ten years' time as it is today


The proof of the pudding...

These reviews, hosted on the business's website are owned by the business...


...and a high proportion have been copied across to Google...


Professional review management, not just a better solution - the only solution


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