Saturday 6 January 2024

Trustpilot - big business's 'useful idiot'?

We get it, we really do, if you are in retail - especially online retail - all you need is this...

As a matter of fact, all your business probably needs is this...

But, before you rush to add to Trustpilot's cash mountain, you might like to consider the following points:

Why would a business want to use Trustpilot - and pay them - when Google reviews...

...are free and unarguably trump Trustpilot for credibility* and, most important of all, visibility. Strange as it may seem, the answer would seem to be just that - visibility. Trustpilot reviews - and the business's headline score, rarely appear in search. This leaves the business free to use them both as, when and where it suits them best.

After all, if you were Yodel, you wouldn't be promoting your Google score...

...would you? But that's exactly what searchers are going to see - every single time they conduct a Google search. Like this...

Another possible use of review sites

Suppose a business came to us, or any other agency, and said 'We want to bury negative reviews of our business as far away from the eyes of our potential customers as possible whilst being simultaneously open and welcoming to comments.' Let's look at a real-life business that would appear - we stress 'appear' - to have done just this (no names):

Best in the world? How does this business look on Trustpilot?

Now, we know the 'Best in the world' bar is set pretty low when it comes to retail banking, but even Trustpilot, with its notoriously generous (some might say 'business-friendly') descriptors can only bring itself to call it 'Average'. That 28 percent represents nearly a third of all reviewers and more than 10,000 1* reviews

But does it really matter when those reviews, and that distinctly 'average' score, are not returned in the first fifty search results when the business's name is googled? Cynical observers might say 'Job done: reviews welcomed but invisible to all but the most diligent searcher.'


All professional or service businesses - as opposed to online retail - should focus on Google reviews. But wait, we hear some of you say, that would mean that all our potential customers will see all our Google reviews in every search they make. But they already do! So get HelpHound's moderation working for you to ensure that those reviews are as accurate as they possibly can be - no factual inaccuracies or misleading statements (and with any errors in English corrected).

*Google's credibility derives, in the main, from the fact that almost all of us know that we can write one whenever we like and that there is no Google mechanism for preventing us (Trustpilot allow businesses to appeal negative reviews - actually any review, but we'd be surprised if a business appealed a 5* review). It also derives from familiarity - we all consume Google reviews, consciously or unconsciously, because we see them and their attendant headline score in every single Google search on a business we make.

Further reading

  • Getting your business's Google reviews strategy right will not only protect its online reputation - it will boost it so inbound clicks and calls rise to a higher level and remain there. Read all about the results you can expect here
  • In case you missed the link to the advantages of a moderated review system above, here is an article that explains just why it is the key to successful long-term review management


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