Friday 22 July 2022

Online reviews - the BASIC basics

The most recent article on here is entitled 'Online reviews - the basics'.  We commend it to you if you have fifteen minutes to spare, and it will surely repay you a hundredfold, even if you were previously unaware of just one of the 12 points we made there.

But some people - completely understandably - want something brief. Punchy even! So here goes...

Q1.  What reviews do we need?

A: Google reviews. Not Trustpilot. Not Feefo. Not Yelp. Not Why? Because Google reviews always appear every time someone searches on your business - or your type of business.

Note: if you have any doubt about this just look at the share price history of the two biggest quoted review sites. Yelp peaked at $97 in 2014 and trades at $31 today. Trustpilot peaked at £4.81 in September last year and trades at 71p today. Ouch! 

Q2. Where do we need them?

A: On Google and on your own website. Customers increasingly rely on reviews - so why not give them reviews where they can easily see - and read - them?

Note: Just search and see. Try the local search 'estate agent Blackheath' and then the specific search 'Winkworth Blackheath'. Then check out the business's website and see how impressive their reviews look there.

Q3. Can we get them for free in both locations?

A: Yes. Invite customers to write reviews to Google and display them on your website using any one of the free widgets out there (an online search for Google review widget/plugin will throw them up - but don't respond to any of the ads - best of all consult your web designer).

Note: As with anything that's free in life, be wary. Read all about moderation in Qs 4 & 5.

Q4. Why might we need HelpHound's moderation?

A: If you are happy with a Google score of 4.3 you don't. If, in addition, you are prepared to break the law and only invite 'happy' customers to post reviews to Google you may even score 4.8. If you are prepared to go further down the illegal road and 'gate' (prequalify) you will score 4.9 or even 5.0. 

Note: if you break the law you won't only be running the risk of being noticed by the regulators (the CMA), you will undoubtedly be spotted by your sharpest competitors. Don't hand them a win.

Q5. Right, so what kind of business needs moderation?

Professional businesses and businesses that deal with complex issues. Financial, medical, legal and the like.  Any business that calls its customers 'clients' or 'patients' is useful shorthand. Why? Because customers of these kinds of businesses can easily misunderstand matters and write factually inaccurate or potentially misleading reviews.

Note: We keep a record of the numbers of reviews moderated on behalf of our clients; our moderation enables a potentially harmful inaccurate or misleading review to be corrected before it goes live at least once every six months for a typical client.


Need more? Call us.

Further reading...

Here are some useful articles that will take you deeper into the science of review management...

  1. Results. Review management pays for itself. Here's how.
  2. Moderation: the keystone of review management.
  3. Compliance. Why not be compliant with UK law?
  4. 'Killer' reviews - examples of single reviews that stop the phone ringing.
  5. A shocking case history - where the business took on the review site and the reviewer

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