Monday 14 November 2022

Forget the cost - you owe it to your customers and your business

Times are not getting easier for consumers - and of course this feeds straight through to businesses. No matter what business you are in, life becomes more competitive. 

And this is where reviews - especially Google reviews - come in. Just about everyone reads Google reviews these days - surveys indicate 92% of consumers or more - but that figure is sure to rise where businesses providing high-value services - legal, financial, medical etc. - are concerned.

So businesses now have two options*:

  • Invite Google reviews from customers directly to Google and import the Google reviews through a widget into their own website
  • Or use a moderated review management system to invite reviews to their own website and then Google

*anyone considering, or already using sits such as Trustpilot, Feefo or should read this article. In short? They have been made redundant by Google.

So what kind of business should be using each solution? First, let's look at their pros and cons:

Direct to Google and a Google review widget on your website?


    1. Free - Google doesn't charge for hosting reviews 
    2. Credible - the Google brand has more credibility than any other where reviews are concerned
    3. Simple - reviews can be invited by the business or the consumer can post to Google via the business's website


    1. No moderation: reviews will be posted unchecked - for errors of fact or statements likely to mislead future customers (or even just plain 'unfair' reviews)

Or: reviews to your website and then on to Google


  1. The business owns the reviews - a valuable business asset in these data-driven days
  2. The business has a high degree of control over factually incorrect, potentially misleading or just plain unfair reviews

This simple analysis gives us our answer: if your businesses sells products, from socks and shirts to auto-spares or toasters, use the 'direct to Google' route. Because it won't get hurt  if it receives the occasional one star negative review.

On the other hand, if you business sells a service - if you call your customers 'clients' or 'patients' - then you need a moderated system. Your customers take the content of each and every negative review on board and you need to keep these to a minimum (if you have any doubt as to this, may we suggest reading the review cited in this article?).

The only other conceivable solution is to fly in the face of the law and hand-pick those you invite to post a review. This will not only put you at risk of having your collar felt by the CMA but such activity will also become apparent to your competitors who will then use it against you.

The concrete results of using a moderated system

It will give you all the benefits of going direct to Google:

  • Reviews on Google 
  • Reviews on your own website
  • The SEO kicker that hosting your own reviews gives your business in local search
  • The assurance that factually inaccurate, potentially misleading or just plain unfair reviews will almost always be addressed during the moderation process, before they are published anywhere (if at all).
We estimate that adopting a moderate review management system will, over time, add between 0.2 and 0.6 to a business's Google score. And that in turn will generate between 15 and 25 percent more inquiries through search.

So: HelpHound will pay for itself. That's a promise.

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