Not yet engaged with Google reviews? Here’s what will happen…
Still – in 2017 – we meet businesses that have not engaged with Google reviews. Why?
For a variety of reasons, but three main ones which we will explore here, along with their consequences…
1. Denial – ‘We don’t see the need to’
It took years for Google reviews to gain traction – and during that time some businesses were lulled into thinking they did not/would not matter. But now they do – and how.
- unhappy consumers write reviews – in rapidly growing numbers. Just look at these three businesses that had just six Google reviews between them two years ago…
- competitors that do find a way to engage will succeed, at the expense of those businesses that do not…
Answer: Engage with reviews, on Google and on your own website – with HelpHound’s advice and support
2. Fear – ‘We are afraid to ask our customers to write reviews’*
Completely understandable. What business would willingly risk its reputation? How can a business know, or at least be as confident as possible, that its customers will not write inaccurate or misleading reviews?
*there is a subset here: businesses that genuinely don’t provide a good service or value for money – the kind we see every week on BBC’s Watchdog – and thank goodness for Google reviews in their case. Three years ago they would have got away with it, now there’s a good likelihood that a significant number of their customers will find their way to Google and write a review there. The rule for consumers in the second decade of the 21st century? Don’t use a business that has no reviews on Google – and be wary of businesses that promote their reputations on independent reviews sites instead.
customers will write reviews – in rapidly growing numbers. See the examples under ‘We don’t need to’ above.
- competitors that do engage will succeed, by having significant numbers of great reviews, in absolute terms and relative to their competitors – reviews win business
- your business will stand out – but not in a good way (especially when Google begins to rank business by review score in search)
Answer: overcome the fear – engage, with HelpHound
3. Reviews sites – ‘We reckon we have it covered already’
Businesses that have committed to independent reviews sites over the last few years suddenly realise they have the wrong solution – Google is all.
- consumers won’t see your reviews, relatively speaking – just compare the visibility of Google reviews and reviews from any independent site, from the world’s biggest like Yelp and TripAdvisor to the relative minnows like TrustPilot and Feefo – and credibility? – there’s no contest
- consumers will question why you have reviews on an independent site (if they see them) – why wouldn’t you have them on Google?
Answer: get on board with a solution that is credible and future-proof: HelpHound – oh, and if an independent reviews site pitches for your business ask them the following questions…
- will my reviews show under my listing in organic search?
- will my reviews show in ‘Reviews from the web’
- do you have a CMA compliant* system that minimises the chances that an inaccurate or misleading review will be posted?
- do I own my own reviews?
- can a customer post a review of my business at a time of their choosing?
- why should I choose to get my customers’ reviews to your site and not Google?
*it continues to amaze us that there remain reviews sites out there in the marketplace whose systems fly in the face of the Competition & Markets Authority’s rules. If are unfamiliar with these we recommend you spend ten minutes reading this article – compliance is the individual business’s responsibility and has the force of law.
- Resolution™ ‘Taking the fear our of Reviews’ – the system built in to HelpHound, protecting businesses and consumers from misleading and inaccurate reviews – and ‘the Fear Factor’ – more on overcoming the understandable reluctance to ask consumers for reviews
- ‘Doctors: what happens if you ignore Google reviews?’ – a salutary case-history for any business that has yet to engage with Google reviews
- ‘The Red Carnation Story’ – how one business showed the way by deciding to embrace reviews
- ‘Visits up 27% thanks to HelpHound’ – the immediate impact of professional review management