Online Reviews… Do’s and Don’t’s

The DONT’S

1) Do not do sentiment checks

You’ve seen these around. An email asks you how your experience was and there is a thumbs up or thumbs down, a smiling emoji and an unhappy emoji. If you click on the thumbs down you get directed to a contact form so you can complain. If you click on the thumbs up, you get directed to the Google Review page so you can leave a review.

This is called a ‘sentiment check’ and Google’s Terms of Service specifically prohibits this. Instead, just put the direct link to your review page in your email.

Source:

2) Do not do bulk requests

Google says: “do not solicit reviews from customers in bulk” Unfortunately, Google does not clarify what it defines as ‘bulk’ therefore it is hard to know exactly what they mean. One thing is for sure, an email blast to one thousand customers asking for a review would without a doubt qualify as a bulk solicit.

Source:

3) Do not copy and paste google reviews on to your website

Reviews that are left by people on your Google My Business profile are the property of Google and copying them into your site is in violation of the Terms of Service, and would be considered duplicate content. And you don’t want to have duplicate content on your website. Your best bet is to just solicit testimonials from customers specifically for your website, or get the Google Reviews embedded into your website using an API.

Source:

4) Do not offer incentives, rewards or compensation in exchange for reviews

Very often you see companies offering coupons or incentives if they leave a review. This is in violation of Google’s Policy. Truth be told you do NOT need to bribe your customers into reviewing you. A review campaign can be very effective without having to give anything in exchange for a review.

Source:

https://support.google.com/business/answer/3474122?hl=en

5) Don’t pay for fake reviews

Believe it or not there are agencies you can hire that have armies of Google Accounts and they will give you reviews if you pay. It is very much against Google’s policies, and can result in your account getting banned. It is not worth the risk. You can get lots of reviews from

Source:

https://support.google.com/business/thread/24892462?hl=en


The DO’S

1) Do send multiple emails, follow ups

Few people will write a review upon the first request even if they say they will! You must follow up multiple times, in a friendly fashion.

2) do reach out to past customers and ask for reviews, even if it has been years

It is always a good thing to communicate to your customers, as long as you keep it authentic, caring and human. If it has been years you should start off by just reaching out to them and asking how they’re doing, before asking them for anything.

3) Do train your staff to ask for reviews IN PERSON at all of their customer touch points

Examine all the touch points your staff have with your customers. Each one is a potential for getting a review. It will require continuous nudging on your part to get the staff into the habit of asking, but it is well worth it. 

4) Do give customers shortened links to your review page

Links to your Google Review page can be extremely long, and off-putting for your customers. Instead, log into your Google My Business page, go to the dashboard and see the shortened ‘review request’ link, and use this instead.

5) Do get reviews on Facebook, Yelp and Google My Business

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Show Google that you are popular on all the major platforms. Also, if one of them goes under or no longer offers reviews, you will be ok since you hedged your reviews on multiple platforms.

Closing Thoughts

Getting reviews is a very important part of your digital marketing strategy. You need to be aggressive about getting them, so get out there and get those reviews but make sure you follow these best practices.

Conclusion

If you need help with your website my company Clear Imaging has been helping small business owners manage their websites since 2004. We’re super dependable, always answer emails and we get the job done; that is why we’ve been around so long. Come on over to the contact page and let us know if there is anything we can do for you. Until then, God bless and stay safe.https://www.clearimaging.com/