It’s true that hitting top ranks on Google searches is a difficult task and cracking Google nut can be tough, especially when you wish to make your business rank in local searches. But there is a very important tool that can help you solve local SEO puzzle, i.e. “reviews.” It is true that reviews play a key role in improving your business searches, but there are many companies that cheat their customers when it comes to reviews. They buy or get great reviews, which are fake reviews in terms of Google. The problem of fake reviews increased a lot in past years, which made Google release a new update known as Possum Update, it has become more important that businesses should have their reviews spread around to third party review sites.
Many times it happens that marketing team keeps posting fake reviews and the owner has no idea what’s going on in the name of marketing efforts or marketing strategies. It is absolutely awful and such fake reviews cannot let you hold top positions for long. Google has made lots of strategic changes to this and is also working on to filter businesses that are faking their good identity with the help of fake reviews.
It is expected that 2017 is going to bring lots of positive changes in search and ranking criteria. Google will penalize those sites that add fake reviews to their own or their client’s websites. It’s time to be honest in 2017 as it will help both customers and businesses to avoid potential problems faced due to filters and penalties.
Using Staff Members’ Names is Not A Good Idea
It is quite obvious that your customers will never leave a review using the names of your staff members on review sites. Companies having reviews with the first and last name of your employees, such reviews appear absolutely fake. Such fake reviews can be easily judged by the users as well as search engines. Such reviews are also considered as the review content that is being influenced by staff members, which is also illegal and against the rules of review websites. According to the Google’s review guidelines, reviews should be “honest depiction of the customer experience.”
Too Many Reviews – Definitely Fake
If your review count is much higher than other local competitors, it starts looking like a fake. If your review count increases rapidly, then it can be easily assumed that there is something fishy, even if your reviews are genuine. Even Facebook has breakdown criteria of different start ratings. So, if you are faking reviews, the huge difference is even more obvious. Such fake words will backfire and scare your customers away.
Getting Reviews On Site – It’s Not Good
Google has made some switchover with time when it comes to reviewing station. It suggests not to do it as according to its official review guidelines – “If you’re a business owner, don’t set up review stations or kiosks at your place of business just to ask for reviews written at your place of business.”
Reviews are meant to be left when customer has made purchase from your company. It cannot be left when the customer is in buying process or just thinking of buying from your company. Moreover, reviews coming from a single location in multiple numbers run a risk of getting filtered out or getting penalized. Many review websites like Yelp warns you if they find any review coming from your IP address.
Don’t Let Your Employees Leave Review For You
This is a common sense that employees should not leave reviews for your business because according to Google guidelines – “If you own or work at a place, please don’t review your own business or employer.” It will not only filter your reviews but also make you look desperate.
Are You Replying To Negative Reviews Only?
It has been found that most of the businesses respond to only negative reviews and never respond back to positive responses. Leaving responses to the positive reviews shows that your customers mean a lot to you and you care for them. This will also help you build trust with potential customers. Websites like Yelp don’t allow you to reply to customers who have left positive review. So, avoid such sites for replying and go for those that allow you to praise your happy customers.
Responding Bad Reviews Can Harm Your Reputation
When you are replying negative reviews, make sure these should be short and to the point. Because when you are responding your customer, you are showing your way to deal your customer complaints. So, a well-thought-out response will prove beneficial to you. But long, rambling responses can do more harm than good. Some of the businesses have a reputation management team that handles their negative reviews. They simply copy paste same response top every bad review, which is worse than long responses.
Those who really wish to see their business growing, make sure they avoid all the above-mentioned mistakes related to reviews. Never give wordy responses to the negative reviews and don’t hesitate to thank your customers who have left positive reviews. If you already have good reviews, let them come in a natural way.