Reviews are said to be the second most trusted source of a business’s worth only after the verbal recommendation. A study done by McKremie on Online Reputation Management stated that 87 percent of consumers will research a company online and 88 percent of those consumers trust those reviews. Consumers have been found to heavily research reviews and will dig through multiple search results pages (SERPs) to find reviews about a company. In fact, 57 percent of consumers will dig through three or more pages of the SERPs to get the details about a company’s reviews.

Tampa SEO Tip#1: Where Do Your Consumers Trust Reviews?

At Tampa SEO, we think that it is important to know where consumers go to read reviews. We also know some of these sites will have more influence over the trust of consumers which is why it is important to review these sites to form a reputation policy. Below is the breakdown of how consumers look to review sites in terms of which ones they trust the most:

  • Google 55%
  • Yelp 17%
  • Angie’s List 16%
  • Yahoo 10%
  • Others 2%

When forming your review game plan, we recommend starting with the above sites and growing your reviews from there. It is also important how you ask for reviews as Google is on the lookout for spammy or unnatural reviews.

Tampa SEO Tip #2: Google Says Asking for Reviews is OK, Soliciting Reviews is Not

If you have ever tried to get reviews to “stick” for your business you may have noticed that Google throws out a lot of reviews or will never post them in the first place. If this has happened to you –you are not alone. At Tampa SEO we have even had clients who got verbal confirmation from their clients that they left a Google review and that it did not show up. This can be frustrating but does not mean you should stop trying.

On a Google forum a Google representative said the following: “Soliciting reviews is suspect behavior for our systems. What I mean by this is — its fine if you reach out to customers to ask them to review, but I do not recommend that you do this in waves. If you want to reach out to legit customers and ask them to review, I recommend you contact them immediately after you have done business with them.” An example Google once condoned but have since labeled as spam is setting up a reviews station. Avoid this practice in your place of business or anywhere.

Asking for reviews should be a constant process that a company does as part of their customer service experience. Companies who only ask for reviews every so often will likely not benefit the same way a company would that asked for reviews in the manner suggested by the Google rep above.

Google admits that their review algorithm system is a bit out of whack. Regardless, reviews are an important part of the consumer process and should be incorporated into your online marketing strategy. If you have any questions on how to formulate a solid reviews strategy, contact Tampa SEO today.

Posted in: Blog, SEO Advice by on April 23rd, 2013 Comments (0)

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