The Good, Bad and Ugly When It Comes to Google Reviews

Every business will tell you that the best compliment they can receive is a referral, and it’s true! Reviews can also be extremely helpful to your business, if they’re accurate.  There’s the catch my friend.  Let’s take a gander at the Good, Bad and Ugly When It Comes to Google Reviews.

The Good

Reviews and recommendations can work just like a referral.  In a world where many spend oodles and doodles of dollars for coveted spots in search results, a recommendation from a third-party, unbiased real person can go a long way, especially when that person adds details and helpful information.   Google My Business, in all of its magic can recognize when information seems more valid and they mark these reviews as relevant.  (FYI, you can also sort by Newest, Highest Rating and Lowest Rating.)   According to Rocket Digital, the benefits of a Google Reviews include:

88% of consumers consult reviews before making a purchase

63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business that has reviews

Google Reviews can improve your SEO strategy

The BAD

The truth is that anyone with a Gmail account can leave a review anytime they want, which means that if your service was not as stellar as expected, the whole world will know, or at least the people searching for a business or service like yours.  Mistakes happen and when they do, the best course of action is to respond quickly and honestly.  “Actively replying to bad reviews and looking to resolve a situation illustrates to your new potential customers that you care about your clients. A study actually found that bad reviews can increase conversion by 67%.” -Rocket Digital   

The UGLY

Every now and again, businesses find that a disgruntled employee has left a few choice words.  In fact, sometimes these very people leave more than one review by creating fake email addresses.  Another tactic is creating fake positive reviews (5 Stars with no comments) so that Google will flag them which is absolutely unnerving to a diligent business owner with a great reputation.  What can you do about it?   You’d probably like to have them arrested, but there’s that whole burden of proof thing and the names are fake.  You will be tempted to offer incentives for good reviews.  Don’t do it.  It’s illegal and also the subject of our first blog in March. #StayTuned  Your only course of action is to flag the post and report it to Google as all of these  methods are against Google Review policies

In just the past month, we at Steven James, have had two clients dealing with these very types of rogue reviews.   We are working with both to flag them and reply when appropriate.  We are happy to report that Google has heard our cry for help (it took about two weeks) for one client and removed some of the fake reviews.

When all is said and done, the ability to be transparent is important.  Leaving yourself open to reviews and recommendations will be well worth it for your company and for you, personally, when you’re the one searching.  You’ll have to take the good, the bad and the ugly, even if you don’t deserve it.   Rest assured, the good Google Reviews and the bad Google Reviews you address will far outweigh the ugly.

If you’re looking for help with your brand management, we’re happy to recommend a very highly skilled team of experts:  us!  Let’s connect today!  

And, since we’re on the subject, we’d appreciate your feedback!  Please feel free to leave a Google Review for us.

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Thom Georgia

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