Reviews play a vital role in a local SEO strategy. Modern customers first check the product reviews online to get an idea about the quality and performance of the product through feedback of the real users. But some businesses abused this feature as well and made reviews less effective.
The number of fake reviews out there has increased lately making the online businesses look shady.
Most of the times, companies stuff their website and other channels wherever leaving reviews is possible, to hide the negative feedback given by the customers. After Possum update for local SEO, it has further got essential to work on reviews on third-party websites. If you are still wondering about right usage of ratings of SEO, here are five tips to make your reviews more honest and effective for the visitors.
- Avoid using staff members by name
Have you ever seen statements where people had a bad experience or didn’t like your sales process, and left a negative rating by directly targeting a particular staff member by using their first name? For your kind information, customers never mention staff members by first and last name in their reviews.
If you notice any such judgement that includes the first or last name of your staff members, this is a great warning for a fake review that has most probably has written by your own staff members. Google’s review guidelines mention that the reviews are “honest representations of the customer experience. Those that aren’t may be removed.”
- Don’t ask customers to leave reviews on your website
To ensure that online visitors get the best experience and honest feedback on the websites, Google has done many changes in review policies and guidelines over years. At present, it is focusing on the “don’t do it” points and states in the guidelines,
“If you’re a business owner, don’t set up judgement stations or kiosks at your place of business just to ask for reviews written at your place of business.”
By definition, the judgement is the feedback given by the product or service users after the purchase process is completed and the customer has left. If your reviews are coming from a single location, chances of your website getting penalized increase manifolds.
- Too many reviews are not always good
Yes, we all love to see so many positive statement on our website, but Google might not like it. If your website gets significantly more reviews, it can make your website look fraud. Not just the search engines, if visitors see a huge difference in the number of reviews on your site and competitor’s site, they also raise their eyebrows with a doubt.
- Bad replies worsen the situation
Your reply on negative and bad statement is not just the answer to the person who left the feedback but also a view of how you deal with your customer complaints. Writing bad replies for a bad review can make the situation worse forcing customers to doubt your products and services.
Keep your response on bad reviews short, to the point and well-thought out. Long responses with no relation to the complaint do more harm than good. Further, never ever rely on canned responses created through a reputation management provider as it spoils the whole situation.
- Don’t allow employees to write reviews
There are cases when employees write reviews for the business. Usually, the SEO team does that to get ranks in search engines. Google’s review guidelines say that the employees and owners of the business should stay away from writing review. Besides a doubt on your credibility, it also poses a risk of penalty.
If you are getting too many bad reviews, evaluate your process and services to figure out what is making people feel bad about your brand. If you are getting positive reviews naturally, just accept them and let the search engine do its job by giving you better rankings.
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