Online Reviews &
What Are Your Customers Saying About You?
Reviews Got More ImportantAlthough online reviews have been around almost as long as the Internet, they really hit the mainstream in 2010 when Google began to incorporate them into their local search algorithm. Today, Google's numbers indicate that 70% of people are influenced by reviews.
Because they are so important to search, review sites, including Google, have tightened up on the rules for posting reviews. An individual must personally leave a review directly on the review website. A third party cannot collect feedback, survey data, testimonials, or even full reviews, and then post them on behalf of one of your customers. For example, Google requires the reviewer to be logged in to their Google account and show their full name on the review.
Each online review site - Google, Yahoo, Yelp, Citypages, etc. - sets its own review standards and decides whether reviews are shown publicly, when, and for how long. Most online review providers do not charge people to see or post reviews. The only major one that does is Angie’s List. You do not need to pay Yelp or Yellow Pages to post or read reviews.
The first thing to keep in mind is that anyone can leave a review. They don't need to notify you or ask your permission to do so. People may already be talking about your practice, so knowing what they are saying is vital to your business.
Should You Use a Third-Party Review Company?
Some practices gravitate toward a third-party review system because it is easier and they can avoid asking their clients to review them.
When people post their own reviews naturally, or you ask them to go to Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, etc., those reviews are seen publicly and are generally included in Google local search ranking. When a third-party provider asks for reviews, they remain on that third-party vendor’s website and may not help your SEO at all. When your business stops using that provider, the reviews disappear forever. Also the third-party vendor tends to OWN the reviews - not your business. This means they can use the reviews however they wish.
How Beyond Indigo Empowers Your Online Review Program
At Beyond Indigo, we believe that education and empowerment make a successful marketing program. We empower your team to have a strong, positive online reputation by:
- Establishing the structure of your online review areas properly, populating them with accurate information and showing you how to maintain them. We work on up to nine online review platforms, including Google, Yahoo, and Yelp.
- Creating review collateral to use both online and offline to assist in asking your pet owners for a review.
- Coaching your team about how to ask for and respond to reviews on an ongoing basis. We are here to support you and guide you through the process with education.
- Monitoring your online reviews and helping you respond to both positive and negative comments.
We will NOT:
- Contact your pet owners directly. We feel this weakens the bond between you and your clients.
- Respond to online reviews on your behalf. We will help review your response and coach your team, but we will not directly post response.
- Sell your reviews or take them down after they are posted. Why? Because we can’t. The reviews will have been posted correctly on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., and that is where they stay unless those companies decide to remove them.
Are you ready to get started managing your online reviews correctly? Give us a call today.