With Google processing over 80% of all internet searches worldwide, it is more important than ever for businesses to have positive Google reviews.
Businesses with good quality reviews who respond to customers regularly will rank higher in search engine results, according to Google.
Although it may be tempting to purchase reviews to boost your ratings and rankings, this can in fact be detrimental to your business and online reputation.
For the best results, you should focus on getting more Google reviews organically, rather than paying for them. Here are three reasons why.
Your Reviews Will Lack Authenticity
It is usually easy for Google and potential customers to identify fake reviews. One of the most obvious giveaways is the language used.
Many companies selling reviews use templates so that they can post thousands of reviews a day to maximise profits. This means that reviews are not tailored to your business and do not always make sense – they are usually very generic and vague.
Fake reviews are often repetitive and filled with keywords. They tend to not include a specific reason for the high review.
Checking out the profile of a reviewer can also give you an indication as to how authentic their review is. Profiles that leave fake reviews typically either have only written one review, or have written similar reviews of several companies within a short space of time.
An alternative to buying fake reviews from companies that offer this service is essentially bribing customers for reviews. For example, offering customers money or a discount in exchange for a review.
The risk with this is them mentioning this in the review and making your company look insincere or like the customer has only left the review for an incentive.
Reviews that lack authenticity will deter potential customers, resulting in the opposite of the desired effect. Rather than encouraging more people to buy your products or services, you will drive them away, so it is best to steer clear of any form of paid reviews.
You Will Not Get Honest Feedback
Businesses need honest customer feedback to know what they do well and to identify areas for improvement. Fake reviews will not give you insight into real customers’ experiences with your businesses, so will not help you to develop.
Without genuine feedback, it will be difficult to know how you can improve your product or services to ultimately gain more business. Spending money on paid reviews will hurt your business and cost you even more in the long run.
It is important to remember that a handful of real reviews will do more good for your business than masses of fake reviews.
You Will Violate Google’s Policies
Google states clearly that it is a violation of their terms of service to pay for reviews. With Google being one of the most used search engines in the world, it would not be smart to violate their policies.
Paying for reviews in an attempt to improve your online reputation, or to harm another business or competitor, can have serious consequences. Not only will reviews be removed, but you could be penalised by Google and you could face civil fines or criminal proceedings.
Fake reviews do not reflect the views of real customers. This means that they will not only violate Google’s guidelines, but also may be a criminal offence.
In many countries, including the UK and the USA, it is illegal to misrepresent your business or claim that it is something that it is not. Companies in the UK and the USA have had action taken against them in the past for having fake reviews online.
How To Get More Reviews Organically
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the importance of getting honest feedback and genuine Google reviews from your customers.
Simply asking customers to leave a review upon completion of a transaction and making it as easy as possible for them to do so, can help to increase the number of reviews you receive.
If you want to monitor and gain more Google reviews, and ultimately gain more business, call us on 01904 217140. Trustist can get you stars in your organic Google search results to make your listings look even more attractive to potential customers!