Buy Google Review : here's why you shouldn't
Considering how important online reviews are, the idea of purchasing 5 star reviews on Google can be very tempting, in the hopes of rapidly improving your rating and reputation on Google Business Profile (your page on Google Maps).
Who has never felt cheated or disappointed upon seeing an unfair or unjust review left by a client?
At that precise moment, it is easy to think: “After all, a few new and very positive Google reviews will make these negative comments disappear quickly and polish my image on the net.”
What a mistake! Here is why you should never, ever purchase reviews: it could lead to serious judicial problems, ruin your online reputation and make you lose future customers… and these are just a few.
This article gives you better ideas on how to obtain positive reviews on your Google Business profile while ensuring durable and honest growth, without damaging your online reputation in the long run!
But why is everyone running after Google Business Profile reviews?
Let’s find out why it is so important to obtain and manage reviews on Google.
Given the fact that Google is the most utilized and reliable search engine in the world, users also consider Google reviews to be a reliable source of information and base their product, service or business choices on them (like, for example, when choosing a restaurant).
This means that Google reviews have become very important for today’s business owners. They are an essential component of a business’ digital marketing strategy and online presence, since they have the power to sway users one way or the other.
One of the greatest advantages of Google reviews is that they improve local search rankings –what is referred to as local SEO. Consequently, it is essential to know and understand how to configure and optimize your Google Business Profile so that you can increase your exposure to local referencing in SERP.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile
We have a complete blog article that can help you optimize your Google Business Profile.
Here are a few quick and useful tips and tricks to help you optimize your Google Business Profile:
- Select a nice profile picture and cover photo
- Select the appropriate activity category for your business
- Enter all of the relevant commercial information such as your business description, your phone number, your location, your website URL, etc.
- Also take note that messaging or chatting with potential clients is an excellent Google Business Profile feature and that this feature is activated in select countries.
- You must enter your phone number and activate the Click-to-Message option.
The advantages of having Google reviews
Keeping in mind all of these features, here is what Google reviews will do for your business, amongst other things. They will:
- Improve users’ trust towards your business or brand
- Increase your online presence
- Generate organic traffic from local referencing
- Provide users with relevant comments about your business (by answering users’ questions)
- Improve conversion to the landing page
- Improve sales
These advantages are very interesting for several types of businesses, mostly for small businesses who wish to accelerate their growth by acquiring new clients.
Google Business Profile reviews are taken seriously by users when they are choosing amongst different services or products. These reviews help determine if a specific business is trustworthy or not.
How to purchase Google Business Profile reviews?
What exactly does purchasing Google reviews mean?
Here is an idea of how to go about purchasing Google reviews. Keep in mind that it is completely illegal.
- Select a fake review supplier
- From their website, add your “Google review purchase” to your shopping cart
- Provide them with your Google Business Profile information
- You will then have Google reviews with excellent raking and positive comments: you’ve hit the jackpot… no?
There are even businesses that will offer reviews that have been “100% written by real people or real users”. They will also guarantee that their methods are “100% foolproof”, that their fake reviews are permanent and will never be erased.
If you are being truly honest, can’t you smell the scam from a mile away?
Simply said: Never, ever purchase Google reviews!
If your business is looking to purchase Google reviews as a global online review management strategy, you must absolutely take into account the risks and the consequences related to acting upon this.
This can, at first, be very tempting, or you may feel like it is an excellent and lucrative solution that will help propel your business into the top relevant search results quickly. However, you should bear in mind that in the long run, you are most likely to be on the losing end, and learn to regret your decision.
Our opinion is unanimous…
Here are the 4 main reasons why not to buy Google reviews:
Scoop? Google sanctions purchased Google reviews
Google is extremely clear on this subject: reviews must reflect the authentic and unique customer experience in direct relation to a business. Reviews “must not be published only to manipulate rankings”. On the same note, do not publish false reviews from different accounts, this is illegal as well.
Contrary to a review site like Yelp, which will send customers alerts when a business has fake Yelp reviews, Google acts more directly, by simply erasing the Google Business Profile for the business with the fake reviews, according to Google reviews policies.
You should know that fake reviews will not help your referencing!
When it comes to improving your business or brand’s online presence, Google reviews have real SEO power, and this is as true for the search engine as it is for the UX, since they both work towards making users trust your business.
This is also why Google reviews are now an integral part of a business’ local referencing (or local SEO) strategy.
If you are purchasing Google reviews in the hopes of attaining the highest local search results, you risk a significant decrease in ranking once Google finds out that your reviews are not an authentic reflection of your consumers’ experience.
In other words, purchasing fake Google reviews in the hopes of obtaining optimal local SEO will end up giving you the worst, in the end.
The cherry on the sundae: purchasing fake reviews will end up killing your reputation
No matter what “Google review sellers” tell you, you will most likely end up with fake online Google reviews that are poorly written, have little impact, are low quality, are off-topic or even suspicious… They can even work to flag you and make Google very suspicious too.
Today’s online consumers are aware and conscious. They also have access to several means of detecting fraud and fake reviews.
Furthermore, you will probably also lose sight of real issues with your customers’ experience, which may require your attention and need to be addressed by your team. In the long run, this can lead to a very bad online reputation.
Sanctions are extremely severe…
Purchasing false reviews means participating in a business’ false representation by misleading customers (visitors) intentionally.
In Canada, if you are caught, you risk a penalty that can reach up to 10 million dollars for a first violation, and up to 15 million dollars for a repeated offence.
Good practices when it comes to Google reviews
Respecting Google rules
Reviews are automatically analysed in order to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam. Google will erase flagged reviews so that everything is in accordance to their rules and regulations, as well as Google’s legal obligations.
Content that does not abide by these rules is likely not be published on Google Reviews at all:
- Heinous speech
- Offensive content
- Personal information
- Fake engagement
- Fraudulent misrepresentation
- Obscenity and vulgarity
- Sexually explicit content
- Content on adult themes
- Violence and gore
Regulated, dangerous and illegal
- Dangerous content
- Illegal content
- Content which places children’s security at risk
- Terrorism related content
Quality of information
- Unrelated or off-topic
- Publicity and solicitation
- Repetitive and useless content
In this case, purchasing Google reviews is against abovementioned Google rules. Here are the rules in question below:
- Fraudulent misrepresentation
Respect of users
Google wishes to focus on the User Experience (UX) even further. For this reason, SEO factors like browsing speed or respecting spam regulations on a website, are taken very seriously.
Google’s objective is to offer its search engine’s users the best possible experience, by allowing them to browse different tools that will give them authentic and fair results. By purchasing fake reviews and intentionally misrepresenting your business in your “review” section, you are disrespecting users and acting in a dishonest way. The very purpose of users looking at your review section is to establish if your business is trustworthy and reliable.
You are literally “purchasing” your credibility and, in the end, this will create exactly the opposite effect as you will lose all credibility. As the old wise men say, better to learn how to fish than have a fish brought to you!
Tips and tricks to get more (authentic) reviews on Google
“Hi dear client, would you please leave a review for me on my Google Business Profile?”
Asking for a review by email
A logical structure
Asking your client for a Google Business Profile review by email requires you to be tactful. To achieve this, we suggest you keep it quick and simple, and not make them feel like you are twisting their arm.
Here is a mock email as an example of how you could ask for a Google review:
Hello [client’s name],
I hope you are doing well! I am writing to ask you if, in the name of [Business’ name], you would feel comfortable leaving a google review for us, in relation to the services you have recently received [Name the service]. It is very important to us that web users understand that we are a trustworthy business!
To make this as easy as possible for you, here are a few ideas that will allow you to leave a quick review:
- Mention what you enjoyed/appreciated
- Mention the product/service you received
- Mention who took care of you
With this information, it should only take you a few minutes. Here is the link [GMB link]! We thank you in advance for helping us grow our business; it is greatly appreciated!
Looking forward to seeing you again soon.
Once your email is ready to send, you should also take into account the “timing” factor, as it will play an important role on you obtaining your Google review or not. In fact, if you have just met with your client or have just completed the service and they have already paid for it, then it is the perfect moment to ask them for a review.
Wait 24 to 48 hours after meeting, then send your perfectly optimized email. If you have offered them a gift (return, promo, goodies…) do not hesitate to let them know verbally that you would greatly appreciate a review and that you will send them a link by email.
Better yet, if they leave your store satisfied, you can simply offer to flash a QR code before they leave. The bus ride is the perfect place to fill in a review!
Make it personal
People appreciate feeling like they matter. In other words, they like to feel like whatever way you have chosen to communicate with them, that it is directed to them personally. This is the case with emails, marketing, targeting, publicity and, also, when asking for a review.
By enumerating the different reasons why you would like their personal opinion on Google, you are showing your client that you are not only looking for a review, you are looking for theirs, specifically. You can reinforce this impression by mentioning the service you have rendered, writing their name, and/or adding something that happened during their visit or a small joke in relation to something that was said.
Adding the URL link
Just like in the mock email above, when asking your clients to leave a review for you, it is very relevant to add the URL link, which will automatically redirect them towards “Google Review”. This will make their life easier, since all they will have to do is click on it to let everyone know just how much they appreciate you!
If everything is already set up and made easy for them, they won’t feel like it’s a hassle. You can even add: “all you have to do is click on the link and write your review”! They won’t even have to figure out on their own where to do it on Google.
Using a QR code
Keep it simple: offer your clients a QR code, for example, when they leave the store. All your clients have to do is take out their smartphones, then you flash the QR code, and they gain easy access to your Google Business Profile. All that is left to do is write a few words.
Go old school and send a text message!
This might seem strange if you have never sent a client a text message before, but believe us when we say it’s a great idea, as it adds a very personal touch.
Moreover, text messaging has certain advantages over emails, Instagram and Facebook, because even old people who don’t have Smartphones have access to texts.
Let’s take the example of a hairdresser, with a clientele composed of 30% of people over 60. We often think that this is impossible… no! Don’t give up on old people too quickly! They have phones and they will be glad to take a few minutes out of their retirement to say just how much they appreciate your haircuts!
The good news? Review management agencies?
The advantages of dealing with local SEO experts and Review Management firms
A Review Management agency is equipped with the proper tools and a team that specializes in local SEO and community management. They will certainly do all of this for you much more quickly than if you are doing it yourself.
Expertise leads to results:
There is also an excellent chance that by dealing with a specialized agency you will get better results much more quickly.
Our opinion? Doing it alone!
Obviously, if you are aiming to avoid yet another bill or expense, used to pay other people to manage your online reputation…
Yet, it must be done! So if you do not have the time to do it yourself, then you must delegate it to, for example, Agence Leadstream, a true leader when it comes to review and community management.
However, by doing it alone, you have the following advantages. You will:
– Avoid an extra bill
The greatest disadvantage of handing over the management of your online reputation is definitely the price.
Management agencies are known to cost a lot of money and this is why small businesses don’t usually turn to them. If you have someone taking care of your social media, your website and your publicity, then you can also ask them to take care of your Google Business Profile as well!
– Avoid confidentiality problems
The privacy of your information will be put into the hands of a third party, who will be answering for you, on subjects they may know little to nothing about. It can be delicate to give someone else the responsibility of managing your reputation. After all, it is your reputation and it matters to you a great deal!
– No one knows your business better than you do
In the end, who knows your business better than you do?
No one, obviously! That is why it is important to take a little bit of time out of your day to ask your clients to leave reviews when they visit or when you have them on the phone. It is also important to answer the questions they may ask on your Google profile, since you are best suited to answer all of their questions personally.
Leadstream, local SEO and Google Review expert
Leadstream is a young web agency that is dynamic and professional, and guides SMB and large companies in Quebec in the creation of their SEO content, along with other natural SEO referencing services, Google SEA publicity and SMM social media services.
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