This article is meant to provide insight into why generating reviews is so important for your clients. To learn more about using our Review Generation feature, please visit this Help Center article.
Why Should I Generate First-Party Reviews?
First-party reviews — that is, reviews a business asks customers for itself — are the only type of reviews that directly impact organic search. According to Google’s new SEO markup guidelines, only reviews generated by first-party sources can be marked up for SEO. Local pages that feature first-party reviews will appear in organic search results with star ratings and review volume (which significantly increase visibility and clickthrough rate). This means that local business pages that host third-party review widgets like Yelp, Tripadvisor, or even Google+ will no longer show this content in the organic SERP.
Organic search results that are enhanced with a star rating earn more prominence and generate higher clickthrough rates regardless of their position in the SERP. One recent study showed that a star-rating enhanced listing received 80% of total clicks on the first page of the SERP, even when it did not appear first in the SERP or appeared amongst competitors’ listings.
Lastly, review generation is likely to result in more positive reviews. People who have a bad experience will leave reviews no matter what, but people who had a good experience won’t necessarily go out of their way to leave a review unless you ask!
Which Customers Should My Client Ask For First-Party Reviews?
Google values authentic reviews, so we recommend only requesting reviews from people that you are confident have visited your client's location. Once you’ve identified people who have visited your client's location, we recommend contacting them to leave a review shortly after their visit, while their experience is still top of mind.
How Can I Protect My Client's Ratings From Negative Reviews?
First and foremost, no business is perfect, and customers understand that. A distribution of ratings actually builds consumer trust by signaling authenticity not only to customers, but also to search engines. Google looks down on any type of content manipulation, such as surfacing only positive reviews or sorting reviews from positive to negative.
Also, negative reviews are not necessarily a bad thing! It’s important to understand the operational value of negative reviews. Negative reviews identify areas of improvement and should be perceived as catalysts for internal conversation and change.
If you have a client with more negative reviews, the best way to drown out those negative reviews is to generate more positive ones while resolving the issues that lead to negative reviews on a case-by-case basis.