It’s a marathon, not a sprint. A sustainable and paced strategy of collecting Google Reviews will serve you better than getting too many too fast.
Google Reviews are becoming more and more important for the
online success of local businesses. For many potential customers, reviews are
the first thing they look at when considering you.
Maybe you already know this about Google Reviews, and maybe
you’re eager to collect as many new reviews as you can—either to “catch up” to
competitors or to rank higher on search engines.
But getting too many Google Reviews in a short period of
time is bad for your business in three ways:
- It looks spammy to Google’s algorithm.
- They’ll get stale fast.
- You’ll burn through your best potential reviewers.
We’ve found that a sustainable review strategy is more effective at improving your ranking. Our focus here at Rocket Referrals is on getting you quality reviews over a long time span rather than sheer review quantity alone. Part of that involves spreading out reviews from established customers between those of brand-new clients.
In fact, just like a credit score, continuous and consistent
review activity makes you look more reliable and, well, credible. It’s what we
call a “sustainable review cadence.”
Let’s take a look at the three reasons why getting too many
Google Reviews quickly can lead to fewer new clients overall.
It looks spammy to Google (and prospects, too)
Where you show up in a local Google search depends on your ranking signals. These are the “characteristics of a website that determine the position in search engines. All ranking signals combined form the algorithm of a search engine.” There are a few different kinds of ranking signals including social, Google My Business, link… and, of course, review signals.
Now there’s more to review signals than quantity alone—velocity (how often you get reviews) and diversity (Facebook recommendations, BriteBee reviews, etc.) are also essential. In fact, Google can monitor velocity, and if your business gets a big review spike or Google picks up on another strange review pattern, this looks spammy and might even lead to some reviews being removed. Here’s their official line:
Reviews are only valuable when
they are honest and unbiased. (For example, business owners shouldn’t offer
incentives to customers in exchange for reviews.)
Google really does enforce this. Here’s an example of a law firm in Kentucky that had 90+ reviews removed due to suspicious activity. Even if you’re not offering a monetary incentive for reviews, it’s not worth risking the wrath of Google and having them deleted. Review consistency is more important to your ranking than quantity.
Besides, regular people are becoming more review-savvy than ever. The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business. They can tell if reviews seem inauthentic. What’s more, they’ll be keeping an eye out for any strange review patterns like a sudden spike or a long drought.
Reviews go stale fast
This stat says it all: 84% of consumers believe reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant. How’s it going to look if you have thirty five-star reviews that were posted six months ago and there hasn’t been a single new one since? They might think you’ve closed up shop or maybe assume the quality of your customer service has gone downhill.
My takeaways from this:
- Freshness is king, not quantity.
- You’ve got to make sure your reviews are consistently paced to meet your prospects’
84% of consumers believe reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant.
You’ll burn through your best potential reviewers
We know you have clients who love you (nice job!), and they’re more than happy to give you five-star reviews. But if they all pile onto Google right now, that means they won’t be around to give you good reviews later on when you might need them more. You’ve used all your customers’ goodwill. And existing clients—who are willing to give reviews—are a finite resource.
Blowing that review potential too quickly is like giving
your racing car a nitro boost when there are still 100 laps to go. You’ll pretty
much have to depend on brand-new clients’ reviews solely going forward.
A sustainable review cadence can help you build trust and attract more clients
Our algorithms help target the right customers with personalized
communications (loyalty cards, birthday greetings, etc.) and regular check-ins
(NPS surveys and testimonial requests). This lets you get an idea of what customers
think of your service, allowing you to adjust their experience or address their
concerns before they leave Google Reviews.
On top of that, we also make sure you’re receiving a steady
drip of reviews from established customers paced between those from new clients.
Ultimately, this means you’re more likely to receive consistently positive Google
This strategy is sustainable, and it’s something that prospects will take notice of. Above all, it can help set you apart from the competition which is what you really want.