As an SEO and reputation marketing expert, there are times that I have people ask me about fake reviews. Perhaps you’ve thought about creating some fake reviews for your business in the past. My advice: DON’T DO IT!
The New York Attorney General’s office is cracking down on unscrupulous SEO marketing companies for publishing fake reviews for their clients. Consequently, these firms will be liable for fines ranging from $2,500 to $100,000. In total, there were 19 SEO marketing companies that were accused of posting fake reviews. In my opinion, New York is not the only state that will be cracking down on the reputation services industry. Click here to read the press release.
So what is the impact on your business? Simple, do things correctly and there is no problem. Also, I expect that the review services websites like Yelp, Google, Yahoo, SuperPages, etc will be re-vamping their algorithms to filter out reviews that they deem to be fabricated. Additionally, word of mouth reviews posted on social platforms will carry great weight.
So what do I mean by doing things correctly?
First of all, DO NOT HIRE AN SEO FIRM to post reviews for your business as their reputation marketing services strategy. If you need help with your reputation, hire a company that understands the importance of protecting your reputation but also has a moral compass. If your SEO marketing agency tells you that it’s okay to have a strategy where they post reviews to your accounts on your behalf – beware! Take time to really understand their services offerings.
Second, online reviews are hugely important for your business. If you do not have a strategy in place to legitimately build your reputation, you’re missing out on an enormous opportunity. There have been case studies proving that an increase in a business’s reputation leads to increased sales. In fact a group of economists at Berkeley, University of California, showed that restaurants increased their reservations by 19% with an increase in their online ratings by just a 1/2 star.
What would a 19% boost in sales of your services or products mean to your company’s bottom line?
At L4 Group, we implement comprehensive SEO services and a specific Reputation Marketing Strategy that involves asking your customers, clients, patients, etc. for REAL, legitimate feedback. We NEVER post a review for our clients, period. However, once a review has been legitimately posted, we do reference that review in a multitude of platforms to let your existing customer base and any future, prospective customers know just how good of a company you have. We also utilize a video strategy in our SEO marketing services. Video is an excellent manner to highlight great customer reviews and testimonials because video is genuine and authentic. Additionally, really good SEO video marketing attracts consumers in the fastest growing search engine – YouTube! Yes, we consider YouTube to be a search engine. This is backed by the increasing amounts of video search volume within YouTube every single month.
Of course, the first step in addressing your business’s reputation is to understand what is being said about you right now. Go to GetMyReputationReport.com to find out what your current status is. This is free service.
L4 Group offers complimentary reputation marketing services strategy sessions where we sit down with you and devise a marketing strategy for the most effective methods to market your reputation and your business. Call 610.471.0001 to get started, this is a $497 value and is being offered for free, for a limited time only.