There are a lot of platforms out there claiming they can help you dramatically increase the number of reviews on sites like Facebook, Yelp, and Google. We have watched many of our clients spend decent money on programs like BirdEye, Broadly, GetFiveStars, and Podium after being promised impressive results. These review aggregators can do some great work, but they can also get expensive. Below are a few things to keep in mind when looking to hire a review program.
1. Are they claiming they’ll get you more Yelp reviews?
This is a major red flag. As we reported recently, Yelp has updated their Terms & Agreements to prohibit any form of solicitation for reviews. If someone is promising more Yelp reviews, they will be systematically soliciting for them, and this could ultimately get your Yelp listing suspended.
2. Are they updating your company information on listings?
Your name, address, phone number, and domain should be highly protected pieces of information. The consistency of this information across your listings has been a major ranking factor for a few years now, but many review programs will want to alter it. Are they asking you to place tracking numbers or URLs on each listing? This may help their efforts, but will hurt your overall online performance.
3. Are they celebrating an ability to post the same review on multiple platforms?
This sounds great, but it is something you absolutely do not want. For one, using the same review on multiple sites will send duplicate content signals to Google which can hurt your organic performance. More importantly, using the same content in multiple places, including your own website, violates the Terms & Agreements of most third party review sites. This practice could actually lead to your listings being suspended.
4. Do you know exactly what you’re paying for?
This is more of an abstract point, but an important one nonetheless. Many of these platforms offer review management as one facet of a larger package. Ensure that you are only paying for what you need. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, and be fully aware of what you’re getting for your money.
There is a lot of potential in using review aggregators. We have definitely seen proven results, and they may be able to help your company boost its overall online reputation. That being said, you need to know what you’re buying. Become familiar with their features and how they claim to get you more reviews – make sure their tactics can’t end up hurting you in the end.