Testimonials are dead.

That’s right,  I said it. Today I wanted to focus on why reviews out in the interwebs are important for your business. They are a great value add for your user or prospective clients. By listing your business on review platforms like Yelp and Angie’s List you establish another quality and creditable link source but then also now have the option to receive candid, honest reviews from your users or clients is so impactful.

Think about how many times you go to Yelp before choosing a new restaurant to try or how many times you Google search a business (repair shop, clothing store etc.) and look through the star rating before giving them a call or engaging in their business. It’s pretty high. That’s really because we love hearing what other people have to say or think. We, as humans but more specifically Gen. Y, love getting the scoop on how the service was somewhere before we go. We also love seeing all the issues before we call or use that business. Reviews are a great resource!

As a business owner you want to make sure you have valid candid reviews for user experience but also for search engine views. From a user perspective, obliviously everything I’ve went over above applies but then when we talk about search engines, they are looking for more information about your business online and from creditable, reliable sources. Same thing goes for reviews when the search engines crawl them. They are looking to see if they are creditable. A few key things they are looking for:

  • Are they tied to a real person’s account?
  • Are they coming from the business IP address?
  • Are they just written copy on a URL with no affiliation to a review source engine?

My clients ask me all the time to add testimonials to their sites, emails or actual mail from clients signing their praise. I always advise against it. Search engines have no way to know that’s value content. It’s just like any other copy on your site. But when it comes to user prospective, for all they know, you wrote that yourself. It establishes little to no creditability. Users want to see that your reviews come from actual people. By getting people to review your business on platforms like Yelp, Facebook and Google Plus all require the reviewer to log into an account and attach a name to the words which establishes a level of creditability.

Getting reviews can be hard. Some industries get reviews organically but other really do struggle. When it comes to getting reviews here are a few things to remember:

  • Know the facts before trying to incentivize on a platform. (Check the guidelines of each platform being doing something like that)
    •  This is a muddy thing to do all together really! By doing this you could possibly be loosing some creditability.
  • Yelp’s guidelines pretty much just simply say you can’t ask your customer to post a review.
  • Reviews are only valuable if they are honest and unbiased.
  • Google is smart – it will pick up if you have more than a few reviews on Google plus from the same IP address so make sure to avoid that.

If you are looking to get some reviews and not sure where to start, I always recommended using email marketing. You could send out an email campaign to your entire book of business asking them to leave a review and then list some platform options and then what they do is up to them. They can choose to leave one or not but also can choose to leave a positive or negative.

Testimonials are dead. Reviews are where it’s at for so many reasons. Know the facts before you try to ask your users to review your business.


Party on. Ambushed.


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