When it comes to online reviews, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive centers around paid advertising. Specifically, we’re often asked whether or not paying for advertising gives a company more leeway when it comes to removing negative reviews. The short answer to this question is an emphatic NO. However, that’s not to say that paid advertising doesn’t have its benefits.
Many businesses assume that if a review website is willing to offer a premium listing, then that review website must certainly be willing to remove a negative review or two at the business’s request. While there may be some sites out there that are willing to bend the rules for their paying customers, most respectable online review sites (the kind that search engines like Google actually pay attention to) are not willing to compromise their online credibility in order to pacify businesses with negative reviews that also happen to be willing to pay.
Online reviews sites, such as Yelp, may offer paid advertising, but this doesn’t mean that they offer anything other than increased exposure. Often times, particularly with Yelp, paid advertising will remove competitor ads from your listing. It will sometimes allow you to include additional information about your business that isn’t included with the basic profile. Furthermore, paid advertising may grant your business access to valuable analytics that can help you determine whether or not your advertising dollars are leading to increased sales.
When it comes to online reviews, the important thing to remember is that regardless of whether or not you choose to use your marketing budget for paid advertising, the sites you’re looking into are still going to feature your reviews, both good and bad, regardless of whether or not you even claim your profile. Online review sites typically crawl respected citation sites and create listings for companies based on the information those review sites find about said companies. So no matter how hard your company tries, chances are fairly good that Internet users are still going to be able to locate your company’s listing, write reviews about your business, and see what other reviewers have to say.
When it comes to online reviews, businesses have a couple of decisions to make. One, they need to decide whether or not paid advertising is in their best interest. If basic listings can wield just as profitable a return as paid advertising can, then the costs are not justifiable and therefore should be avoided. Two, they need to decide whether or not the online review site in question is a popular resource used by the company’s typical consumer. For example, while Yelp offers listings for a variety of business types, many consumers associate the site with restaurant reviews, so it’s typically a good idea for restaurants to claim and maintain their presence on Yelp.
If you have questions about which review sites are best for your business, the Internet marketing team at SLS Consulting can help. For more information, please call (323) 254-1510 today.