In Part 1 of this series, we talked about how people have become much more savvy and skeptical about advertising. We all know, for example, that testimonials are easily edited or even faked, so people take them with a pinch of salt.
Reviews, on the other hand, are controlled by a third party. And because they can’t be “tinkered” with by the practitioner, they are a thousand times more believable.
But while giving up control in the name of authenticity and believability is a huge benefit to your practice, it usually comes with a major drawback, especially when it comes to the “free” review sites.
The reviews don’t belong to you.
You are, in effect, a digital sharecropper, farming on borrowed land.
Every review you collect on sites like Facebook, Yelp, Google and TrustPilot belongs to them. Your review collection efforts are effectively creating free content for your “digital landlord”, making their website more valuable.
That’s all well and good, until it isn’t.
And aside from the risk of being evicted for a policy violation, or the possibility that your landlord may one day slip into obscurity like Digg, Friends Reunited, and MySpace, there is one inescapable truth…
You are not their customer… you are the PRODUCT.
It doesn’t matter to them whether you are flying high or facing ruin because of damaging fake reviews.
You are just a data point to them. Part of a stream of content designed to attract visitor eyeballs for their advertisers.
(And remember, bad news sells, so there isn’t much incentive for them to act quickly if a malicious or unfair comment from a disgruntled competitor scares away your customers… Just saying.)
So whilst it pays to upgrade your testimonials into reviews that potential clients can trust, you need to choose your review partner carefully.
To address this problem, I’ve created a service that automates the process of requesting, collecting and displaying independently verified reviews on your practice website, allowing you to earn star ratings in Google Search.
It’s designed to ensure that only your genuine clients can leave reviews, and allows your client’s confidentiality and data protection rights to be properly respected.
Best of all, you keep ownership of the reviews you collect, which means they become valuable assets for your practice.
And that’s what I want to show you next.