Customer reviews are one of the most important aspects of any business. They can facilitate or impede sales on a major scale. Certain aspects of online reviews, such as affirmations of quality, usefulness, or enjoyment all link to the positive development of lead generation. This can greatly increase your business’ sales. In fact, customer reviews have been shown to improve a buyer’s trust in online stores on a much greater scale than overall reputation. Reviews are even more effective than the product or assurance seals on a website. But, should repost your online reviews to your website?
Why Wouldn’t You Repost Online Reviews?
It’s important to keep in mind that Google owns the rights to your Google My Business reviews. Although Google has not stated they will penalize you for reposting the reviews you receive on their platform, it is something to be cautious of. Be sure you post your reviews with quotes around them and don’t make claims they left them on your site. And, if Google contacts you about the usage of “their” reviews, be sure you take them down or find another solution to avoid legal trouble.
Something else to consider is only reposting positive reviews. Strictly reposting positive reviews can deteriorate trust and legitimacy in your products. This decrease in trust could lead to a decrease in sales. But, understandably, you don’t want to publish your poor reviews on your website. So, it is best to publish both four and five-star reviews when possible. However, if you only have five-star reviews on your platforms, don’t worry about this. At the end of the day, by complying with reposting requirements as well as following certain practices when you repost online reviews, you can utilize third-party sites to drive your sales.
How Should You Repost Third-Party Reviews?
Google owns the rights to the Google Business Listing customer reviews, so posting them without proper citation is illegal. So, you will want to be sure you use the name of the customer who left you the review. Additionally, be sure you have the user’s permission to post the review on your personal website. Google recognizes any review posted on their site as user-authored. This means businesses should ask the original poster before publishing their review on any website. By doing this, you will avoid legal issues concerning plagiarism.
Once you have their permission, business owners can re-post their reviews. However, using any Google logos or trademarks calls for another petition for permission. Unfortunately, Google is not likely to grant trademark usage rights to small business owners. You may use the original review with permission granted from the original poster, but including the Google My Business logo without permission could lead to a removal of the review from Google itself. It is never acceptable to repost reviews as your own without permission, as this could lead to even more serious consequences.
How Does Reposting Reviews Affect Your Business?
If you do decide to repost third-party reviews with the permission of the original poster, there are many different effects to consider. As explained, customer reviews often enforce trust in a company. A wealth of positive reviews can lead to an increase in sales or long-term loyalty to a certain brand. However, there are some negative effects of reposting your online reviews. Let’s cover all of effects, positive and negative, so you know what to expect.
In a survey by Dimensional Research, 90% of customers self-reported that they are affected by reading online reviews. So, including them on your site may seem like the best practice. In contrast to reviews directly posted on a website, utilizing reviews originally posted on Google are more likely to appear legitimate. This is very helpful in proving your credibility. Website-specific reviews can appear untrustworthy and fraudulent to buyers. As you can guess, this can dissuade potential customers. In addition to this, many SEO professionals recommend including reviews on your website as it is very likely to increase search engine ranking. This is because it helps your E-A-T score. With that being said, the positive effects of posting your reviews may be worth it.
Also, the more reviews you have on independent sites, the better it will be for your SEO rankings. And many consumers find businesses through third-party platforms, in addition to finding them through word-of-mouth or social media. So, increasing your chances of being found through third-party reviews can increase clicks and sales from prospective clients. These positive effects are important to keep in mind when you repost online reviews.
While there are multiple benefits to adding in reviews to a website, there are drawbacks as well. First of all, reposting reviews is done by a pick-and-choose process by the business owner. Many customers assume businesses filter out bad reviews and only include positive ones. Doing this on your website may seem like a surefire way to promote your product as excellent, but it can appear deceitful, especially if you have a lot of very poor online reviews across the internet. Customers feeling as though a website is unreliable due to the lack of average reviews can lead to a decrease in sales. This is because they don’t trust you, or your product. At the same time, including too many negative reviews can reduce sales as well.
In addition to a lack of trust, there are some legal considerations. Google has not taken a clear stance on if you can use the reviews on their site on your website. So, it’s safe to say, for now, you can use your Google online reviews on your site. But, there have been some legal issues with fake reviews on Google. According to the Search Engine Journal, the Federal Trade Commission has been cracking down on fake reviews. So, do not post fake reviews on your website, as this can get you in a legal battle with the FTC.
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Are There Any Alternatives to Reposting Online Reviews?
Reviews can significantly impact SEO rankings positively and subsequently improve sales on your website. However, you may be looking for a way to include reviews without inciting any negative effects. Two alternatives to reposting reviews may be including unique, website-specific reviews or testimonials. Asking customers for reviews after a purchase, to specifically be used on your website, can be very helpful. This can give you a way to include user-generated content on your site without repeating the reviews from your Google My Business listing. These reviews and testimonials will build trust and authority for your business, which can directly lead to increased sales.
Overall, keeping in line with legal requirements by asking for authorial permission is most likely the best practice when considering reposting third-party online reviews. Having reviews on your website increases SEO rankings and generates trust in your products. However, you do want to ensure you give the customer credit for their review and always listen to Google if they request you take down the content. Also, making sure to include a trustworthy mix of reviews can avoid possible perceptions of your website as untrustworthy. With that being said, the alternatives to reposting reviews include garnering site-specific reviews as well as asking for testimonials from happy customers.
Reposting Your Business’ Reviews
We hope this blog post explained whether or not you should repost your online reviews. If you do decide to repost online reviews to your website, be sure to follow the best practices outlined above. When setting them up on your website, feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Our team would love to help you appear more credible and trustworthy to your audience. You can connect with us via our contact form below.