Even if you don’t currently use an online reputation management company or service, as a veterinarian, you are surely aware of the weight that your hospital’s reviews can carry in bringing or discouraging new clients to your practice. With the advent of popular online review sites, such as Yelp, Google Places, InsiderPages, and the like, these positive or negative reviews from your clients have the power to go viral, immediately. This is why it is vital to fully grasp how online reviews work, and how to use them to your advantage, not your disadvantage.
One way that many online businesses-and companies enlisted to-manage their online reputation in the past has been to create fake client reviews that are positive. Until now, many fake reviewers have been able to get away with these false tactics, but no longer. Google knows the signs and even if you have not yet suffered the penalties from Google yet for fake reviews, you better believe it you will. With this in mind, take these tips to heart if you have client reviews on your site, and you don’t want them to seem fake by Google:
- If you are using comment cards you should from now on digitize them on your G+ Local page
- All your reviews must be 100% genuine
- Ensure that your customers DO NOT use devices such as computers and tablets on your businesses premises for their reviews. Instead you are advised from now on to contact your customers with reminder emails – encouraging them to review your offerings in their own time BUT WITHOUT any incentives being offered for the review in return
- Negative reviews won’t be taken down unless they are violating with the search giant’s regulations
- Ensure your customers pick a specific location if your business is based in multiple locations
- No current employees must write a review since they are biased and not neutral (http://www.stateofsearch.com/googles-fight-against-fake-online-reviews/).
You may likely think that Google will never find out about your fake reviews, but the truth of the matter is that Google knows a lot more than you think they do, and if they don’t yet, they will. More convincing of a reason is the lasting repercussions that follow, should you be named as a “fake”. To begin, the false reviews would be taken down and negative ones would stay and become more prominent without the shield of your fake positive reviews. Secondly, it is not uncommon for the website that the reviews link to and are about (yourveterinaryhospital.com) to plummet in keyword rankings as well. So, someone searching for your hospital in their area, would not necessarily see your website on Page 1 of their search results anymore, but another hospital, or even worse, the negative reviews posted about your hospital. Worst of all, once you cross Google, it takes a long time to gain its trust back. Faking a review is just not worth it; instead, nurture your online veterinary reputation with good veterinary practice and client respect, as well as awareness of what is being said about you and your practice online.