Online Reviews: The Complete Guide to Reputation Management

How to Beat the Review Site Algorithms ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Customers 4 minute read 28th June 2021

If we could give you a handful of positive reviews for your business right now, which website would you want them left on?

Do you currently ask your customers to leave reviews on certain sites, or is it a bit of a free-for-all?

We’ve done the work and to show you where to concentrate your efforts to get the most from any reviews you do get (spoiler alert: not all review sites are created equally).

First though, we must look at your existing reviews

Pretend to be your customer

The best way to claim an awareness of your online reputation is to simply pretend that you are your customer.

Let’s say that you are a BBQ restaurant in New York City. What is a TripAdvisor customer going to search to find a BBQ restaurant? Here are some example search queries…

  • bbq in new york
  • bbq restaurants near me
  • new york bbq restaurants

You might assume that all of these queries will present the same results. Why wouldn’t they? The customer intent is clearly the same, the customer wants BBQ food in NYC! However, TripAdvisor’s algorithm isn’t straight forward and often you will see discrepancies in results.

Why does this matter? Well, take a glance at the data below and let’s make some conclusions.

TripAdvisor Results

Query Position Searches
BBQ in New York 10 3000
BBQ restaurants near me 5 1500
New York BBQ restaurants 1 500

Now, if you only search “new york bbq restaurants”, you’d be over the moon to see that your venue is the #1 result. Time to shut down the laptop and revel in your victory, right? Not quite.

While on the surface you’re a success on TripAdvisor, the search term you attributed that success to accounts for just 10% of the searches relating to BBQ restaurants in NYC.

A simple lapse of judgement accounts for 90% of missed searches. That’s quite a blind spot.

So, when do things get better?

It’s good to know exactly at which point you’ll start to see results. The truth is, how much search traffic a rank position gets is not linear. It’s quite the opposite, with the top 3 results being heavily favoured.

Here’s a list of each ranking position and its corresponding share percentage of search clicks. While these particular numbers are from Google rankings, the proportions of search clicks are generally the same across all review sites.

So when do things get better

  • Position 1 = 31.7%
  • Position 2 = 24.7%
  • Position 3 = 18.7%
  • Position 4 = 13.6%
  • Position 5 = 9.5%
  • Position 6 = 6.2%
  • Position 7 = 4.2%
  • Position 8 = 3.1%
  • Position 9 = 3%
  • Position 10 = 3.1%

75% of all clicks can be attributed to the first 3 positions, with the 25% remainder being shared between positions 4 to 10.

You know what they say; page 2 of Google is a great place to hide a dead body! Because it’s unlikely anyone will ever see it!

While any ranking gains will result in a higher percentage of search traffic, you need to aim to be in the top 3 club for your target search queries. The bottom line is that being in the top 3 will result in a larger proportion of fresh footfall being driven to your venue.

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