More threads by garrettkite

garrettkite

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
4
Background: a large portion of my client base is made up of multi-location franchise companies. Typically, each time a new franchise location is added to a brand, their corporate franchisor will create a website with somewhat generic/corporate content that my team then works to localize and make more unique to that particular franchise location. Out of the gate, most of these sites will have placeholder reviews displayed that are from other existing franchise locations. So those particular reviews are not specific to that new location, but are being used as placeholders until that new location begins earning its own reviews, at which point the placeholder reviews are swapped out for the new, location-specific reviews. The thinking behind this is that a site with zero reviews would have a tough time converting site visitors and that the placeholder reviews are in fact reviews of the same business as a whole, so they are applicable.

We recently had a client who had a great month in terms of leads, followed by a down month, and is absolutely convinced that the placeholder reviews on his website (and my team, as a result) are to blame. I've worked in local SEO for 13+ years and have never heard of anything, and can't find anything online, that would back that assumption up. The site's organic search rankings have improved each month since we started with them, including the month when leads were lower. I would love to get some thoughts from others on this topic, if nothing else as a point of reference for this client that others in the field can back up the fact that placeholder reviews would not be the culprit for a decrease in leads or website traffic.
 
Solution
Hi Garrett! I've heard things like that so often. Most clients don't have a marketing background and don't understand how the whole digital environment works. So don't let'em doubt you. I've had one who claimed to be literally a statistics freak...until I showed him proof of his lack of statistics skills 5 minutes later. He's never doubted any of my decisions anymore since that moment. If you think this client would mess things up if you don't follow his line of doing things (unless you can show him proof that what he claims is right is BS) I'd just do what he wants.

I've never heard of anything either that would back your client's statement up. Showing reviews, even if they're not 100% from the target group, will certainly increase...
Hi Garrett! I've heard things like that so often. Most clients don't have a marketing background and don't understand how the whole digital environment works. So don't let'em doubt you. I've had one who claimed to be literally a statistics freak...until I showed him proof of his lack of statistics skills 5 minutes later. He's never doubted any of my decisions anymore since that moment. If you think this client would mess things up if you don't follow his line of doing things (unless you can show him proof that what he claims is right is BS) I'd just do what he wants.

I've never heard of anything either that would back your client's statement up. Showing reviews, even if they're not 100% from the target group, will certainly increase conversions, not the other way around. I mean I assume you're choosing those reviews wisely. Wrong geomodifiers included could certainly lead to fewer conversions as the audience might not feel addressed and sees the page as irrelevant. Like, if reviews include NYC instead of LA etc. Hope that makes sense.
 
Solution
Hi Garrett! I've heard things like that so often. Most clients don't have a marketing background and don't understand how the whole digital environment works. So don't let'em doubt you. I've had one who claimed to be literally a statistics freak...until I showed him proof of his lack of statistics skills 5 minutes later. He's never doubted any of my decisions anymore since that moment. If you think this client would mess things up if you don't follow his line of doing things (unless you can show him proof that what he claims is right is BS) I'd just do what he wants.

I've never heard of anything either that would back your client's statement up. Showing reviews, even if they're not 100% from the target group, will certainly increase conversions, not the other way around. I mean I assume you're choosing those reviews wisely. Wrong geomodifiers included could certainly lead to fewer conversions as the audience might not feel addressed and sees the page as irrelevant. Like, if reviews include NYC instead of LA etc. Hope that makes sense.

Thanks, Tim! Helpful getting some additional insight here. And yes, the placeholder reviews are always as generic as possible - no mention of specific individuals, no geo modifiers, nothing that would cause them to appear irrelevant - just general reviews of the services that they offer. Thanks for your input! (y)
 
Background: a large portion of my client base is made up of multi-location franchise companies. Typically, each time a new franchise location is added to a brand, their corporate franchisor will create a website with somewhat generic/corporate content that my team then works to localize and make more unique to that particular franchise location. Out of the gate, most of these sites will have placeholder reviews displayed that are from other existing franchise locations. So those particular reviews are not specific to that new location, but are being used as placeholders until that new location begins earning its own reviews, at which point the placeholder reviews are swapped out for the new, location-specific reviews. The thinking behind this is that a site with zero reviews would have a tough time converting site visitors and that the placeholder reviews are in fact reviews of the same business as a whole, so they are applicable.

We recently had a client who had a great month in terms of leads, followed by a down month, and is absolutely convinced that the placeholder reviews on his website (and my team, as a result) are to blame. I've worked in local SEO for 13+ years and have never heard of anything, and can't find anything online, that would back that assumption up. The site's organic search rankings have improved each month since we started with them, including the month when leads were lower. I would love to get some thoughts from others on this topic, if nothing else as a point of reference for this client that others in the field can back up the fact that placeholder reviews would not be the culprit for a decrease in leads or website traffic.

Placeholder reviews are considered consumer deception and violate the FTC's review guidelines.
 

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

LocalU Event

Webinar

Trending: Most Viewed

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Top Bottom