More threads by Garrett Sussman

Mar 15, 2016
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How To Prove the ROI of Online Review Management

What's the toughest part of review management?

It isn't getting the review. It isn't even dealing with a flood of negative reviews from a horde of angry customers. No, the hardest part of online review management is something unexpected.

It's demonstrating the ROI of online review management.

It's a difficult thing to demonstrate, but as you'll soon see, it's absolutely necessary.

Andrew goes on to explain how to determine attribution for online reviews impacting the financial bottom line of a small business. He also offers some formulas for putting some monetary value on the service for clients.

Read Andrew's entire post here.



Ooohhhh this is a great topic, Garrett!

I've always wondered: if you offer ORM services how do you prove ROI?
Can't wait to read all Andrew's ideas about how to do it!
Thanks, Linda! I agree that it's a challenging topic, and while there are a few different formulas out there, I really like Andrew's approach.
I love this idea of a calculator but something seems off about the fact that you'd lose 21.9% of customers if you have one negative review. I think this would vastly differ based on your total # of reviews.

1 negative out of 500 reviews couldn't possibly make any impact IMO but 1 out of 4 definitely would.
Hey Joy,

Thanks for the comment. Yes, I might need to go back and reframe that part, but Andrew was referring to the moz post that was addressing one negative article. In this case, a listing with a review aggregate with 3 or less stars.

If you don't think that a 3 star aggregate would be considered 'negative' that's definitely valid. (Curious to hear your thoughts on that).

But I agree, if they have a large volume of reviews (500), then one negative review wouldn't have the same financial impact as a listing with only 5 reviews total.
Ah, I missed that he was referring to an aggregate rating - that makes much more sense.

I would consider 1 or 2 stars as negative. 3 is neutral.
I think I agree that 3 is neutral and not necessarily 'negative'. I will go in and change the language.

Do you feel like that formula would still work if we consider the review listing with a 1 or 2 star aggregate to be a 'negative' article?
Yeah, it makes more sense now.

What would you do if one of those sites was Yelp? :)
Good question! Well, Yelp is definitely a challenge isn't it?!

There are a few ways to handle Yelp. You could still solicit reviews despite their policies about not soliciting, and sometimes the business owner's decision is justified. A lot of businesses make their own judgement on Yelp because they don't feel their policies are particularly fair. At, we recommend following the guidelines of each specific review site.

You could 'pursue' negative reviews and try to go viral. It's a challenging but potentially lucrative tactic.

I probably would not recommend advertising on Yelp.

The best (kosher) thing you can do is provide great service and have printed signage about finding the business on Yelp that follows their rules. And if your client does have a negative review (or positive) respond in a professional appreciative way. That way aside from the aesthetic SERP consequences, if someone goes to the Yelp listing, they'll see that the business owner is doing their best to take care of their unhappy customers.

What do you typically recommend to your clients with poor Yelp review portfolios? Do you have a Yelp playbook?

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