Mar 15, 2016
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Hello again!

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how important it is to get customers to include specific details in their reviews, and I wanted to share it with the community here:

Look Beyond the Stars (Your Customers Do)


This post discusses what constitutes a valuable review.

Here’s what to look for:

  • It has decent star rating attached
  • It is substantial, and therefore credible
  • It is recent and corroborated by other, similar opinions

Some questions I'm curious about:

Do you prompt your client's customers to be more specific in their reviews?

If you don't use a prompt, do you find the your client's customers write good reviews with substantial content or do you find most customers rely on the star ratings to get their point across?

What types of reviews do you find to be most persuasive? Are you more likely to value a two sided argument with pros and cons? What types of negative comments dissuade you from soliciting a business?

Personally, I like to see balanced reviews. In my mind, they feel more authentic and fair. If I see one negative review, (even if it's comprehensive) I'll still give the business a chance if it's balanced by a variety of positive reviews. I know I am susceptible to aggregate star ratings and are more likely to use a business with at least 3+ stars. 1 and 2 star aggregates are a turn off for me unless there aren't many alternatives.

What does everyone think on a consultant/agency level and on a personal level?

If you found the blog post interesting, please share it with anyone that you think would find it valuable!

Don't hesitate to reach out if you ever want to discuss reputation management and if you have any requests for topics that we can cover on the blog.

Please follow on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog!

P.S. I'm the content marketing manager at, and I'm currently on the look out for agencies, consultants and <acronym title="Search Engine Optimization" style="border-width: 0px 0px 1px; border-bottom-style: dotted; border-bottom-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); cursor: help;">SEO</acronym> firms to collaborate with! If you're interested, please let me know and we can see how we can work together.


Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Awesome sauce Garrett!

I was hoping you'd share that one with our members! (And LOVE that image BTW!)

I'm curious to hear thoughts about this AND answers to Garrett's Qs...

"Do you prompt your client's customers to be more specific in their reviews?"

"If you don't use a prompt, do you find the your client's customers write good reviews with substantial content or do you find most customers rely on the star ratings to get their point across?"
Mar 15, 2016
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Thanks Linda!

I'm very curious to hear if this type of prompting in emails is a common practice yet or if there are any reasons why consultants and agencies might not do it.
Oct 25, 2013
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If anyone reading this hasn't seen it yet, Colan made an interesting post a few days ago about how Google lets you post photos with your reviews for local businesses now.

One thing I'd love to hear a little bit more about... Garrett, I know that Google still bolds the words in the little 3 reviews preview area that they think are important... do those words still factor fairly heavily into Google's understanding of what a business does, and who might be interested in them? I don't recommend to clients that they try to influence what customers say (spend more time thinking about ways to identify happy customers, and ask them at congruent times to leave a review) but it'd be interesting if customers happening to mention certain keywords more than others had any kind of ranking benefit.
Mar 15, 2016
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Thanks for sharing Colan's article James.

Keywords are important in the actual reviews, but from what I've gathered online, typically the bolded words in the review you mentioned are related to the original search query. There are glitches, but that's the most common explanation I've seen.

Since Social Media and Review Signals will continue to grow in importance in the context of SEO, I believe that customer review keywords (as long as they're not stuffed) will continue to increase in value.
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