You should never pay for Google Reviews because not only is it against Google’s terms of service, but it is illegal under federal law. According to The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if the reviewer doesn’t mention in the review that they were paid to write the review, then the FTC will consider that an undisclosed paid endorsement which has issued fines against companies from $100,000 up to $3.6 million.
Anytime someone leaves a review for your business, it’s is defined as an “endorsement”. Paying someone or a company to write those reviews can come in the form of cash, free products or services, discounts, and other benefits. All of these transactions are classified as an “undisclosed paid endorsement.”
If you have received any of these in the past, you must notify the public that the review was paid for. The FTC has a history of punishing people with fines of tens of thousands of dollars all the way up to the multi-million dollar range.
In this article, we’ll cover the reasons not to pay for reviews, and how you can set up your business to properly generate positive reviews organically!
Why Would You Consider Paying For Google Reviews?
Google has been on a cleanout rampage in 2022 against companies that have broken the terms of service by purchasing fake reviews. But, there is a deepseated issued with the marketing industry and especially for small businesses listed on Google Maps.
Some important questions need to be addressed to create a solution for these small businesses making bad and even illegal decisions.Let’s take a look at the top problems small businesses face that lead them to trying unethical and illegal methods to garner positive reviews:
Why do companies feel the need to purchase reviews?
Google reviews are a valuable metric for small businesses. Those that have many positive reviews on Google typically generate many more calls, clicks, and visits to their website and business that leads to higher sales. Without those reviews, the phone lines feel like crickets chirping.
Many small business owners feel they need to increase their reviews and lean towards purchasing them, especially since companies outside the U.S. constantly email offers to sell them at extremely cheap rates. When you’re a small fish in a big pond, these small businesses feel desperate, but they shouldn’t. The first thing to do is set expectations. As a new small business, you haven’t had the time to earn those reviews. Work for them. Do outreach. Hire a digital marketing agency like Nickel SEO to guide you on the daily process of generating more positive reviews over time. There’s more to it than simply having 20-30 reviews show up in a month. There are many effective strategies that work better for each type of industry and sales process. We can help you generate real reviews, organically, and faster.
How can new companies compete with long-standing companies?
There are two answers to this.
The first is, you can’t. If you’re a small business, don’t expect to be competing on the scale of a multi-billion dollar company without putting in the work and paying the price. Fast results, mean high costs.
The second answer is, you can if you have the money and the right team. Some of the ways small businesses compete is through lower overhead costs, more flexible marketing strategies, faster response to market changes, local advertising, and working with internet marketing teams that can provide more in-depth audience and keyword targeting rather than the broad strokes that larger companies use.
w can you start getting new customers without already having reviews for people to look at?
How can you generate positive reviews quickly?
In order to generate positive reviews at an accelerated pace, it may require some flexibility on pricing or offering specials, paying for online advertising to generate an initial client base, or even external advertising. You may also have provided your services to friends and family in the past who are able to help you get some reviews initially as well.
If you’re looking for more creative ways to get Google Reviews faster, reach out to our digital marketing agency at Nickel SEO in Fort Worth, Texas. We’ve helped hundreds of small businesses generate real reviews over the years.
Stop Buying Reviews. Generate Positive Reviews Organically.
When you choose Nickel SEO for your local SEO digital marketing team, you gain access to the best tools in the market that fit your budget. We have experience with a wide variety of tools that track reviews and even reach out to customers for their feedback. Want to display only your best reviews while still receiving the negative feedback to improve? There are funnels built for that too that we can implement for your small business.