Importance of blogging

As the New Year looms ever closer, and this next one being a new decade too, marketeers all over are rethinking their strategy for the year. In the case of M3, we do the same, not just for us, but for our clients too.

This year we have been back to basics and revisited our Business Model Canvass. A lengthy team meeting over a working lunch helped us identify where we want to go as a business in 2020, and moreover what we want to be reputed for.

This we based not only on our strengths and great SEO and Paid Ads results, but also profitability, PITA (painfulness) factor, internal skillsets, and the type of business we really want to work with.

In addition we calculated our actual cost per hour at a capacity of 80% (which in truth is realistic for most companies, but feels like we are working at 180% capacity at times here!). This helped us identify which services we wish to promote this year.

Our business model for 2020 unearthed a particular strength in Search Engine Optimisation for our clients, and in particular for the health, manufacturing, engineering and recruitment market sectors (although in truth, we can produce excellent results for most business sectors).

Our business model not only identified that we are excellent at SEO and Paid Ads work for our clients, but also that we are very competitively priced for what we offer within our SEO packages and Paid Ads management fees.

So a campaign to promote our SEO and Paid Ads services is now underway, with SEO, Paid advertising and Email marketing being at the core of every campaign, we want to be known as the Search Engine Optimsation (SEO) go to company in not just Northamptonshire, Cheshire and the surrounding areas, but UK wide.

The Challenge with offering SEO Services

The problem we face is that people are unsure of what they really need, and some do not know what SEO or Search Engine Optimsation (Or sometimes called Search Engine Marketing) actually is, how it works and what it does for companies. People really do not understand what their money spent with us does for them unless we explain it by showing results.

The truth is that if we were to sell it as it is, people would never buy. The reality is that SEO is when a company like ours works with a company like yours to try to get your website found for the search terms that people are typing into Google to find products and services just like yours. So in fact what we are selling is a dream, rather than an actual hard product. In addition, because there are so many elements around that affect what we do (for example, your competition may do something that affects your results, Google may change its’s algorithm again, or the keywords that we researched a few months ago may change as people move around and start new jobs etc.), this means there are no guarantees either. In fact Google will tell you that if anyone guarantees that you will be found first on Google, then do not trust them as it is impossible to guarantee this.
So we have to show the value in what we do.

SEO Company that offers value

So when we work with a company like yours to get you found as high as possible on Google, we work through a number of things with you which include:

  • We research the words people are typing in right now to find products and services that you offer.
  • We look at your website to see if once we drive the right kind of traffic to your website, that it will convert into sales or enquiries.
  • We do the technical work on your website to ensure that the structure of the pages we are optimising will work for Google.
  • We look to improve the links pointing back to your website. We do not get masses of irrelevant links, but a few good quality and relevant backlinks that relate to your specific products and services.
  • We look at your Social Media posts to see how they can be improved for search.
  • We look at your content on the website and work with you to enhance this as well.
  • We report on all our activities undertaken, what we have achieved, and what may require more work.
  • We continually analyse what has worked for your specific website and adjust our campaigns accordingly.
  • We continually make recommendations that will help you improve not only your position on Google, but also tweaks to improve conversion based on factual analytics.

And all this for a reasonable, affordable monthly price.

We are not like the others! We don’t consider ourselves to be your SEO Supplier, but we do consider that we are an extension to your team, working with you to get the results you need to grow your business.

We are not the cheapest option, but we do offer great value for money.
If you are looking for a great SEO company to work with, in the Northampton, Cheshire and surrounding areas and further afield across the UK… then please do not hesitate to call us and we can talk things through with you.

Don’t be an SEO sheep, stand out from the crowd. We look forward to hearing from you.

Call 01604 328899 or email tracy@m3sm.co.uk

Marketing Metrics

Marketing Metrics – Measuring the success (or failure) of your Marketing efforts

When spending time and money marketing your business, it is important to be able to understand exactly what is working and what is not working. Top line… it’s the bottom line that counts. Use Marketing Metrics to help you better understand.

So, where and how do you start to understand all the data in a meaningful way that ensures that your marketing time and budget is well spent.
We have produced a great document that you can download completely Free of Charge. No obligation, no commitment. All we ask is that you think of us when you next need help, and that you share this webpage to those people you think would benefit.

The guide explains things simply and includes examples of marketing metrics calculations to make life really simple.

Marketing Metrics included are:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
  • CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) Payback Time
  • Average Lead Close Rate
  • Marketing Originated Customer Percentage
  • Marketing Influenced Customer Percentage

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

The Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the average amount that you spend to acquire a new customer. This is important because the more you have to pay for a new customer, the lower your margins. As a marketing agency, we want to help you achieve a lower CAC in order to  provide a higher return on investment.

Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

In this metric we want to compare the lifetime value (LTV) of each customer to their cost to acquire that customer. Why does Lifetime Value matter? Many businesses fail to realise the actual amount of revenue a single customer generates for their business. Instead of only focusing only on a single sale, use the complete value of that customer over the lifetime of their engagement
with you.

CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) Payback Time

You truly care about two things – revenue being brought in and how much it costs them to generate that revenue. The CAC payback time looks at how long it will take to payback the investment made to acquire a new customer. While it depends on the industry that you are in, in general the ideal Cost to Acquire a Customer Payback Time is under 12 months. High performing businesses may see payback time as low as 5-7 months. The sooner the payback, the sooner your clients are profitable with each customer.

Average Lead Close rate

It’s not good enough to just generate tons and tons of leads. A lead that never converts into a customer is essentially worthless. You want to show how qualified your leads are with this metric. The lead close rate will be highly dependent on the industry that you are in, but it can also show symptoms of internal issues within your organisation or within your marketing efforts.

Marketing Originated Customer Percentage

Here you’re really starting to see the value of everything that you’re doing. This metric directly ties your marketing efforts to your bottom line. Your Marketing Originated Customer percentage is a measure of how many new customers that you have generated  that you would not have had without that marketing. It’s a much more concrete evaluation of your efforts than just number of leads and customers.

Marketing Influenced Customer Percentage

The previous metric was all about new customers that originated because of your marketing efforts. This metric is all about the number of customers that are closed after interacting with your marketing. Leads can come from anywhere: marketing, word-of-mouth, referrals, Google, networking, etc. Whether you generated that lead with your marketing efforts or not, you need to understand how many customers interacted with your marketing efforts in order to understand how effective they are.

GET YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD HERE:

6-bottom-line-marketing-metrics-your-clients-care-about

Adwords Grants news

Adwords Grants newsAdvertisers on either Google’s Ad Grants or Grantspro programmes should have received an email on 14th December notifying them of  policy updates that will come into force on 1st January 2018. It left very little room for manoeuvre, especially with the Christmas break in between. In fact just 10 full working days to react and take action.
Help is at Hand
The Ad Grants policy changes are designed to help non-profits use their grants budgets more efficiently. However, the changes are very well hidden and so we have highlighted these below:

  • All Ad Grants accounts must maintain an account level CTR (Click Through Rate) of 5% as a minimum ( Grantspro accounts only had to maintain a minimum CTR, which was 1%)
  • There will be restrictions on the use of single-word keywords, with exceptions: “owned brand terms, medical conditions, basic keywords relating directly to supporting a charity, or due to the sensitive nature of the causes that charities support”
  • There will be a minimum quality score requirement of 2/10 for all keywords
  • Advertisers can no longer bid on branded keywords that they don’t already own
  • The $2 maximum  CPC (Cost Per Click) bid ceiling is being lifted but only for keywords in campaigns that have the “Maximise Conversions” bid strategy applied
  • Geo-targeting settings must be in use
  • Each campaign must have a minimum of two ad groups with at least two active ads in each
  • Accounts must have a minimum of two active site-link extensions

 
The biggest challenge for Charities is likely to be the Click Through Rate of 5% as a minimum and will potentially require the most work.

How to improve your PPC Click Through rate

So the starting point has to be filtering out these under performing keywords and optimising them. Make sure your keywords are themed and relevant to the ads, optimise the ads, and make sure they are using those keywords, ensure you include well optimised ad extensions, and include the two site link extensions as a given, and perhaps most importantly research those negative and therefore irrelevant keywords well, and exclude them.

Restrictions on the use of single-word keywords

You may find that you do not need to do anything to rectify this. As this is labelled a ‘restriction’, you might find that come the 1st of January you start to see a drop in impressions for a number of single-word keywords and this will be the reason.
Go through your single-word keywords now so you have an idea of where the drop-offs might occur to get yourself prepared. Perhaps you can expand on the single-word keywords and add relevant variations with multiple words that you aren’t already bidding on.

Minimum Quality Score requirement of 2 for all keywords

This one shouldn’t be a problem as unless you’re doing something wrong, your quality scores should never get lower than 2 anyway.
However, if somehow this is the case then the quick fix option is to pause any keywords with a quality score of 1 immediately. Putting the keyword in a themed ad group with relevant ads and landing pages is what you’re aiming for.

You can only bid on owned brand terms

If you’re bidding on a branded term, you need to be the owner. However, if you have some campaigns where you’re bidding on event names e.g. certain marathons or obstacle course races, then you’re going to want to continue to bid on a number of “brand terms” for those events that you don’t own.
This is particularly alarming as in their own words “any account found in violation of program policies is subject to automatic suspension without notification.” The short timescale they’ve given to respond to these changes only adds to the importance of this one.
If you’re concerned, pause those brand terms you don’t own.

The $2 max CPC bid ceiling is being lifted

As long as you apply the “maximise conversions” bid strategy to any campaign in which you want your keywords to break through said ceiling. Go to your campaign settings then scroll down to Location options (advanced), expand it and change your bid strategy. The strategy works off conversion data, so make sure your conversions are all set up correctly and have enough data.

Geo-targeting settings must be in use

Go to your campaign settings and make sure you have at least one location chosen.

Campaigns must have 2 ad groups minimum with two active ads in each

Another pretty fundamental requirement, the solution to which could be more involved depending on the current state and size of your account. Every advertiser should be carrying out ad copy testing and when we last spoke to Google, they actively recommend testing three as opposed to two ads as a minimum.

Accounts must have two active site-link extensions as a minimum

If you find yourself in the position of needing to address this one, then you need our help, please feel free to pick up the phone 01604 328899

Trusted Digital Media Advisers

Trusted Digital Media Advisers

Yesterday two members of the M3 team went to Google in London for a days training with a view to gain an additional qualification as a Google Certified Trusted Digital Media Advisers.
The day started with the usual networking, and then a quick overview of this new initiative from Google. In fact, this was the launch event where around just 100 Google Partners from across the UK came together to learn new skills and hopefully gain the qualification. With 2 places per agency, this means that there are currently only around 50 agencies who would have been given this opportunity.
With education on SERPS (SEO), paid advertising and other methods of ensuring our customers can make the most of the digital age and the opportunity it presents, this was an intense boot-camp style day.
The benchmark was set high, with all the Google employees who attended the event sitting the exam just the day before, under the same conditions we ourselves, we are pleased to announce that both Gemma and Tracy passed with flying colours. In fact, even beating some of the Google team scores!
With all the knowledge gained from the day, and the ongoing Google insights, M3 have decided to share that knowledge at a regular monthly event, details of which can be found here:
Digital Masterclass Events
If the uptake is good, Google have promised to attend an event here, so please pass on the link to anyone who you feel may benefit from a training session or two on the latest from Google.
Thanks, and looking to see you soon…
Tracy and Gemma
Trusted Digital Media Advisors – as Certified by Google
Trusted Digital Media Advisers

As a Digital Marketing Agency, M3SM can offer a variety of services to enhance your business, our hashtag tips can also promote your business to a wider audience on social media. Hashtags are a prominent part of today’s online society and provide a great opportunity to get your posts noticed by a vast amount of people by categorising content. They make your company and content discoverable to your own followers as well as others engaging with a common theme or interest that you may be discussing. Google Plus, Twitter and Instagram are three platforms that are huge advocates of the hashtag trend and will most definitely boost the visibility of your chosen posts and as a result will further promote your business. M3SM can help you make the most of this simple promotion method and could massively enhance your reach! blog-970723_640

Days of the Week Hashtag Tips

Using different hashtags depending on each day of the week has become a popular trend, both for businesses and personal use. Here are some hashtag tips and examples of what tags to use and how they can be adapted to suit your particular content:

  • #MondayMotivation or #MotivationMonday – Annihilate those monday blues and provide viewers with an upbeat post to start their week off, whether that be a motivational picture quote or an offer they can’t refuse!
  • #TransformationTuesday – Show off how your company or business has or can transform customers lifestyle or mindset. This hashtag also gives opportunity for more health and exercise posts to get seen on this day, so if your company promotes health and well-being then make the most of this hashtag and post on a Tuesday.
  • #WednesdayWisdom – This hashtag provides an opportunity to give your viewers a smart business trick or hack, or you could even supply potential customers further information about what your company offers and how it could benefit others.
  • #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT – The most popular day of the week hashtag used and viewed by millions of people across the globe. Use it to show something you or your company did in the past and how your company has grown. You could also explain products or services your company offered previously and ask viewers for feedback to initiate engagement.
  • #FridayFunday or #FridayFeeling – Celebrate that the weekend is here and post something funny or exciting to leave viewers on a positive note as they approach the weekend. Incorporate upcoming news or what your company plans to offer which could benefit viewers and give them something to think about over the weekend before the dreaded monday blues come back around.

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Hashtags – More Hashtag Tips
Research (courtesy of LinchpinSeo) suggests that tweets with hashtags receive 2X more engagement than those without. However, using too many hashtags in your post may hinder your engagement. Twitter’s own research suggests that if you use more than two hashtags, your engagement drops an average of 17%. It is also important to double check what other contexts your chosen hashtag might be being used for. Before you post your own version of the hashtag, make sure that you have the same understanding of what the hashtag represents as the rest of people using it on the platform, otherwise some embarrassment could arise. You should also provide viewers with an opportunity to engage and start up a conversation or discussion with your company or others also viewing your post is also a good method of promotion. These conversations may spark interest and give your company ideas of what your target audience are looking for in regards to your business or services.
Lastly, using hashtags on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn will not give a very good response or amount of engagement. Viewers may be put off by too many hashtags on these platforms as they cannot engage with them the same way as other social media sites, such as Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus so be careful where you place your hashtags!
As mentioned previously, hashtags have a huge impact on the amount of engagement you receive on your chosen social media platform. It gives the opportunity for hundreds of more viewers to read your post even if they don’t follow you, they just simply type in your hashtag and up pops your post. Businesses and companies most definitely gain huge amounts of visibility and promotion through this technique and it is so easy to do and even better, it’s free!
To find out more about M3SM and the services we offer, you can contact us on info@m3sm.co.uk or follow our social media. Follow us on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Voice Recognition and Search

Did you know that 20% of mobile searches on Google are done using Voice recognition?

What does this mean for you? 
Your website is probably optimised for search in the traditional way, but now is the time to start thinking about the different ways people will search for products and services just like yours.
If you are Business to Consumer, the average of 20% is probably higher. But even Business to Business need to take Voice search into consideration.
You will have seen the adverts for Alexa and Google home, you may have your smart phone connected to your car via bluetooth, you will have questioned Siri on your iPad.
In each instance, when you search for information, you speak it. The way we speak to our smart devices is very different to the way we type.
We will show you some of the queries that are making an impact for our clients right now!

Questions people speak to search

When people are on the move, we are finding they are asking their smartphones to find “near me” places.
Let’s look at traditional types searches.

With voice recognition, the wording changes completely, and the above typed search queries are now spoken as below:

  • Find a hotel near me
  • Find a Chinese restaurant near me
  • Massage therapist near me
  • Find a car repair shop near me
  • Pizza delivery near me
  • Carpet cleaning service near me

You can see that people are asking questions of their device, and so comes a dilemma for your website.

How do you get found for these type of queries?

Google is all about presenting relevant content (not just words, but images and videos too) to the people who are searching, Google is looking for well constructed web pages that are safe and secure, quick to load, mobile friendly and are relevant for that particular search query. It want’s to showcase new, fresh and original content as much as possible too.
You need to ensure that you are writing original content that is genuinely of interest to people. Please note that I am saying of interest to PEOPLE, not to Google. Your readers determine a part of the Google algorithm but showing an interest in your webpage and others leading from that page.
If you are finding this interesting, for example, you may look at other pages of our website, and this web page engagement lets Google know that the page was interesting and therefore relevant to that search. If I had optimised this page just for Google, you may find it boring, and will literally bounce straight off the page and onto something more interesting elsewhere.
Within your content, you may be able to answer some of the questions people are asking.
It’s not just near me queries, but others too such as:

How does ??? What is ??? What does ???

Questions can be answered by way of content that helps your business not only get found, but become a resource of valuable information too.

Answering questions helps clients and prospects understand your knowledge, and therefore you become the “go to” company of choice.
Content is still king, and we can’t see that changing any time soon.

British Water Workshop – At Google.

Today saw M3 Strategic Marketing taking over rooms at Google in St Giles, London.
When British Water asked us to deliver a workshop all about Google to their members, what better place to hold it than at Google’s London H.Q. in St Giles. Being a Google Partner means that Google support us from day to day, which in turn means we can deliver that expertise direct to our clients, in this case British Water.

British Water Google Micro Moments
Google presenting “Micro Moments”

A full day of training on Synergistic Marketing, which pulls offline and online together, was delivered by Derek Bourne of Waterbourne Ltd, Michael Spence and Tracy Spence. In addition, Google delivered a presentation all about “Micro Moments”and played the “Higher or Lower” game with the audience too.
The room was bursting at the seams and British Water had a reserve list of people waiting in the wings, and no one cancelled at the last minute.
The workshop itself was jam packed with useful insights, suggestions of tools to help the companies in attendance, hints, tips and the questions flowed.
British Water Workshop at Google
Michael Spence – Moments of Truth

Unfortunately, the day itself was marred with the terrorist attack on Westminster that same afternoon, just a mile down the road, but it did not stop the learning.
British Water have asked us to deliver the same again but near Manchester, and we will also be delivering a series of smaller, more detailed workshops targeted at different levels of knowledge a little later in the year.

Thank you for an excellent training workshop on Digital Marketing yesterday. I think most attendees were overwhelmed with your knowledge and it is clear that we could have delivered a full day or two day training course!
Lila Thompson – International Director, British Water

Google SEO

Recently, Google released a new video all about SEO and how to hire an SEO expert near you! What is interesting is the number of SEO companies who are now actively sharing this video exclaiming that all along they have been Optimising websites using Google Best Practices and with you as a customer in mind.
Well, we totally agree and are also going to share this “How to Hire an SEO” video with you.

What is also interesting are the number of “SEO” companies who are not happy to share this, and we think this is very telling.
As a business ourselves, we want value for money and to work with companies who understand our business and want to help us grow and grow with us. We want  to work with companies who are transparent, honest and talk with us.
Why would our clients be any different? 
As Google says, SEO is not just about rankings and getting clicks on a website, if that were the case, my job would be easy. I could just sit here clicking away. But, SEO is all about the user experience from the starting point of their specific customer journey, to their onsite experience and ultimately the sale and even after sale service.
We work with all our clients to understand their business and their potential clients, to identify who wants what information at different times of their experience with our clients website, and to make that journey as simple as possible.
We are not about clicks, but we are about converting your website visitors into loyal customers, giving you lifetime value from each sale we achieve as a team.
Please do watch the video and contact us if you have any questions at all or simply request your FREE SEO web audit by clicking here >>

Google Adwords Partner Expert

As a Google AdWords Partner we are exposed to a lot of training and Paid Advertising Intelligence that other agencies are not privy to, and this helps us help our clients grow their businesses. So when the Giant in online advertising Google suggests a meeting at your premises, we didn’t say no. However, never to miss an opportunity, we arranged to meet at their offices in St Giles, London. This meeting was to discuss specifically about our own business, and to determine what else Google needed to provide us to help us grow.
Specifically in the meeting we discussed Gmail Advertising on Google, as both ourselves and Google see this is a great way forward for many of our clients. It is currently not common and so the costs are also a lot less than perhaps other forms of paid advertising on the Google networks. In addition we discussed the importance of having a strategy for each client to determine the very best route, the ideal landing page, and the best keywords too.
With any paid adverts, you need to consider what pert of the customer journey your prospect is on, what they want from your website when they land on it and what tactics you need to employ to convert that click into a sale going forward.
For example, if someone is searching the query “How easy is it to get a business loan” they will be less likely to convert into a sale than someone who is searching “Business loan for van”. With this in mind, the landing pages should be very different and the strategies should also be different. The “How to” query should take you to a landing page that gives you ideas as to what documents you may need (a checklist perhaps). Because people who land here are likely to go away and find these documents, then we would also recommend a re-marketing strategy from this page. Whereas, those who are being more specific, they already know what they want, and so a quote form or calculator would be more appropriate. Here if they complete the form, you already have the information to enable you to make contact and perhaps close the deal, and a different re-marketing strategy should be implemented for those who did not complete the form (abandoned the process).
If you are looking at your online paid advertising and are serious about getting results, then look to M3 Strategic Marketing to help you devise a Google AdWords Strategy before you take the plunge. Using M3 will save you money n wasted clicks and get the most from your Google AdWords Spend.
Contact us now on 01604 328899

Outsource your seo

IS SEO taking over your life?

Finding that you are spending too much of your time on SEO and not seeing the results you want? Take back control of your working week by taking the decision to outsource your SEO.
Let us do the hard work! Search Engine optimisation is both methodical and time consuming. M3SM will work on your behalf to get you found on the search engines, leaving you to handle the new opportunities that come your way.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of helping your website come closer to the top of the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. A part of SEO relies on the structure of your website too, and Google are looking in particular at websites which are mobile friendly, websites which are safe and secure, and websites which load quickly. All of these are based around the user experience on a website, which if right, will increase the chances of website visitors becoming customers too.
Time & time again, we deliver great results for our clients, many of whom have been with us for years. We work hard to meet your goals, & ensure you get the sales leads or sales orders you need to grow your business. Take some time to look over our testimonials http://www.m3sm.co.uk/testimonials/
We take pride in working with various industries. Take a look at some of our case studies.
http://www.m3sm.co.uk/case-studies/
Making the final decision to outsource is very important so the first thing I would recommend to do it take full advantage of our free SEO audit. http://www.m3sm.co.uk/request-a-free-seo-analysis/
Simply fill out your information. We will then send you a full analysis report depicting where changes need to be made to improve how you are being found and customer experience on your site. Should you have any questions please email us on info@m3sm.co.uk
We invite you to spend some time to look at our website. http://www.m3sm.co.uk/
M3SM look forward to working with you in the near future.

When Tracy from M3 Strategic Marketing heard about the NatWest Boost programme, she wanted to find out more, and after lengthy discussions with her local business development manager, Tracy started work on preparing a schedule of education for business seminars all about Digital marketing.

NatWest BoostEducation For Business Seminars:

  • Understanding Analytics
  • Web Conversion Techniques
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Paid Online Advertising
  • Email Marketing

After delivering the Analytics course in both Northampton and Milton Keynes and then the Conversion course in Milton Keynes, the feedback or these instructional and educational seminars was so good that NatWest asked if once the 5 were done, they could start all over again, to give those who missed it first time around, the opportunity to attend, and to encourage more business owners and employees to take advantage of this free Digital marketing training.
If you are looking to increase your knowledge on Digital marketing and other subjects, then contact your local NatWest Business Development manager and ask how the NatWest Boost programme can help you  grow your business.
Dates for Early 2017 as follows: 

  • Wednesday 22nd February 2017 – Nat West in Grange Park – 8am Start – “Website Conversion”
  • Tuesday 28th February 2017 – Nat West in Milton Keynes – 8am Start – “SEO – get found on Google”
  • Wednesday 22nd February 2017 – Nat West in Grange Park – 8am Start – “SEO – get found on Google”

 

Did not publish my review

It was announced on the BBC News site this morning that an alarming number of businesses are creating fake reviews on the web, or cherry picking reviews in order that only the good ones show. Fake reviews damage trust and so it is important that we can understand how reviews work and how we can be sure the reviews on the site are real.
Let me give you an example. Many years ago I spoke to a company in Aylesbury, England who had previously engaged the services of an SEO “expert”. They were doing very well locally and were very pleased with the results. However, as soon as they decided to stop with this SEO “Expert” their local results plummeted.
On investigation, we could see that their web presence locally had been enhanced through the use of fake reviews. The SEO “expert” (it makes me very angry to call him this) had simply created 10 fake reviews a month, using exactly the same words, just creating a new user.

How do YOU spot fake reviews?

When you are looking for a product or service, it may be a holiday, or white goods or… well anything really, you may want to look online and read about other peoples experiences with the company you are looking to buy from, or the product itself.  We need the reviews to be real, honest and therefore trustworthy in order that we can all benefit from these crowd-sharing tools.

Our top tips for spotting fake online reviews are:

  1. CHECK THE SCORE – If someone has 10/10 every single time, they may be cherry picking. Don’t get me wrong, some people really are very good at what they do, but when you see this, it is time to look at multiple review sites to see if it is similar across them all. So, if on one review site the company consistently scores 10/10 yet on another they score 5/10 then you know these reviews are probably not real.
  2. CHECK THE REVIEWER – When you look at the review, you can generally find out a little more about the person making that review, and often you can see the other reviews this person has made. If this person has made many reviews and they are all great, then this person is either very easy to please, only rates and never critiques, or is fake. Generally, as individuals,  we stick to a few Social media and Review sites. If your reviewer is appearing on multiple review sites and giving the same reviews over an over, they may have a lot of time on their hands, or they are not real people.
  3. CHECK THE RESPONSES – Often a fake review is just that, no engagement. Simply put, when people create a fake review, why would they then sign in and comment? Some fake reviews of course can be created by family and friends, and then a comment may be added, but as a rule, fake reviews do not get feedback.
  4. CHECK FOR CHERRY PICKING – This one is a tough one, how can you tell if a company is hiding (not publishing) bad reviews? When comparing other review websites, you can often find comments made about companies where they actually say “I commented on… the did not publish”. As you can see from the screenshot, a simple search will identify if this is the case, simply add in the company name or product name to get more relevant results.

Did not publish my review
It is important for you the consumer to keep review sites honest and reliable, so please SHARE these tips and educate your friends and family in order that we can all benefit from the knowledge shared by real people.

KEEP OUR REVIEW SITES REAL!