We are not setting out to change the mind of anyone who is responsible for marketing or maybe owns a company; that those reviews [with the star ratings] that show up in the search engine results of how important it is to first collect feedback from client as a key component in day to day business operations.
For the sake of argument how about taking the point of view of a potential bed and breakfast customer, staying in town for a couple of nights and looking to determine where a good place to stay will be within a particular town or location.
The situation could be that a group of friends during a visit to a town for concert are looking for a nice clean place to stay [say] located somewhere in the King Cross region of London, UK. As is normal in the mobile technologically advanced world in which we live today, a quick internet search making use of Google’s search engine in this case will provide the browser with a list of hotels and bed & breakfast establishments in the region that will be suitable for them to stay for the required couple of nights.
From the search results it is clear for all to see the user ratings of the relevant hotels and other lodgings that are now prominently displayed both within the SERPsand in addition to that also on the accompanying area map that is now displayed.
Any prospective client is now able to follow the link as defined by the pin of the bed & breakfast establishment and then the searcher is able to see sometimes details as well as those summaries of the latest customer reviews. These reviews show up next to other relevant company information as it pertains to the organisation; this may include hours of operations, full physical address, phone number and email address.
We have of course used bed & breakfast and hotels for this example but this equally applies to restaurants, car dealers, cosmetic surgeons, dentists, veterinarian surgeon and other business that now can be broken due to the one really negative review.
As we can see the use of company client reviews within search engine marketing can often be all that is necessary to put one in a position to make a decision concerning where to stay for a few nights.
It is our view that businesses should incorporate collecting feedback and reviews from clients as a matter of day to day operations. This will a) provide the business with valuable market research and b) allow it to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors as more and more of search continues to be dominated by the reviews given by real clients on their experience with the company in question.