It’s no secret that a large number of people shop online today. Even those who want to buy something from their local store, often go online to find more information about the products they are interested in. This has increased the importance of online reviews a lot as the buyers can only rely on them to make their purchase decisions.
The following are a few interesting facts about online reviews that are based on a study (Brightlocal):
- 68% of customers trust online stores based on positive reviews
- 86% of customers read online reviews about local businesses
- An average customer reads around 10 online reviews before they feel like they can trust a local business
In another analysis by Fakespot that supports a survey, it was found that up to 61% electronics reviews and up to 63% of beauty products reviews on Amazon are fake! So, what does that tell you? If there is one thing, it’s that fake reviews are becoming as prevalent as the habit of reading reviews by potential buyers.
Since the online marketplace has become quite competitive, dishonest businesses have started exploiting online reviews to gain an unfair advantage. They pay review writers to publish fake reviews about their rival brands so that they can steal their customers.
If you think that you have become a victim of a fake review attack, then you can take the following steps:
Respond to the Review
It can be a good idea to confront the reviewer directly. If it’s one bad review among many, then you can let your loyal customers know that it’s fake by addressing their points. You can simply explain your side of the story although you need to be professional and calm in your tone and the words you use. Otherwise, the whole idea may backfire and turn some customers away.
Contact the Review Website
If the review is left on a third-party website or blog, then you need to contact the webmaster or author as soon as possible. You have the right to defend your brand against the fake review attack.
Before you approach the owner of the website, make sure that you have all the information you need to make a case for yourself. Remember, the owner is unlikely to take your word for it. You need to provide facts about why the review is fake. So, write to them while requesting for the review removal, but not without facts and records.
Fight with Positive Reviews
There might be some situations in which you won’t be able to remove the negative reviews altogether even if they are fake. However, you can still fight against them by providing the website with lots of positive reviews. If there are ratings involved, then positive ratings can also improve the average score.
While there is nothing wrong with receiving positive reviews for your brand, it’s important that these are from genuine customers only. Otherwise, you will only become what you want to fight.
Publish Authority Articles
If the fake reviews are appearing on the top of Google search results for various brand-related keywords, then you can push them below by publishing authority articles under your brand. You can guest blog on popular websites to educate the customers what your brand is really about. You can also publish a Wikipedia page and set up social media accounts to bag the first few spots in the SERPs. This way, no one can find the fake reviews even if they exist on the Internet.
Fake review attack is a real problem, and thousands of big and small businesses are affected by it across the globe. Although we don’t have stringent laws against this practice, nothing is stopping you from taking appropriate measures yourself to tackle the problem. Some of these are discussed above for your benefit. So, use the information wisely and prevent your business from taking unfair damage to its reputation. If you are suffering from bad online reviews check out our online reputation management services.