Kiev Ukraine - October 07 2015: New Google Plus logo sign printed on paper cut and pinned on cork bulletin board. Google is USA multinational corporation.

If I had a dollar for every time one of my clients tried to post a review on their own Google+ page, I would be a very rich woman!

One of the first things I do for a potential client is a digital analysis. Now, this analysis is comprised of things we digital marketers consider to be common sense markers for US, not for our clients. Consequently, as I perform my analysis, one of the first things I look for is their Google+ claimed, populated, and reviewed. And more often than not, that’s where I’ll see the business owner has written a review for themselves. Big no-no. HUGE.

Don’t get me wrong, Google LOVES for you to use Google products, and the more actively you engage, the more likely it is that you will be found.

After counseling a list of best practices, it occurred to me to write them down, and share them. Hopefully, you’ll get a benefit of a boost online, and at the very least, save your Google+ rating.

Do NOT:

  1. Write your own Google review. You knew that one was coming, right? ‘Nuff said.
  2. Have an employee write a review for you. Same thing as above.
  3. Hire an SEO company to post reviews for you. Google doesn’t like it. Period. This rates right up there with an employee writing a review. No, actually, it’s worse. If that isn’t enough, did I mention you could be fined?? Some companies have been fined as much as $100K! Yeah, save the reviews for legitimate customers.
  4. Offer incentives for people to write reviews for your company. If Google finds out your offering incentives, reviews will start missing. Google deems this as untrustworthy. They think, “Why would you have to pay people to review you? Are you that bad?”
  5. Have a friend or satisfied customer write a review for our company from the same IP address as others have written reviews. You know the scenario. “Joe” comes in raving about your customer service, and a lightbulb goes on over your head, that shines, “Have Joe write that review now, here, at the business!” No. Let Joe wait, it’s not worth it.
  6. The same, exact review is posted on various sites around the web. (Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, Google+, etc). Google, like many others, likes authenticity. If the same review is posted on several sites, it says you “may” be trying to manipulate the system. No one likes to be manipulated, so if someone is being that helpful, ask them to tweak their words.
  7. Your business gets many reviews within a limited period of time. This just speaks “shady”. We all know that, so don’t do it.

To-DO’s:

  1. Write a complete introduction. This involves utilizing keywords, in a conversational flow, to build SEO power.
  2. Verify your page. If your page is verified, it will get preferred ranking over a page that isn’t verified.
  3. Add a badge to your website. What’s a badge, you ask? A badge makes it easier to follow your Google+ page and find it, too, for that matter. Simply go the Google+ Badge Page, copy your code, and your on your way!
  4. Populate your photos professionally. A grainy, blurry, or poorly lighted photo conveys that your business just might be the same.
  5. Share content. Don’t “set it and forget it”, that’s not how it works. You want to be actively engaged.
  6. Join a community and participate in a hangout. You would be amazed at how much exposure you’ll get with this alone.
  7. Integrate with YouTube. Don’t have a YouTube channel? Get one. They will work together, and whenever someone posts a comment on one, it will automatically post on the other. Voila!
  8. Claim a custom URL. Ever see a Google+ page with a bunch of numbers behind it? Yeah, you don’t want that. You want something that is easily rememberable.
  9. REPLY to those Google reviews you get. This shows you’re actively engaged as a business member, and that you appreciate your customers.

Some of this is easy, and some of it boggles the mind. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give the Digital Moxie office a call, and remember…. “When your marketing needs a kick, call that Digital Moxie Chic!”