When your client begins to see results with their website, that’s when they start to take the initiative and come up with ideas. All of my successful clients are Googling themselves often to see how their website appears in the search results. I had a conversation the other day on this topic because one client noticed an advertisement on the Google map listings.
I have to share a few patterns that I see with people unfamiliar with how Google operates.
What they think: The rankings they see look the same for everyone else.
Why it’s wrong: Google’s ranking algorithm takes into consideration likely hundreds, if not thousands of data points. The most obvious for local business is user location. They can determine that based on the network connection. Someone searching from 3 towns over is going to see different results than you.
What they ask: Can I create multiple Google accounts and give myself 5-star reviews?
Why it’s wrong: You’d be shocked how often clients want to game the system. Here’s the deal. Sometimes it works in the short-term, and then it’s a ticking time bomb. Attempting to outsmart Google is, well, not smart. Especially if they are a primary source of new leads, which it is for many local service businesses. The risk is not worth the reward vs. doing it the right way to stay long-term.
What they ask: Can I create multiple fake locations to get several map listings?
Why it’s wrong: Again, it sometimes alarms me when a client asks about shady tactics like this. They’ll use an employee’s address, or try a P.O. Box. The other side to multiple locations is that it will double your management work. The reviews and photos don’t duplicate across multiple listings, so you need to generate momentum for each of them to see traffic in the first place.
That’s why it’s essential to build a good relationship with your client. When you educate them, you can gently turn them down and explain the downside to ideas that aren’t worth exploring.
It’s always good to turn this around and give them suggestions for legitimate ways to:
- Improve the website
- Generate real reviews
- Get immediate traffic with Google ads