Does your business have an online presence? If not, you should start creating one now. As more people become familiar with the power of the Internet to connect people and businesses, the demand for credible online reviews has never been higher. 

It can be challenging to know whether a site or product review you receive is credible. Are the reviewers willing to take the time to write a fair and honest review? Do they seem passionate about what they’re saying? Are their photos, videos, and other resources available for viewing? 

Most importantly, do the reviews seem genuine? If you’re wondering how to find legitimate online reviews for your business, check out these tips from experts:

8 Tips to Check the Credibility of Online Reviews

1. Check the Reviewer’s Profile

First, check the profile page of the reviewer to make sure they’re who they say they are. If not, the review could easily be a scam. There may be occasions when you need to write a quick review on a subject you’re particularly expert in. 

For example, if you frequently buy watches, you could write a review for the various manufacturers and watch models you’ve purchased in the past year. Otherwise, you could send a quick note to a friend or colleague if you want to send a quick note of appreciation for a great sales tip or great service.

When you want to get honest and genuine online reviews, it’s important to check the profile page of the reviewer to make sure they’re who they say they are.

2. Check the Reviewer’s Grammar

Grammar is a huge factor in determining the credibility of an online review. The best review sites let you see the full review so you can see how the writer is using their words. 

Grammar problems can indicate issues with the review itself. But they could also indicate a problem with the writer. A basic check-up can help you spot these problems early on.

3. Check Other Reviews of the Reviewer

You can also check out other reviews written by the same person or someone similar to see if they’re similar to yours. What other reviews or comments are on the same topic as your business? What are their backgrounds? Where do they live? How do they meet suppliers? 

By looking into the backgrounds and experiences of other people, you can get a good idea if they have the right insights to provide you with honest reviews. This is especially important when you’re trying to get reviews on websites where you haven’t set up a detailed profile.

4. Check Online Reviews for your Competitor

One of the best ways to find legitimate online reviews for your business is to check out what others have to say about your competitors. There are several ways to do this. You could look at reviews posted on sites like Google, or check out reviews left on social media platforms.

5. Check the Reviewer’s Purchase History 

Keep in mind that some businesses may return your business after you’ve written a review. If a business does not respond to your emails or requests for information, or if they return your business with a smaller order, consider these factors before rating them low on reviews. 

Check out the products and services the company offers. Are they similar to or identical to the products you offer? Is the company located in the same location as you? Are they willing to give you a heads-up if they’re going to be shipping out a large volume of products? Are they authentic? Are they reliable? 

If you’re unsure whether a review is legitimate, there are a few ways to find out. One way is to ask the anonymous reviewer if they would like to go on the record with their review. If they would like to, great! Just make sure to get their permission first.

6. Avoid Rewarding Bad Reviews

If you receive a lot of low-quality or bad reviews, it may be a sign that you should ignore them. Low-quality reviews are often from people who have little expertise in the area. 

If someone is buying a 120-pound gorilla suit, they’re not going to be satisfied with a 10-dollar rating on Google. These people are usually trying to sell you something, so the lower the rating, the more important it is to ignore them. 

Similarly, if you receive a lot of positive reviews, it may be that the people writing them know what they’re talking about. You might want to double-check the facts before trusting them, but in many cases, you should.

7. Don’t Just Take Online Reviews at Face Value

When you receive an online review, your first reaction should be to take the review and its author to the task. This is especially important when the review is critical.

8. Be Cautious of “Paid Reviews” 

There are several ways to tell when a review is paid for. One way is if the review is written by an agent or a manager who is representing a company. This is very different from a true review, which refers to an honest assessment of a product or service. 

Another way is if the review has been altered or “poached,” which happens when someone takes over the writing of a review for a product or service and posts it on their account.

How to Handle Fake Online Reviews?

1. Respond Immediately

Somebody is bound to leave a bad review on your website. It happens. There is no way to stop it. The best you can do is respond as soon as possible and privately. You can respond to each review or choose a smaller set of reviews that you’ll address individually. 

When someone leaves a review, you don’t just want to smile and say thank you. You also want to take the time to respond privately and thoroughly. Be sure to: Write the review in a private message. This way, the person can’t easily see it and you can address each point individually. 

This way, the person can’t easily see it and you can address each point individually. Include any relevant information about the product or company. This includes the advantages and disadvantages of the product, as well as any special offers or discounts that are available at the moment.

2. Be Professional

Some businesses will try to downplay the severity of bad reviews. They’ll say things like, “The reviews on this page are terrible. Click here to see what others have to say.” This is not a good approach. You don’t want your customers to feel bad if they don’t love your products or service. 

You want them to feel positive, not put off by your poor business practices. The only way to proactively ensure that your reviews are positive is to treat them as such. Be especially mindful of this in your first few months of business. 

Don’t be afraid to respond quickly and directly to reviews if you’ve made a mistake or done something wrong.

3. Report Fake Online Reviews

If you have any concerns about a review, you should report them to the company within 24 hours. The reason you feel the review is fake. Your order number, if you’re able to provide it. A description of the problem you’re experiencing. A list of the things the reviewer needs to improve on.

4. Learn From Your Past Experiences

Some businesses make a big deal about their positive online reviews. They post videos, share their stories, and brag about how much their reviews are worth. 

While this is a helpful way to show the value of your reviews, don’t forget to take care of your reputation first. If you receive a bad rating from a previous customer, take the time to respond privately and thoroughly to let them know why you let them down. 

Be especially mindful of this in your first few months of business. Don’t be afraid to respond quickly and directly to reviews if you’ve made a mistake or done something wrong.

5. File a Lawsuit if Applicable

Last but not least, if you think a review on one of these sites is malicious or false, you can file a lawsuit. This is rarely a good option, but it’s the last resort. The law requires you to respond to a complaint in a timely fashion. You can’t just sit on the complaint for a month and then file a lawsuit

Bottom line

People love reading reviews. They can help you make a better impression with potential customers, and they can also help you decide what products to buy from other businesses. 

Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into the trap of rewarding bad reviews. Do your best to maintain a professional online presence, avoid rewarding anyone kind enough to give you a favorable review, and follow the law when dealing with reviews. 

As you can see, handling fake online reviews is not an easy task. It takes practice, but the rewards are worth it.

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