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Are bad reviews hurting your brand? Or are you not getting enough reviews?

Reviews are often highly influential for guiding perceptions about a company or organization. In our survey of universities, too few schools promote and leverage reviews from their most important voice – students and alumni.

Research by Think With Google finds that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal referrals. People trust other people more than they trust businesses! A good review can be the deciding factor that tips prospective customers in your favor. 

Let’s focus specifically on Google Reviews. We think they are critical. Why? Student search is digital and very crowded. Happy student and alumni reviews can be your university’s secret weapon. Studies show that referrals from family and friends generate two times the sales over paid advertising, and they are less expensive. 

Here’s how they can elevate your brand:

  1. Your Google ranking is drastically improved. How? Google ensures you get found locally on Google Search and improves your local SEO – you show up on page one, not page two or worse. As Google explains, “Local results favor the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.” Google determines local ranking based on three factors:
    • Relevance: How well your listing matches a search
    • Distance: How far your location is from the search or searcher
    • Prominence: How well-known a business is 
  2. Referrals are more powerful and trusted more than paid ads. Time and again, they hold more weight than matching and ranking sites that are so prevalent today in higher ed. Prospects are much more discerning and skeptical of paid ads and the common review and ranking sites. 
  3. Google reviews are the true voice of customers. Reviews tell you where you shine, slipped or what students want. Do Google reviews influence policy/processes at your university? They should!
  4. Leveraging Google reviews improve your customer experience. Responding to reviews quickly builds more trust and establishes an important public conversation between you and students.
  5. Right now, they put you at a unique competitive advantage. Very few schools are leveraging the power of Google reviews.

Then why don’t most schools optimize My Google page or better yet, why don’t they drive more reviews, especially positive online reviews? We can help. We focus on driving organic and authentic reviews.

Do you know which students are happy and active promoters? We can find out! We measure Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) or Net Promoter Score (NPS) objectively without bias and the findings can transform your entire institution including alumni, admissions, and marketing. 

The first step is to build a strategy. Regardless of your starting point call us and we can help increase and capture more reviews and we will deliver increased students and alumni.