How to keep reviews from being filtered on Google

How to keep reviews from being filtered on Google

Google reviews have become an increasingly important part of online reputation, but Google filters some reviews because Google views them as “spam” or as not meeting certain guidelines. If a review is filtered, it won’t show up on Google maps and can cause issues for businesses down the line. So, let’s take a look at some tips to keep Google reviews from getting filtered!

First and foremost, make sure that your clients follow Google’s guidelines when writing their reviews.

The most common reason why Google might filter a review is that it violates one of the company’s policies. Avoid using offensive language or content, making unfounded claims about services or products, including personal information like phone numbers and emails in the review, etc.

Another tip is to ask your customers to add a photo or video when posting their reviews.

Google tends to take reviews more seriously if they come with credible visual evidence. Photos and videos make Google reviews look more genuine since it confirms that the customer actually visited your business location.

Finally, if you are asking for reviews, slow down your campaigns to a more natural review level.

Google frowns upon businesses that are constantly pushing for Google reviews, so be sure to avoid spamming your customers with review requests.

Google Reviews can be a great way to boost your business’ presence, but they must be handled with care in order to remain valid. By following Google’s policies and best practices, you can help ensure that your Google reviews stay visible on Google Maps and don’t get filtered out.

Using AI is never perfect.  Some real reviews may get filtered out as spam.  You can try to reach out to customer support if you have a valid claim.  It might help to have a screenshot of the review from your customer before contacting Google Business Support

If you would like help getting more reviews for your business, we have some solutions that have proven to work.  Contact us for help with Google Business Reviews


9 Blog Writing Tips For 2021

Blog Writing Tips

Writing articles for your website is like a trip to the dentist.  We procrastinate setting the appointment, we look for excuses not to go, but in the end,  you always feel better when the task is completed.  Here are our blog writing tips for next year to help build your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

  1. Set Goals
  2. Research
  3. Plan Your Format
  4. Create Images
  5. Keep It Simple
  6. Digitally Network With Links
  7. Stay Focused & Manage Your Time
  8. Just Do It
  9. Edit, Share & Share

1. Set Goals

We made this one plural on purpose because there are typically multiple goals for adding content to your website with a new article or post.  Usually, you are trying to share your expertise with the end-user, but more and more studies show that people have their pet poodle’s attention span.  That leaves us listening to our SEO advisors who tell us to publish content because of the old saying “content is king.”   This second goal of staying relevant in your field may be the most important reason to continue writing and researching content.  I typically brainstorm 2-3 new articles or topics for every article that I write.  Focus on the keyword that you want to write about, create your headline, and move on to your next step.  Don’t worry if your headline is wrong; the backspace key is one of the most commonly used keys on the keyboard. 😊

2. Research

A quick Google search of your new headline will likely show that you aren’t as creative as you think you are.  Researching a topic is the most important of my blog writing tips because it helps keep you current in your field.  I typically spend 10% of my work week reading blogs, online message boards, and listening to podcasts.  Sure I will still read a new book on the topic, and I enjoy going to trade shows, but in the fields of digital marketing and local search engine marketing, the news gets old fast.

3. Plan your format

Typically you will hear about short-form and long-form posts for blogs.  I tend to error on the side of short-format posts.  Typically people are reading your article because you are saving them time.  You did the research portion for them and are presenting that information so it can be ingested quickly.  This isn’t a courtroom on television, and you don’t need to build your case.  Present the information in an upside-down pyramid format with the important info right up top.  The rest of the fluff and supporting evidence can be saved for below the fold content.

4.  Create Images

Ideally, you have a graphic designer who can help you put together an image that helps sell your article’s interest.  Chances are, however, that you don’t have photoshop, but there are free tools online like Canva that can help you put together something simple to draw attention to your article.  A decent image will be important later when you share your article via social media and other tools.

5. Keep It Simple

Remember the old acronym KISS (keep it simple stupid).  This is over the top important for most writers.  This isn’t applicable if you publish an article in a trade journal, but most blogs and websites are not that technical.  During step one, you defined your goals for the article, and you should know your customers.  If you are uncertain how your customers find your business or website, please contact us to set up a free consultation.  We can help ingest your Google Insights and Google Analytics data to understand your customers and digital traffic better.

6. Digitally Network With Links

Don’t share links solely for your SEO strategy, but do it to help support your ideas and create a better user experience.  Links that leave your website should open in a new window so that people can find their way back to your article when ready.

7. Stay Focused and Manage Your Time

Your time is the most important asset of your day, and this is one of my blog writing tips that will protect your shot clock.  I pick a time of day when I can focus on writing and set a timer to ensure I don’t spend 12 hours writing an article in one sitting.  My general rule is 1 hour of research and 60-90 minutes for writing.  In addition to my time tracker, I also have an egg timer that sits on my desk to help me stay focused during my research phase.  The timer is set for 10 minutes, and each time it goes off, I evaluate if the website I’m currently researching is directly correlated with the article I’m trying to write.  If not, I shut down all of my browser windows and “reboot my research.”

8. Take Nike’s Advice To Getting Started – “Just Do It”

I remember my Dad offering me advice about setting goals, playing sports, and making other decisions growing up.  His advice was to follow the Nike slogan and “Just Do It.”  It is always easier said than done, but the first step to running a long-distance race is the most important because you have to get the ball rolling and build momentum.  One of the first questions clients ask me is, “how often do I need to write an article for my blog?”  There is no correct answer, but very few shortcuts to success actually work out.  So if you pass the task to Brantley in the mailroom, the article will either not sound correct, or Brantley will be the next expert in your industry and have his own successful company.

9. Edit, Share, & Share

Take a break, then read & edit your own articleShare your article with a co-worker or someone you trust to take the time to read it and offer sound advice.  If you don’t have someone that you trust to help edit your article, try out some editing websites like Grammerly.  Publish and share your work.  Share it on social media and with clients.  Remember they are one of the main reasons you wrote the article in the first place!  The links that refer back to your website will help build SEO strategy and reputation in your industry.  Don’t get bothered if your article doesn’t get a million clicks and reads; the research portion alone is enough to help you stay relevant and continue dominating your industry.



Are Websites Going to Become Obsolete?

Are Websites Going to Become Obsolete?

How important is it to have a website for your business?

Do you need a custom website that costs thousands of dollars?

With so many websites in the world, how hard is it to rank for meaningful keywords?

These are just some of the questions that we considered when looking towards the future of websites and how the general public interacts with the web.  Smart devices that include Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and even Cortana are answering user’s questions without taking them to websites.

Google displays answers on the search page and doesn’t require you to actually visit the website.  Even though we love how many services Google gives away for free, we can’t forget that they are in the business of selling ads and collecting data.

Trying to make an appointment at a hair salon?  Artificial intelligence can call the salon and make an appointment based on the calendar it already manages for you.

Is the future creepy, a little.  Is it coming faster than we think, absolutely!

All of these are reasons we do what we do here at Toast Local.  A business owner can refuse to participate on social media, send out newsletters, or rank your Google My Business listing, but I promise you that your competitors will fill the void.

Our local search optimization services not only include a full revamp of your Google listing, but we log into your account multiple times per week to updates user data, add posts, add photos, and “play the game” on your behalf. We can’t answer the question – “Are websites going to become obsolete?” But we can help you plan for whatever turns the future brings.

Are you wondering if this could work for your business, let us prove it to you!