Thunderbolt Digital have spoken before about how reviews are the next step when it comes to search engine marketing Surrey, and it comes as no surprise that many SMEs are struggling in this area. It can be really difficult to get customers to leave feedback, with many only taking to their keyboards when something’s gone terribly wrong. We know how frustrating it can be and the temptations it can lead to, so here’s something that you most definitely should not be doing when it comes to reviews!

A lot of customers, no matter the industry, are often very happy to ‘consume and run’ and aren’t all that bothered about leaving feedback (we’ve all been guilty of this at some point or another, after all!), and as the reality of this continues to manifest in a disappointing lack of reviews for your business, it can be tempting to take matters into your own hands and review your own business, or appeal to friends and family members to do so.

However, you shouldn’t ever review your own business or pay for positive reviews! It may seem like a good way to get the ball rolling, but you’ll receive a penalty from Google if they catch you doing it, and you could potentially lose client trust and custom in the long run! Other websites may even publicly name and shame you if you’re caught doing this, making the stain on your reputation even worse!

You may think that a good alternative to this is to offer your customers incentives in exchange for reviews, but this is, in fact, a pretty murky business as well, and is generally against the ToS for review sites (including smearing competitors with fake negative testimonials, though we’re sure none of our readers would consider doing such a thing!). A more acceptable approach would be to send customers discounts that are not reliant on them giving your company reviews, whilst still reminding them that they are free to leave feedback if they wish – the key thing here is that there is no exchange or transaction in place that could potentially influence their review.

It’s definitely not a quick method, and is possibly the last thing any small business wants to hear but you need to be patient and request honest reviews from actual clients and customers, and whilst it will take a while to see results this way, they will be of far better quality and will help you much more in the long run!

Search engine marketing Surrey can be a confusing business, but Thunderbolt Digital is here to help you traverse the online maze! Our experienced team has helped many local businesses with SEO and SEM techniques to great levels of success, and we’re ready to help you too! To find out more about how we can increase your online exposure, or to book a ‘get to know you’ meeting with us, simply call our office today on 01252 413757 or drop us an email at and we’ll get back to you ASAP!