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Duane “DJ” Sprague and Scott Brandley, of Shopper Approved, on online reputation management for e-commerce (plus free e-Book!)

Customer reviews — whether on Google My Business, Amazon, Yelp, or another online platform — are an indispensable tool for anyone involved in e-commerce. Numerous academic studies have highlighted the power of positive reviews in terms of influencing sentiment, and, by extension, conversions and revenue. Provided they’re authentic (and for obvious reasons, they’re often not), reviews can be a merchant’s best friend (or worst enemy).

My guests, Duane “DJ” Sprague and Scott Brandley, run Shopper Approved, a Utah-based firm providing tools that help merchants increase trust, traffic, and conversions through the management of user reviews. I’m grateful to Duane and Scott for getting together with me to chat at length about reviews, particularly in terms of how they’re essential for SEO and, in today’s content environment, where AI is becoming increasingly important, as a trusted, validated source of information that can safely be ingested by LLMs.

I’m also grateful to Duane and Scott for generously providing a free digital version of their new book: Reputation King: How to Become the Most Trusted Online Brand in Your Industry, to readers/viewers of our interview. Check it out at:!

Here are some of the topics we covered in our chat:

  • The different flavors of UGC (User-Generated Content), including BGC (Brand-Generated Content), and EGC (Expert-Generated Content)
  • The importance of verified reviews for businesses and in terms of not running afoul of regulations from the Federal Trade Commission.
  • The process by which reviews are syndicated across multiple websites.
  • The fact that today’s generation of young people “live by video” and are quite comfortable creating – and consuming – video reviews.
  • The SEO value of strategic Q&A-style content.
  • Industry sectors where reviews are particularly more powerful, such as retailers with house brands or manufactured brands from different manufacturers.
  • Why consumers in certain health-related sectors may resist leaving authentic reviews due to privacy concerns.
  • The fact that having some negative reviews can actually improve one’s trust level among consumers.
  • The importance of brands responding reviews in order to show they care about customer feedback and are adept at solving consumer issues.
  • Why executives – not just line staff – need to pay attention to consumer reviews, which cumulatively serve as an index to a brand’s overall reputation.



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