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July 7, 2021

Local Marketing Insider #011 // Modeling Reputation ROI

Use Widewail's new modeling tool to see the impact a review generation strategy could have on your business, built with your specific reputation metrics.

This week I’ve developed a modeling tool you can use to estimate your reputation performance for the next 12 months.

The only information you need to have on hand: 

  • Monthly transaction volume 
  • Current Google rating 
  • Lifetime review volume

I’m going to explain some details behind the model below, but if you want to get right into the spreadsheet and start experimenting you can download it now. I’ve included directions in the spreadsheet.


How the model works


  • Review request sent to every customer post-transaction using SMS and personalization
  • Review request to review conversion rate of 20%
  • 90% 5-star reviews, 10% 1-star reviews
    • Looking at Widewail data (300,000+ engagements), 90% of reviews are positive. For simplicity, I’ve made the positive reviews a rating of 5 and negatives 1.

Model inputs:

  • Monthly transaction volume
  • Lifetime Google review volume
  • Lifetime Google rating

To preface, Google’s lifetime review calculation is not as simple. I’ve used a weighted average. Google notes the score is calculated using ratings and “a variety of other factors”. Namely, ratings from other reputation and social sites. So, take these estimates with a grain of salt. 

See an example


Rating: 4.2

Lifetime volume: 100

Monthly Transaction volume: 200


Screen Shot 2021-07-06 at 12.18.34 PM

For a business with a baseline of 4.2 stars, 100-lifetime reviews, 200 transactions a month, and a 12-month review generation strategy, the model predicts an outcome of 580 reviews and a rating of 4.59.

What stuck out to me is the fast jump from 4.2-4.5 in the first 2 months. 

Establishing a consistent frequency of good reviews has a significant positive impact on ratings. 

You’ll notice the rating increase slows down from there, approaching 4.6 over the rest of the year. Given the rigid 90% 5-star review parameter, the best rating possible is 4.6. 

Screen Shot 2021-07-06 at 12.18.59 PM

But of course, your business is likely to see more variability than that. This is why I’ve put together the model into a spreadsheet that you can experiment with yourself. 

Input your current star rating, lifetime volume, and monthly transaction volume. Experiment with different transaction volumes and 5-star percentages to see how different performance metrics impact your reputation over time.


Thanks for reading. I hope the model provides clarity. Gets you started in the right direction. Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

If you aren't already signed up, please subscribe to get Local Marketing Insider 2x/month.

See you in 2 weeks - Jake, Marketing

Insider Alley

More ammo for your marketing meeting

Google has begun rolling out its "Core Update". A significant rework, businesses should expect to see changes in rankings as a result.

Watch Widewail CEO, Matt Murray, explain why displaying trust broadly is critical for modern business success.

Take a deep dive into how reputation signals impact SEO on Google.


Jake Hughes

I’m the Director of Marketing here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. I'm in Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0 to 100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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Bite-sized, to-the-point, trend-driven local marketing stories and tactics.